Canadian man builds massive Starship Enterprise Christmas display
Moncton resident Martin Ahern has given his own take on Christmas this year with a display that has captured the attention of many.
First, Ahern spent a large portion of his time designing a soaring tree displaying thousands of separate programmable lights that was situated among other impressive displays.
According to the Associated Press, a Florida waitress who was in need of money after an expensive car repair bill was given a $2,000 tip on Christmas Eve by her well-wishing regular customers.
Lynette Baio had apparently shared the news of her financial woes with her regular customers, and filled with the Christmas spirit, they took action and helped their favourite waitress out.
AP reports that “last month, Baio spent $2,000 on a car repair, and the topic came up in conversation with the couple a few weeks ago. When they returned for dinner Christmas Eve, they left the check as a tip, along with a message that said ‘Merry Christmas and restore your savings. God bless you.'”
“They started to walk out and I picked it up and I was like, ‘What?’ and I started crying and he started crying and she starting crying and it was just totally amazing,” Baio said to a local television affiliate in Tampa.
Baio spent the money on presents for her family and loved ones.
A Christmas miracle occurred in Nebraska, where a “Purple Heart” veteran woke up out of a coma after suffering a brain injury.
Tony Belt can now sit up straight and enjoy the Christmas holidays with his wife and three kids.
“[The kids] talk to him and play with him,” Kyli, Tony’s wife, told KETV-TV. “The baby even lays in bed with him.”
Just three months ago, Tony fell 5.5 metres from a scissor lift while working in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Doctors said that he may never wake up, even though he showed signs of minor improvement.
“The doctors told me he probably wasn’t going to make it to the weekend,” said Kyli.
However, his will and determination got the better of the coma and he started moving.
“Last week, he started moving his left side, opening his eyes,” Kyli said.
Tony spent eight years serving in the American army and was deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea. He was shot twice and survived a tank explosion.
He received a Purple Heart, a military decoration awarded to those wounded or killed while serving.
His willpower could not be crushed, and he continued to fight on for survival.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to raise money for his rehabilitation. It’s since raised more than US$15,000.
“We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization.”
That was a message found inside of a Tesco Christmas card. It was discovered by a six-year-old girl in London, England according to the Sunday Times.
The card was purchased from a local Tesco by Florence Widdicombe’s mom so that Florence could give them out to her classmates.
“We didn’t open (the cards) on the day that we got them, we opened them about a week ago,” Florence said.
“We were writing in them. About on my sixth or eighth card, somebody had already written in it.”
Florence’s mother decided to reach out to human rights organizations as well as former reporter Peter Humphrey.
Humphrey has spent years imprisoned in Qinpu at the same facility for breaking Chinese privacy laws. The BBC reported that the packing of Christmas cards has been forced upon inmates for two years and Humphrey concurred.
Tesco said they were shocked to learn the nature of which their cards were being produced and has immediately halted operations with Zhejiang Yunguang Printing, the China based company.
Humphrey told the BBC that “The foreigners cellblock in Qingpu prison had about 150 foreign prisoners when I was there,” he continued, “Today, it has about 250. These prisoners are living a very bleak daily life.”
In describing the conditions he lived under during his time imprisoned at the facility Humprhey said that prisoners were placed 12 at a time in grey cells. Each with an iron bed with a mattress that was no more than an inch thick. There was no heating through the winter and conditions got extremely cold.
Inmates are expected to follow “highly regimented” work programs and over the past year, the manual labour has become mandatory, working for pennies on the dollar. What money they can earn overtime is used to buy basic hygiene necessities such as soap.
An audit conducted in November of Zhejiang Yunguang Printing concluded that there were no signs of forced labour involved in their manufacturing process, Tesco said.
“We have a comprehensive auditing system in place and this supplier was independently audited as recently as last month and no evidence was found to suggest they had broken our rule banning the use of prison labour,” said a Tesco spokesperson. “If evidence is found we will permanently delist the supplier.”
A 7-year-old boy in Texas wrote a letter to Santa asking for a “very very very good dad” for Christmas this year. The boy has been temporarily living with his mom in a domestic violence shelter.
The boy’s mother found the letter sitting in his backpack. His mother showed the letter to a domestic violence shelter called SafeHaven of Tarrant County staff in Fort Worth, Texas. Kathryn Jacob, the CEO of the shelter told CNN about the letter.
SafeHaven posted the boy’s letter to social media on Wednesday. They changed the boy’s name to Blake for safety reasons.
We had to leave our house. Dad was mad. We had to do all the chores. Dad got everything he wanted. Mom said it was time to leave and she would take us to a safer place where we don’t have to be scared.
I’m still nervous. I don’t want to talk to the other kids. Are you going to come this Christmas? We don’t have any of our stuff here. Can you bring some chapter books, a dictionary, and a compass and a watch? I also want a very very very good dad. Can you do that too?
Jacob told CTV that “Blake’s story is like every story we see. The problem is so pervasive.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, approximately 20 people in the United States are physically abused every minute by someone who is an intimate partner. That comes to about 10 million people per year.
Jacob is happy that the boy’s letter is receiving so much attention but she also hopes that attention will be drawn towards how often intimate domestic partner violence occurs.
According to Jacob, women who are mothers of three, are the average client that SafeHaven helps. The shelter sees more clients around the holiday season when children are not in school.
Jacob noted, “I think adult victims of domestic violence are thoughtful and strategic—I know they do the safest thing for themselves and their children,” she then added, “We may not understand that completely, but I think that’s why they typically don’t want to interrupt their child’s academic life, so they do that when there’s a break from school.”
The shelter has been housing 45 women along with 74 kids since Wednesday. The shelter can hold 164 people when it is at maximum capacity. Families stay at the shelter for about 8-10 weeks on average.
After the post was shared to social media, many Facebook users felt for the boy and gave their own stories of similar experiences.
Jacob said, “The people who have said that they’ve experienced this … that has been stunning to me,” she added, “And I’m in this world. [It’s] so many people.”