High-Price Public Christmas Tree Causes Uproar in Belgrade

Authorities in Serbia’s capital are facing outrage over the purchase of a plastic Christmas tree that reportedly cost the equivalent of $98,000 and has sparked corruption allegations. An anti-corruption website has described the 59-feet tree as the most expensive in the world — four times the price of the one outside Rockefeller Center in New York.

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Seventh Circuit Hears Dispute Over High School’s Live Nativity

A venerable Seventh Circuit judge asked an ACLU lawyer Tuesday if a high school performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion” would violate the U.S. Constitution. Reacting to the lawyer’s unfamiliarity with the piece, Judge Frank Easterbrook said, “Oh dear, that is a problem,” before lecturing the lawyer on the sacred oratorio’s importance as one of the greatest pieces “in the history of music.”

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