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US Military Lifts Ban on Transgender Personnel

Transgender personnel will no longer be barred from serving openly in the US military, the Pentagon announced Thursday -- a major milestone that immediately attracted criticism.

Lifting the ban on transgender service members is "the right thing to do, and it's another step in ensuring that we continue to recruit and retain the most qualified people," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters.

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France's Lyon Diocese Sacks Four Priests for Sex Abuse

Four priests of the Catholic diocese of Lyon in eastern France have been relieved of their duties for sexual abuse, a diocesan source said Thursday.

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Spain's Animal Rights Party Wins Record Votes in election

An animal rights party in Spain won a record number of votes in weekend elections in a country where opposition to bullfighting is more and more vocal.

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U.S. Supreme Court Hands Major Victory to Abortion Rights Movement

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Texas law placing a raft of restrictions on abortion clinics, handing a major victory to the "pro-choice" camp in the country's most important abortion case in a generation.

In a case with far-reaching implications for millions of women across the United States, the court ruled 5-3 to strike down measures which activists say have forced more than half of Texas's abortion clinics to close.

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French Politicians Want English Scrapped as EU Language

French purists have never taken kindly to having English thrust upon them, and some have seized upon Brexit as a chance to rid themselves of Shakespeare's language -- at least at EU headquarters.

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Orthodox Church Leaders Warn over Mideast, Science

Orthodox church leaders from around the world on Sunday called for the protection of religious minorities in the war-torn Middle East at a rare global meeting that also warned against the "moral dilemmas" of rapid scientific progress.

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Ramadan Soup Kitchen Offers Brief Respite to Gaza's Hungry

In her modest home in the Gaza Strip, Sahar Sherif's family watches as she ladles out a broth of meat and vegetables for a rare heart-warming meal.

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Iran Cracks Down on 'Vulgar Western' Dog Owners

Dog lovers in central Iran are in uproar after authorities began confiscating their pets in an apparent crackdown on the "vulgar Western culture" of canine ownership, Iranian media reported Saturday.

One unnamed dog owner in Shahin Shahr in Isfahan province told Iran's Shahrvand newspaper that officials had shown up suddenly at his house last week.

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'Good Riddance', Bitter French Tweeters Tell Les Anglais

Twitter was the go-to soapbox on Friday for the French to vent their anger -- as well as predictable digs at "Les Anglais" -- over the Brexit vote.

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Israeli Restaurants in Kosher Food Row with Jewish Authorities

Jonathan Vadai just wanted a certificate confirming his Jerusalem restaurant as kosher, but he found himself fed up with the Israeli religious authorities overseeing the process.

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