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Turkey's Erdogan Slams Birth Control as 'Treason'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described efforts to promote birth control as "treason", saying contraception risked causing a whole generation to dry up, reports said Monday.

Erdogan made the comments on Sunday, addressing the bride and groom at the wedding ceremony of the son of businessman Mustafa Kefeli who is one his close allies.

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Pope Launches Scathing Attack on Vatican Plagued by Ills

Pope Francis lambasted the Vatican's bureaucracy on Monday, saying some within the Church had a lust for power, were indifferent to others and suffered from "spiritual Alzheimer's".

The Argentine used a Christmas speech to cardinals, bishops and priests to list a catalog of ailments plaguing some at the very top and urging a "cure".

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France's Sole Kosher Vineyard Aims High despite Bottlenecks

It was a visit to Jerusalem that inspired Frenchman Alexandre Sartene to start the world's third kosher vineyard outside Israel which, despite a rocky start, now exports as far as Brazil.

"I find the idea of kosher wine divine," says a proud Sartene, with a touch of the same humor that has seen him nickname his domain in southern France, his "kibbutz".

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In Spanish City Saved by Museum, Guggenheim Digs in

Locals in Bilbao say an art museum helped save their Spanish city from decline. Now they are glad to know their savior, the Guggenheim, will be staying for some time.

With the initial lease set to expire, the U.S.-based Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation on December 9 announced it was signing on to run its museum in the northern port city for another 20 years.

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Eccentric French Collector Turns Home into Piano 'Orphanage'

Jean Jude, glasses perched on the end of his nose, is practicing scales when his visitor arrives.

"Sorry there isn't much room in here," Jude says, getting up from one piano before wending his way among countless others filling his living room, part of a unique collection totalling around 150.

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India Ruling Party Chief Urges Law against Conversions

India's ruling party chief on Saturday called for a law to ban "forced religious conversions" amid increasing uproar over the right-wing government's perceived pro-Hindu tilt.

India's parliament has been paralyzed by opposition lawmakers protesting mass conversions to Hinduism which is the country's majority religion.

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Egypt's Gays Go Deeper Underground, Fearing Crackdown

Just before midnight, the police navigated down the narrow alleys of an old downtown Cairo district and descended on a rundown bathhouse. They dragged out dozens of nearly naked men, who covered their faces as they struggled to hold up towels, and loaded them into police trucks.

There to film it all was an Egyptian television presenter, who claims she actually triggered the raid by tipping off police about alleged homosexual activity in the bathhouse. Days later, she aired what she boasted was an expose of "a den of mass perversion" spreading AIDS in Egypt.

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Historic Buildings Closed by Tuscany Tremors

Some of Tuscany's landmark historic buildings were closed to visitors Friday as part of the region was shaken by 80 mini-earthquakes centered on the Chianti wine region.

The tremors reached a maximum magnitude of 4.1 but were sufficiently powerful to result in some schools, houses and offices being evacuated.

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Officials: Skeleton from Greek Mystery Tomb to be Identified Next Month

Details on the identity of a mystery skeleton found in a massive tomb dating from the era of Alexander the Great in Greece are to be revealed next month, the culture ministry said Friday.

"The result of macroscopic study of the bone tissue (identifying) sex, age and height will be announced in January," the ministry said in a statement, adding that the research will be conducted by universities in Thessaloniki and Thrace.

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Falklands to Unveil Thatcher Statue in 2015

The Falkland Islands are to erect a statue next year of former British premier Margaret Thatcher, who defended the territory against Argentina in 1982, Prime Minister David Cameron announced Thursday.

In his Christmas message to the 3,000 residents of the South Atlantic Ocean archipelago, Cameron revealed the bronze would be unveiled in 2015.

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