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Report: Famed Iranian Poet Behbahani Dies at 87

Famed Iranian poet Simin Behbahani, who wrote of the joys of love, demanded equal rights for women and spoke out about the challenges facing those living in her homeland, died Tuesday at the age of 87.

Behbahani had been hospitalized and unconscious in Tehran since Aug. 6 and later died of heart failure and breathing problems, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.

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Palestinian Poet Samih al-Qasim Dies at 75

Samih al-Qasim, a Palestinian poet known across the Arab world for his nationalist writing, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, a family friend said. He was 75.

Qasim died in Safed hospital in northern Israel after suffering from cancer of the liver for the past three years, Issam Khuri, a novelist and close family friend, told Agence France Presse.

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Peru Auctions Jailed Ex-Spy Chief's Luxury Jewels

Peru began auctioning off the jewelry collection of jailed ex-spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos on Monday, looking to recoup more than $1 million of the public funds he was convicted of stealing.

Montesinos was the head of the intelligence services under former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who is today serving prison time, as well.

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Statue of Slain PKK Commander Unveiled in Turkey

A statue of a former militant commander of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who planned the first attacks of its 30-year insurgency against the Turkish authorities has been unveiled in southeast Turkey, reports said Sunday.

The statue of Mahsum Korkmaz, who was killed in 1986, was unveiled on Saturday in the village of Yolacti in the Lice district of the majority Kurdish Diyarbakir province in Turkey's southeast.

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Pakistani Interfaith Couples Brave Threats for Forbidden Love

Thirteen years ago among the whirring looms of a garment factory in an eastern Pakistani city, a Muslim woman fell in love with a Christian co-worker.

Now married with three children, Kalsoom Bibi and her husband Yousuf Bhatti have been shunned by their communities, endured death threats and an abduction, all in the name of religious honour in this conservative Islamic country.

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Name of Muslim Group in Myanmar Goes Unspoken

Myanmar's downtrodden Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship, targeted in deadly sectarian violence and corralled into dirty camps without aid. To heap on the indignity, Myanmar's government is pressuring foreign officials not to speak the group's name, and the tactic appears to be working.

U.N. officials say they avoid the term in public to avoid stirring tensions between the country's Buddhists and Muslims. And after Secretary of State John Kerry recently met with Myanmar leaders, a senior State Department official told reporters the U.S. thinks the name issue should be "set aside."

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Mural Collecting Dust is William Cumming Original

A large mural that collected dust in barns over the decades before being displayed this month at a fair in Washington state is an original 1941 painting by William Cumming, a member of the Northwest School art movement of the 1930s and '40s, a Seattle art dealer confirmed.

Art gallery owner John Braseth said the signature on the painting was unmistakably Cumming's, the Skagit Valley Herald reported (http://is.gd/DyuECl).

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Yasukuni War Shrine: Some Key Answers

Key questions and answers about Tokyo's Yasukuni war shrine, which comes under the spotlight on the August 15 anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, when politicians -- and bereaved families -- visit the site, enraging Japan's neighbors.

 

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Enforced Silence at China's Cultural Revolution Museum

No signs along the long and dusty mountain road point the way to the Cultural Revolution museum complex.

And this year, no commemoration for the millions of victims of Mao Zedong's mayhem was held on the anniversary of its start.

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Museums Team Up to Digitize Warhol Films

Hundreds of films by Andy Warhol will be digitized and made available for public screening under a museum partnership.

The project was announced Thursday by New York City's Museum of Modern Art, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and visual effects firm MPC. It covers some 500 films Warhol created between 1963 and 1972.

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