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Vietnam, U.S. Restart Adoptions after Six-Year Ban

American parents will be allowed to adopt Vietnamese children again, authorities said Tuesday, ending a six-year ban imposed after allegations of baby-selling and fraud but with new restrictions.

Two American agencies have been awarded licences but new U.S. adoptions will be limited to children over the age of five, sibling groups and those with special needs, the U.S. State Department said.

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Indian Masterpieces Up for Sale in New York

Paintings by one of India's most important modern artists go under the hammer in New York on Wednesday, highlights in a booming market for Asian art featured this week.

Three oils on canvas by pioneering Indian abstract artist Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde, who in 1964 based himself in New York, are being offered for auction by Christie's and Bonham's.

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Palestinian Bagpipers Back Scottish Independence

Scottish independence campaigners have found an unexpected source of support ahead of a landmark referendum on the fate of the United Kingdom -- Palestinian bagpipers.

In a small hall in the occupied West Bank, far from the tussle over Scotland's future, pipers and stick-twirling drummers burst into action as local scout troop members march up and down for weekly practice.

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Bangladesh Sets Two-Year Jail Term for Child Marriage

Bangladesh on Monday approved a law setting a two-year jail term for anyone involved in marrying a girl aged under 18, in a bid to cut the country's notoriously high child marriage rate.

The new law comes days after new U.N. figures showed two-thirds of Bangladeshi girls marry before they reach adulthood. It targets the parents or guardians and the marriage registrar as well as the groom.

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Science to the Rescue of Art

Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" are losing their yellow cheer and the unsettling apricot horizon in Edvard Munch's "The Scream" is turning a dull ivory.

Some of our most treasured paintings are fading, warn experts who would like more money for the use of sophisticated technology to capture the masters' original palettes before the works are unrecognizable blighted.

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Unseen Picasso Letter -- with Doodles -- on Display in France

A previously unseen letter written by Pablo Picasso, complete with sketches, has gone on display in western France.

The letter, to his friend the French poet Max Jacob, comes from a private collection and is displayed at the fine arts museum in the western city of Quimper.

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Independence as Last Hope among Glasgow's Dispossessed

Devastated by the decades of industrial decline, many living in the run-down Glasgow district of Drumchapel see Scottish independence as a last chance to revive its fortunes, but even here the "No" camp has supporters.

"For most people in Drumchapel it's a very, very hard life," said "Yes" voter Leah Hazard, a mid-wife with the National Health Service (NHS).

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Pope Francis Marks 100 Years from Start of WWI

Pope Francis on Saturday denounced those who profit from the "madness" of war at a ceremony in the north west of Italy to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.

"In today's world, behind the scenes, there are interests, geopolitical strategies, lust for money and power, and there is the manufacture and sale of arms," he told the crowd of thousands standing in the rain at the Redipuglia cemetery.

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Spain Prehistoric Cave Art Stays Open to Lucky Few

A cave in Spain containing some of the world's most precious prehistoric art will stay open for trial visits after decades closed for conservation reasons, officials said Friday.

Experts who launched small trial viewings in February at the Altamira cave to see whether the ancient paintings could withstand the breath and germs of visitors have now decided to extend them, the culture ministry said.

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"Blue Moon" Diamond Unveiled in LA

Los Angeles County's Natural History Museum on Friday unveiled the "Blue Moon Diamond," a 12-carat gem described as one of the rarest stones in the world.

Deep blue and intensely radiant, it was found in South Africa's Cullinan mine northeast of Pretoria, where the biggest ever rough diamond was unearthed a century ago.

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