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Inauguration of the 11th edition of Fransabank - JABAL 2015

The inauguration of the 11th edition of JABAL Exhibition, Jeunes Artistes des Beaux-Arts du Liban, organized by Fransabank, was held on May 13th, at the Saint-George Hotel under the patronage and in the presence of Mrs. Lama Tammam Salam, and H.E Mr. Adnan Kassar, Chairman of Fransabank Group. Mrs. Nora Joumblat was among the 1.500 invitees who attended the private viewing, along with a large number of various social figures, businessmen, art collectors, art gallery owners, as well as the organizing committee of JABAL, the artists, and the media.

Under the theme «Visionary Artists where myths and dreams are all about Lebanon», 32 artists were rigorously selected to unveil their projects, some of which were especially made for this occasion, presenting a sensitive and eclectic overview of modern day art. They created their own shapes, images, objects, and concepts, through their drawings, paintings, photography, installations, sculptures, videos, and performances, and which illustrate their confidence in the future and a vision which reflects the expectations of these young artists who have a keen mind and a critical sense towards contemporary society.

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Croatia Arts Festival to Stage Houellebecq Play after All

A play by author Michel Houellebecq -- whose book imagining a Muslim-governed France stirred controversy -- will be staged as planned at a Croatian arts festival despite calls for its cancellation over security fears, the culture ministry said Wednesday.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival announced earlier this month it would have to cancel Houellebecq's drama "The Elementary Particles" ("Les Particules elementaires") after the interior ministry deemed it a "security risk".

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Bride and Prejudice: Rare Ethnic Marriages Reflect China Tensions

It was not until late on her wedding day that Aygul told her parents she was even in a relationship. And they were furious.

A year later, her Uighur father was still so angry she had chosen a Han husband he beat her up in a Beijing train station, stamping on her throat as he hurled insults.

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Australia PM Promises 'Full and Frank' Debate on Gay Marriage

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Wednesday promised a "full and frank" debate on gay marriage in response to an opposition-backed push for reform, but said the issue was not a priority for his conservative government.

The opposition Labor Party said late Tuesday it would bring a private member's bill before parliament next week which could force a vote on gay marriage later in the year, following Ireland's successful referendum on the matter.

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U.S. Returns 25 Looted Artifacts to Italy: Vases, Frescoes

The United States on Tuesday officially returned 25 artifacts looted over the decades from Italy, including Etruscan vases, 1st-century frescoes and precious books that ended up in U.S. museums, universities and private collections.

Italy has been on a campaign to recover looted artifacts, using the courts and public shaming to compel museums and collectors to return them, and has won back several important pieces.

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Seoul Elevates Gardening to High Art

From stylish, manicured creations to small vegetable plots, gardens are taking to the rooftops of the South Korean capital Seoul -- bringing dashes of spontaneity and color to the skyline of one of the world's most densely populated cities.

With help from the municipal government, otherwise largely drab buildings are being crowned with flower beds, allotments and trees, where the scent of fresh blossoms in the springtime can briefly mask the fumes from the traffic below.

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Pope's Finance Chief Ready to Appear at Australia Child Abuse Inquiry

Pope Francis' finance chief Wednesday said he was ready to give evidence at a child abuse inquiry in his native Australia, as the nation's most notorious paedophile priest insisted the pair had little to do with each other.

Cardinal George Pell -- formerly the top Catholic cleric in Australia and now a senior Vatican official -- was accused by a victim during the hearings last week of trying to bribe him to keep quiet.

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Full-House in Kiev Bar Inspired by Russian Propaganda

The title of the menu, "Long live Junta", and its Hitler-like caricatures of Vladimir Putin are some of the more benign gags at a new bar in Kiev packed nightly with crowds.

Opened this month, the Karatel bar, whose name translates as "The Punisher", offers a tongue-in-cheek gastronomical take on all the main cliches of Russian propaganda about Ukraine's conflict with pro-Moscow separatists in the east.

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Some Native Hawaiians Disapprove of 'Aloha' Movie Title

Some Native Hawaiians disapprove of the name of a movie filmed and set in Hawaii, saying that titling it "Aloha" is a disrespectful misappropriation of culture and simplifies a word that's rich with meaning.

The Cameron Crowe film starring Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone, opens Friday, with a screening in Honolulu three days before. The concerns are based largely on a trailer that depicts a military-themed love-story that appears devoid of a genuine connection to Hawaiian culture.

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Rohingya Seek Better Life in Malaysia, but Reality is Stark

Malaysia has been a sort of promised land for Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar. The tens of thousands who endured perilous journeys to get here find more work opportunities than in Indonesia and a more Muslim-friendly environment than in Thailand.

But in the 25 years since Hamid Hussein Abul Khair arrived, that promise has been worn away by the statelessness and poverty that have never left him.

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