"The United States of America" has become entrenched as one of the most frequently printed phrases in the modern era of written English, a study of 500 years of language evolution has shown.
Among the top dozen phrases most-printed in books every year, this one stands out from the other most popular five-word sentence components like "at the end of the", "as a result of the" or "on the part of the".Full Story
Xu, a pretty woman in her 30s, warily walked into a Beijing singles club in a bid to shed her status as one of China's "Unwanted".
Xu had not been to the "Garden of Joy" for more than a year but, with time and societal judgment weighing heavily on her, she returned with cautious hopes.Full Story
Fervent Catholics in a crime-ridden New Jersey town are flocking to what they say is the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary's image in a tree trunk.
On Tuesday, a crowd of several dozen people stood around the tree, praying, taking photos and swapping stories of what they call a miracle.Full Story
Renowned Syrian sculptor Wael Qastoun has been tortured to death in the flashpoint central of city of Homs, an artists' association said on Tuesday.
A statement released by the Syrian Coalition of Artists for Freedom said Qastoun "died under torture."Full Story
Fresh air, fine wine and world-class performers are pulling the crowds to Bordeaux's wine country for an ever-rising number of summer jazz and classical concerts in the French region.
"It's a trend, and it works. It attracts people who are not the usual jazz music audience," the pianist Francois Faure said as he stepped off stage at the Saint Emilion Jazz festival this week.Full Story
Bent over strips of blotting paper, senses primed and notebooks in hand: this is how generations of "noses" have honed their art at the world-famous Givaudan perfumery school near Paris.
Fully one third of all fine fragrances created worldwide owe their existence to alumni of the school, which has been training young men and women in the subtle art since 1946 in the bland suburb of Argenteuil.Full Story
Vandals have desecrated 57 tombs containing the remains of around 250 people at a Jewish cemetery in Hungary, Jewish groups said Monday.
"This is clearly motivated by racism," Laszlo Rona, who heads the association of Jewish communities in Kaposvar in southwest Hungary where the incident took place over the weekend, told the MTI national news agency.Full Story
Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday said married couples should sit down and talk about their problems with "utmost sincerity" on a regular basis to get past the bustle and individualism of daily life.
Marriages "have problems and difficulties, surrounded as they are by growing secularization", the pope said in a message for a meeting in Brazil of the "Equipes Notre Dame" movement founded in 1938 by French priest Henri Caffarel.Full Story
"Here it is, the little wonder, our 'Chypre' from 1917," whispers the cellar-master as he plunges a paper strip into a vial, one of the many treasures at a one-of-its-kind library of world perfume.
The century-old fragrance by Francois Coty is in illustrious company, with to one side the 14th-century "Water of the Queen of Hungary" and to the other the Cologne water that Napoleon Bonaparte used in exile on Saint Helena, dated 1815.Full Story
The giant sets of the Cinecitta studios in Rome -- from 19th century New York to Renaissance Florence -- are a slice of world cinema history that workers picketing outside say is disappearing forever.
The iconic 1930s facade has been covered by a giant banner reading "Occupy Cinecitta" and international directors including Britain's Ken Loach and France's Claude Lelouch are getting behind a campaign to preserve the site.Full Story