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Iraq's Ancient Pottery Struggles to Outlive Modern Plastic

Adel al-Kawwaz expertly spins the potter's wheel, shaping the wet clay into a smooth jug. His family is famous for this millennia-old Iraqi craft, but Kawwaz is struggling to keep it alive.

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Dutch Church Prays 24/7 to Shield Armenian Family from Deportation

A Dutch church has resorted to the power of prayer to stop the deportation of an Armenian family sheltering there, holding round-the-clock religious services for more than a month to keep police at bay, officials said Friday.

The Bethel Church in The Hague has taken advantage of a loophole in Dutch law which says that police cannot enter the premises while a religious service is underway.

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I. Coast to Ask France to Return a Hundred Works of Art

Ivory Coast became the latest country to ask France to return works of art Wednesday, days after Paris said it was willing to hand back artefacts looted from Africa.

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Egypt Unearths Eight Ancient Mummies

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered eight mummies dating back over 2,300 years at a pyramid complex south of Cairo, authorities said Wednesday.

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Autistic Boy Escapes Mum to Play with Pope Francis

A young Argentinian boy broke free of his mother's clutches to play with Pope Francis during a Vatican audience Wednesday, much to the pontiff's delight.

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In Saint Petersburg, Residents Stuck in Soviet 'Kommunalkas'

In Saint Petersburg's largest communal apartment, people barely talk to each other. Living conditions here are dismal and most residents dream of leaving the place for good.

Located in the center of the former imperial capital, the "kommunalka" flat occupies the entire ground floor of a building, with 34 rooms coming off a corridor almost 100 meters (330 feet) long.

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In Iraq, an Ancient Board Game is Making a Comeback

After rolling pyramid-shaped dice, Iraqi Kurdish artisan Hoshmand Muwafaq shifted his pebble around an ornate board, his handmade recreation of one of the Middle East's oldest and most popular games.

Originating nearly 5,000 years ago in what would become Iraq, the Royal Game of Ur mysteriously died out -- until Muwafaq resurrected it by making his own decorated wooden board.

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Taiwan's Same-Sex Couples Put Future on Hold after Vote Defeat

After more than three decades together, Wang Tien-ming and Ho Hsiang finally decided to tie the knot when Taiwan's top court ruled last year that same-sex marriage must be legalized.

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India's LGBT Community Marches Freely after Gay Sex Decriminalized

Thousands marched proudly through Delhi's street Sunday in the first gay pride parade since the India's highest court decriminalized homosexuality.

Participants waved rainbow flags and placards emblazoned with "Love Wins" and "Adios 377" -- a reference to the colonial-era law banning gay sex that was struck down in September.

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Thousands March across Spain to Protest Violence against Women

With banners and slogans against sexism and related crimes, thousands protested in Spanish cities on Sunday to mark international day for the elimination of violence against women.

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