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Bulgaria Muslims Commemorate Communist-Era Repressions

Bulgaria's Pomak Muslim minority marked on Saturday the 40th anniversary of the crackdown on a revolt against the then communist regime's assimilation drive to forcefully change their names to non-Muslim ones.

Members of the 200,000-strong minority -- whose Christian ancestors were converted to Islam while Bulgaria was ruled by the Ottomans between the 14th and 19th centuries -- gathered at a square in the southwestern village of Kornitsa in memory of the five people killed there on the night of March 28, 1973.

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Newly Found Sudan Pyramids Show 'Democratisation'

People power may have come to modern-day Egypt and not Sudan, but the unearthing of ancient pyramids in Egypt's southern neighbor shows that greater social equality existed there 2,000 years ago, a French archaeologist says.

Three years of digging by a French team at Sedeinga, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) from the Egyptian border, has unearthed 35 pyramids that emphasize the contrast between the two ancient cultures, said Claude Rilly, director of the mission.

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Pope to Celebrate First Easter Vigil

Pope Francis is to celebrate his first Easter vigil Saturday after praying for peace in a Middle East "torn apart by injustice and conflicts" during Good Friday's ceremonies.

The newly elected Argentine pope will preside over a mass at St Peter's Basilica Saturday evening, baptizing four adult converts to the Catholic Church during the service -- an Albanian, an Italian, a Russian and a U.S. national of Vietnamese origin, according to the Vatican.

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'I Love Paris' May Soon be Passe for Chinese Tourists

Mass muggings and attacks on Chinese tourists in Paris have spawned alarm and warnings of a decline in the number of free-spending visitors from the Asian giant who swarm to France.

More than one million Chinese visitors come every year to France, a country which for them epitomises luxury, romance and quality products.

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Cutting Edge Art Movement Emerges in Ethiopia

Under a canopy of trees in a park not far from Addis Ababa's National Museum, home of many of Ethiopia's historic national treasures, a contemporary art revolution is quietly afoot.

It is here at Netsa Art Village that the experimental work made from shoelaces by Merhet Debebe can be found, or the vibrantly-coloured work of Tamrat Gazahegn, who uses tree trunks as canvases.

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WWII Miniseries Touches Nerve among Germans, Poles

A television miniseries brought World War II horrors back to German living rooms this month and provoked a furious reaction from Poland, which accused it of playing down Nazi guilt.

The 14-million-euro ($18-million) production "Our Mothers, Our Fathers", shown in three parts on public broadcaster ZDF, tells the story of five Germans in a story spanning the Nazis' declaration of war on the Soviet Union in 1941 to their ultimate defeat in 1945.

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Pope to Preside over First Good Friday

Pope Francis was to preside over his first Good Friday after washing the feet of 12 young prisoners, updating an ancient Easter ritual as part of his efforts to bring the Catholic Church closer to the needy.

The new pontiff is due to recite the Passion of Christ -- the story of the last hours of Jesus's life -- in St Peter's Basilica on Friday, before leading the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) ceremony by the Colosseum, where thousands of Christians are believed to have been killed in Roman times.

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Philippines Marks Easter with Bloody Mock Crucifixions

Catholic zealots in the Philippines re-enacted the last hours of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, whipping their backs and nailing themselves to crosses in a grisly Easter ritual that persists despite Church disapproval.

Foreign and local tourists flocked to the outskirts of the city of San Fernando, a 90-minute drive from Manila, to see the annual spectacle where a Christian "passion play" is taken to its blood-soaked extreme.

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Sommeliers Compete in Japan for World's Best Title

Wine waiters of the world gathered in Tokyo on Wednesday for a competition to find the planet's best sommelier.

Entrants from 54 countries began three days of events designed to test their skills as they marry wines to foods and serve demanding consumers, with all of them having to work in a foreign language.

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Rare British Royal's Signature up for Auction in U.S.

A document signed by Britain's King Richard III will be auctioned in Los Angeles next week, two months after scientists found the ancient royal's remains under a modern-day car park.

The document, signed by the British royal before he took the throne, is believed to be one of only three Richard III documents to go under the hammer in the last three decades, said Nate D Sanders auction house.

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