Personal conflict, not religion, was the driving motive behind beard- and hair-cutting attacks targeting Amish, an appeals court panel ruled Wednesday in overturning the hate-crime convictions of 16 men and women.
A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel sided with arguments brought by attorneys for the Amish defendants, who were convicted two years ago in five attacks in 2011. The attacks were in apparent retaliation against Amish who had defied or denounced the authoritarian style of Sam Mullet Sr., leader of the Bergholz community in eastern Ohio.Full Story
A team of Myanmar divers claims to have discovered a legendary bell in the murky depths of the Yangon river -- with the help of dragon spirits -- in the latest twist to a 400-year-old drama that has gripped the nation.
Dozens of divers, equipped only with goggles and plastic oxygen hoses, have plunged into the fast-flowing waters in search of the long-lost Dhammazedi bell, in a spectacle that has generated skepticism but also attracted lines of spectators along the riverbank since the search began earlier this month.Full Story
A vast U.S. archive of photographs of pre-Holocaust Eastern European Jewish life is being made available to the public and researchers.
The International Center of Photography in New York and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday announced the joint creation of a digital database to facilitate access to photographer Roman Vishniac's archive.Full Story
Century-old shop houses, twisting alleyways and temples scented with incense still pulsate with the pursuit of old trades and time-honored rituals of families who have lived in Bangkok's Chinatown for generations. But probably not for much longer.
Jackhammers and cranes are closing in on one of the last historic quarters of Thailand's capital as developers and city authorities aim to carry out plans to modernize the area by building subway lines and high-rises — with little thought to preserving local cultural heritage.Full Story
Archaeologists excavating an ancient tomb under a massive burial mound in northern Greece have entered the underground structure, which appears to have been looted in antiquity.
The Culture Ministry said Monday that archaeologists have partially investigated the antechamber of the tomb at Amphipolis and uncovered a marble wall concealing one or more inner chambers. However, a hole in the decorated wall and signs of forced entry outside the huge barrel-vaulted structure indicate the tomb was plundered long ago. The excavation will continue for weeks.Full Story
The Tanzanian government's system of rounding up children with albinism in state-run education centers isn't adequately protecting them from widespread superstitious beliefs that human albino body parts will bring wealth and success or cure disease, the U.N. human rights office said Monday.
People with the genetic condition, characterized by a lack of pigment, are often referred to in Tanzania as ghosts, or zero zero, which in Swahili signifies someone who is less than human. Witch doctors often lead brutal attacks to use albino body parts in potions they claim bring riches.Full Story
A near-flawless edition of the first book featuring cartoon hero Superman from June 1938 has fetched $3.2 million at auction, according to e-Bay, surging past the previous record for a single comic book.
After the 10-day online auction concluded Sunday, the hammer came down for Action Comics No. 1 with a price of $3,207,852, according to the online commerce site.Full Story
On Kenya's vast Tsavo plains where lions lurk in yellow grass, little has changed for a century: including bitter memories of those killed in bloody colonial battles of World War I.
Far from the freezing mud trenches of Europe's Western Front, the rocky ditches and stone forts where soldiers fought and died under the blazing equatorial sun still remain today.Full Story
The Sistine Chapel choir will perform in Hong Kong for the first time in September but will not visit mainland China despite efforts to improve the rocky relations between Beijing and the Vatican.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told Agence France Presse on Monday that the choral group, one of the oldest religious choirs in the world, will sing in Macao on September 19, followed by concerts in Hong Kong and Taipei on September 21 and 23.Full Story
French President Francois Hollande will Monday lead celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the joyful liberation of Paris after four long and bitter years of Nazi occupation in World War II.
Parisians will mark the event just as their parents and grandparents did seven decades ago -- with a mass dance at City Hall.Full Story