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Islamist in War Crimes Court This Week for Timbuktu Destruction

Alleged al-Qaida-linked Islamist leader Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi will make an initial appearance before the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, facing charges of ordering the destruction of monuments in Mali's fabled city of Timbuktu.

Faqi was handed over by Niger early Saturday to the ICC, where he is wanted for war crimes relating to the destruction of religious buildings and historical monuments in the ancient landmark.

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Banksy's Dismaland Theme Park Heading to Calais

British street artist Banksy's dystopian theme park Dismaland was being dismantled Monday before being shipped to a migrant camp near Calais to make shelters, organizers said.

Featuring a ruined fairy-tale castle, a crashed Cinderella coach and miserable stewards wearing Mickey Mouse ears, the "bemusement park" was designed to satirize commercialized tourist attractions.

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War Puts Damper on Libya's Fine Art Awakening

Four years after a joyous celebration of the end of censorship with the fall of dictator Moamer Kadhafi, Libyan artists have had to put their creativity back on hold.

"We have lost all source of inspiration," said Marii Tillissi, an artist in his 50s known for his hyperrealist paintings. "The times are not conducive to creation."

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Pope Wraps Up U.S. Tour with Giant Open-Air Mass

Pope Francis celebrated a giant outdoor mass in Philadelphia on Sunday, bringing to a close an electrifying U.S. tour with an appeal for unity and family love, having met victims of church sex abuse.

He arrived at the open-air service after an extended tour by popemobile, greeting the up to 1.5 million people expected to throng the streets of Philadelphia to catch a glimpse of the popular pontiff.

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Abu Dhabi's Louvre Museum Gains Star Canopy Dome

The last of nearly 4,500 metal stars was placed Sunday on the outer layer of the dome on Abu Dhabi's Louvre museum, expected to open by the end of 2016.

The final star was added in the presence of prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, said Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC).

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China Imports Threaten Traditional Vietnam Festival Masks

This story accompanies photos by Hoang Dinh Nam and video by Cat Barton

Vu Thi Thoan's family has been making papier mache masks, part of traditional Vietnamese celebrations for the mid-autumn festival, for over four decades. But cheap Chinese toys are threatening her business.

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War Puts Damper on Libya's Fine Art Awakening

Four years after a joyous celebration of the end of censorship with the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Libyan artists have had to put their creativity back on hold.

"We have lost all source of inspiration," said Marii Tillissi, an artist in his 50s known for his hyper-realist paintings. "The times are not conducive to creation."

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Bottle of Century-old Champagne Fetches $116,000 at Auction

A bottle of 1915 Krug champagne went under the hammer for $116,375 in New York, one of just four left in the cellars of the sparkling drink makers.

The lot sold Friday also included a tasting journey for four people who will enjoy the bottle on location in France's northeastern Champagne region.

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Pink Diamond Expected to Reach up to $28 Mn at Geneva Auction

A cushion-shaped pink diamond is expected to raise up to $28 million when it goes under the hammer in Geneva on November 10, auction house Christie's said on Thursday.

The 16.08-carat diamond is set as a ring and is sufficiently pink to qualify under Gemological Institute of America guidelines as a "fancy" stone, according to Christie's, which said only three "vivid pink" diamonds of over 10 carats have been up for sale in 250 years.

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Niqab Ban is Hot Button Issue in Canada Election Debate

Prime Minister Stephen Harper sought to win over the key French-Canadian vote in an election debate Thursday with a firm defense of a popular niqab ban that has split his rivals.

With only four weeks left before October 19 legislative elections, a woman's right to wear the veil, which covers all of her face except the eyes, has become a hot-button issue.

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