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'Let Boys be Boys, Let Girls be Girls,' Says Australian PM

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Tuesday weighed in on a debate about gender-specific toys in the lead-up to Christmas, saying boys should be boys and girls should be girls.

Greens senator Larissa Waters has backed a "No Gender December" campaign, aimed at breaking down stereotypes around buying dolls for girls and trucks for boys.

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Dutch Retirement Homes Offer Frat House Alternative

Ninety-two-year-old Johanna beams at the 20-year-old stepping into her room -- not a visiting grandson, but rather a housemate at her retirement home.

Town planning student Jurrien is one of six who have chosen to live in the yellow-brick home in Deventer in the eastern Netherlands as part of a unique project that benefits everyone.

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Jewels no Money Can Buy on Show in Florence

Diamond and ruby-studded jewelry crafted by celebrated Italian master goldsmiths Mario and Gianmaria Buccellati and inspired by Renaissance great Benvenuto Cellini are going on show for the first time.

More than 130 pieces designed by father and son, including pearl scorpions, silver chalices as well as silk and gold evening bags, can be seen from Tuesday at the Pitti Palace in Florence, a stone's throw from the Ponte Vecchio.

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13,000 Quit Finnish Church in Gay Marriage Row

More than 13,000 people have left Finland's Lutheran Church in three days in a row over gay marriage after an archbishop said he "rejoiced" that it could soon be legal.

Archbishop Kari Makinen said he "rejoiced from the bottom of his heart" on Friday at parliament's vote approving a people's petition that paves the way for a same-sex marriage law.

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War-Hit Ukraine Schools Turns to Web for Education

Like most children his age, Denis Akimov spends hours daily on his computer surfing the Internet. It isn't just for fun.

As schools are forced to limit operations in the conflict-battered eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, educators are turning to the Web to keep their charges learning.

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Hagia Sophia: Object of Admiration and Contention

The Hagia Sophia, which the pope visits Sunday on his tour of Istanbul, has in the course of some 15 centuries of its history served as a church, a mosque and now a museum but still inflames passions.

Its status as a secular museum open to all allows believers of all faiths to enjoy its astonishing architecture. But periodic calls in the last years for it to serve again as a mosque have caused anger among Christians.

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From Shoe Banging to Ukraine, Archives Comb Khrushchev Past

Why did Moscow hand Crimea to Soviet Ukraine in 1954? Was the "red phone" hotline linking the Kremlin and Washington after the Cuban missile crisis an actual telephone?

A new exhibition hopes to answer both questions, and more, by probing the past of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader who notoriously brandished a shoe at the United Nations -- and sowed the seeds of today's standoff with the West over Ukraine.

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Protesters Interrupt Controversial 'Human Zoo' Exhibit in Paris

Protesters smashed through the doors of a Paris theater Thursday night in a bid to block an exhibition on the horrors of colonialism using live black actors, which has attracted increasing opposition from critics who say it is racist.

South African director Brett Bailey, who has been travelling with Exhibit B for four years with little trouble, told Agence France Presse recently the sudden anger over the installation was a grave misunderstanding from people who had not actually seen the "deeply emotional" work.

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Swiss Museum Publishes List of Gurlitt Works

The Swiss museum that inherited a trove of long-hidden art from late German collector Cornelius Gurlitt has published a preliminary list of his collection.

Switzerland's Kunstmuseum Bern accepted the bequest Monday, while promising to work with German authorities to make sure any items looted by the Nazis are returned to their rightful heirs.

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Art Finds its Edge on Italy's Social Faultlines

In a part of Rome few tourists ever reach, the Metropoliz Museum of the Other and the Elsewhere (MAAM) takes the concept of the warehouse gallery into a new dimension.

Located in an abandoned salami factory on the Italian capital's scruffy eastern periphery, the museum is also home to 200 squatters, including 50 children, whose precarious situation is an integral part of a project described by its creator, Giorgio de Finis, as a living, breathing artwork.

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