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As Ramadan Fast Ends, the Feasts Begin

For the millions of Muslims abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset every day during Islam's holiest month of Ramadan, that first sip of water after a grueling fast is by far the most anticipated moment of the day.

In some corners of the world, Muslims are fasting for more than 20 hours a day, depending on when the sun rises and sets in their city. It is a physical and mental exercise meant to draw worshipers closer to God and increase empathy for the poor.

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Archaeologists Discover Roman 'Free Choice' Cemetery

Archaeologists in Italy have uncovered a cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome where they believe the variety of tombs found reflects the bustling town's multi-cultural nature.

Ostia "was a town that was always very open, very dynamic," said Paola Germoni, the director of the sprawling site -- Italy's third most visited after the Colosseum and Pompeii.

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Singapore Won't Destroy 2 Gay-Themed Book Titles

Two children's books dealing with gay subjects won't be destroyed after all and will be restored to Singapore's public libraries, an official said Friday.

Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim had said in mid-July he supported the state-run National Library Board's decision to pulp three books deemed to have inappropriate content. But many people in the conservative Southeast Asian city-state objected.

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Bible Museum Planned for U.S. Capital

The devout Christian family that upended a part of President Barack Obama's health care law aims to open a Bible museum in Washington in 2017, a spokesperson for the project said Friday.

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1937 'Snow White' Billboard Offered at Auction

A large, colorful billboard from the 1937 release of the animated film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is up for auction.

Heritage Auctions said the rare billboard is expected to sell for at least $10,000 on Saturday in Dallas. The 20-by-9-foot billboard was printed in England to promote the Disney film there. It features three scenes, the main one showing a rosy-cheeked Snow White in front of a castle in her classic outfit with a bright yellow skirt, surrounded by the dwarfs and other characters from the film.

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War for Cyprus Still Going in School Books 40 Years On

Forty years after the division of Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriot schoolchildren are still being taught separate narratives of their shared legacy of pain.

On July 20, 1974, the first Turkish troops landed on the north coast at Kyrenia, with the declared aim of protecting the Turkish Cypriot minority after a coup to unite the island with Greece.

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A Full-Circle Moment for Bolshoi's American Star

"Spasiba, Katya," David Hallberg calls out, thanking a colleague in what sounds like a pretty convincing Russian accent. We're on our way upstairs to his dressing room at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, where his name is emblazoned on the door — in Cyrillic letters.

Talk about worlds colliding. For the past three years, since he made headlines by becoming the first American — and first foreigner — to be named a principal dancer at the storied Bolshoi Ballet, Hallberg, a blond, elegant dancer from the American heartland, has lived what he calls two separate lives — his American life, in New York, and his Russian life, in Moscow.

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Revamped London Museum Remembers WWI Lives in Technicolor

The Imperial War Museum in London reopens its doors Saturday after a £40-million ($70-million, 50-million-euro) refit, with a new permanent exhibition to the experiences of Britons and Commonwealth soldiers in World War I.

One hundred years after the start of the 1914-1918 conflict, curators have harnessed modern technology to create a multi-sensory experience for a new generation of visitors.

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French Charities Inherit Princess Soraya Fortune

A German court ruled Wednesday that 4.5 million euros ($6.1 million) be paid from the estate of the late Princess Soraya of Iran to three French charities.

The French Red Cross, an animal protection group and an organisation for the rights of disabled people must equally share the money, which is part of the fortune of Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiary, who died in Paris in 2001, the court in Cologne ruled.

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Mandela Mementos to Go on Sale

A collection of unusual items signed by anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela are to go under the hammer on Thursday, on the eve of the former South African president's birthday. 

Among the 202 lots on sale are an array of kitsch items, including salt and pepper shakers in the shape of Mandela and FW de Klerk -- the last president to rule over apartheid South Africa, with whom he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. 

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