Culture
Latest stories
Some Native Hawaiians Disapprove of 'Aloha' Movie Title

Some Native Hawaiians disapprove of the name of a movie filmed and set in Hawaii, saying that titling it "Aloha" is a disrespectful misappropriation of culture and simplifies a word that's rich with meaning.

The Cameron Crowe film starring Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone, opens Friday, with a screening in Honolulu three days before. The concerns are based largely on a trailer that depicts a military-themed love-story that appears devoid of a genuine connection to Hawaiian culture.

W140 Full Story
Rohingya Seek Better Life in Malaysia, but Reality is Stark

Malaysia has been a sort of promised land for Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar. The tens of thousands who endured perilous journeys to get here find more work opportunities than in Indonesia and a more Muslim-friendly environment than in Thailand.

But in the 25 years since Hamid Hussein Abul Khair arrived, that promise has been worn away by the statelessness and poverty that have never left him.

W140 Full Story
In Sweden, Even the Clergy have their Stylist

In a small beige building in a leafy Stockholm suburb, Maria Sjodin bustles around her design studio putting the finishing touches on her sleek fashions for an unexpected clientele: female clergy.

One of the pioneers in the industry, Sjodin creates sophisticated, tailored garments for women pastors and ministers that feature a discreet flair: form-fitting black tops and dresses with three-quarter or trumpet sleeves, or a pronounced architectural cuff. 

W140 Full Story
Saudi Religious Police Berate Gloveless Woman

A video of a Saudi religious policeman shouting at a veiled woman and barring her from entering a shop for not wearing gloves has gone viral on the Internet.

The religious police, known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, is notorious for imposing Saudi Arabia's strict version of Islam.

W140 Full Story
Australia Makes its Mark on Global Coffee Culture

Australia is world-renowned for its love of beer. But its passion for a different type of brew -- coffee -- is what has been making global headlines recently.

Sasa Sestic, from the capital Canberra, is the second coffee maker from Down Under to win the World Barista Championship in the competition's 15th year which drew national champions from some 50 countries.

W140 Full Story
Al-Azhar Urges Protection of Syria's Palmyra

Leading Sunni Muslim body al-Azhar said Sunday the world must unite in a "battle of all humanity" to prevent the Islamic State group from destroying Syria's ancient city of Palmyra.

The appeal came a day after Syria's antiquities director said that IS fighters had entered the museum in Palmyra and raised their black flag over the ancient citadel that overlooks the archaeological site.

W140 Full Story
How an Iraqi Friar Saved Ancient Christian Manuscripts from IS

Bullets whistled overhead, a black Islamic State flag flapping in the distance, but all Friar Najeeb Michaeel could think of as he fled the jihadists was how to save hundreds of ancient Iraqi manuscripts in his possession.

"You are going to get us killed with your archives," Michaeel's assistant Watheq Qassab grumbled as he struggled to carry six boxes of the documents dated between the 13th and 19th century across the border from Iraq into Kurdistan in August last year.

W140 Full Story
Sotheby's to Make First Sale from Nazi-Era Art trove

A painting by Max Liebermann from a Nazi-era art trove found in Germany last year will go on sale in London next month, the first from the collection to be sold off, Sotheby's said on Friday.

One of the rightful heirs -- to whom the painting was returned -- last remembered seeing it the day his great-uncle signed over his estate to the Nazis at a villa in what is now Poland.

W140 Full Story
Ireland awaits Count in Historic Gay Marriage Vote

Ireland waited Saturday to learn the outcome of a historic referendum on same-sex marriage, with crowds of anxiously optimistic "Yes" supporters expected at Dublin Castle to hear the result.

Counting was due to begin at 9:00 am (0800 GMT) in 43 constituencies across the country, with the smallest among them expected to start producing results from midday. The nationwide result is expected in the afternoon.

W140 Full Story
Kenyan Catholics Celebrate Beatification of Italian Nun

Tens of thousands of Catholics gathered in the Kenyan town of Nyeri on Saturday for the beatification ceremony of an Italian nun, a key step towards sainthood.

Irene Stefani was an Italian member of the Consolata Missionary Sisters who helped the wounded in Kenya and Tanzania during World War I before shed died of the plague in 1930.

W140 Full Story