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Exiled Tibetan Govt. Warns China not to Meddle in Tradition

The exiled Tibetan government says there is no cause for celebrating 50 years since China formed the Tibetan Autonomous Region, and insists Tuesday instead marks a half-century of occupation and control over the once-independent Himalayan nation.

The Tibetan government-in-exile issued the statement as China was reveling in lavish celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat.

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German Minister's 'Negro' Comment Sparks Social Media Storm

A German state minister sparked a social media storm Tuesday after calling a beloved German pop singer a "wonderful Negro" during a TV debate on Europe's migrant crisis.

The Twitter hashtag #Neger (Negro) topped trending topics in Germany the morning after Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann used the term for Roberto Blanco, who is of Afro-Cuban origin.

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Cultural Heritage a Casualty of War

Islamic State militants have destroyed two of the most important temples in the UNESCO-listed Syrian city of Palmyra, as they press their campaign to wipe out some of the Middle East's most important heritage sites.

The United Nations released satellite images Monday confirming the ancient city's most famed shrine, the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel, had been blown up a week after the destruction of the temple of Baal Shamin.

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Israel Christian Schools Plan to Stay Shut in Protest

Christian schools in Israel and east Jerusalem have threatened to stay closed for Tuesday's start of the new academic year over a financing dispute with the government, an official said.

Some 33,000 students attend some 45 Christian schools, which employ 3,000 teachers in Israel and east Jerusalem.

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India's Top Court Suspends Ban on Jains Fasting to Death

India's Jain community scored a legal victory Monday when the Supreme Court temporarily lifted a ban on the traditional ritual of Santhara, or fasting to death.

Thousands of Jains protested across India last week after a court in the western state of Rajasthan ruled that Santhara was a form of suicide, which is illegal in India.

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London's Colorful Notting Hill Carnival Kicks Off

London's Notting Hill Carnival kicked off with a riot of color despite grey skies on Sunday, in a celebration of Caribbean culture reputed as Europe's biggest street party.

Performers on stilts and wearing bright pink wigs, and dancers in feathered headdresses and rainbow outfits entertained the crowds that packed the streets of west London.

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Philippine Church Leaders Urge Followers to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

Leaders of the Philippines' dominant Catholic church have called on individuals and politicians to actively oppose same-sex marriage, after new efforts by activists to have same-sex unions legalized in the conservative nation.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a statement Sunday saying individuals should refuse to take part in ceremonies celebrating same-sex relationships and politicians should resist legalizing marriages of homosexual couples.

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India's Tribal Communities Spin their Way Out of Poverty

Pointing to a television in her recently built mud and brick home, Indian villager Munia Murmu proudly shows off her new-found wealth, thanks to hundreds of squirming green silkworms.

Like thousands of other tribal villagers in India, Murmu lives in extreme poverty, and until recently could not afford enough food for her and her family.

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British Library Rejects Taliban Trove Fearing Terror Laws

Academics have criticized the British government for creating a "climate of fear" after the national library declined to store the world's biggest collection of Taliban-related documents over concerns it could be prosecuted under terrorism laws.

A group of international researchers spent years putting together a trove of documents related to the Afghan Taliban, including official newspapers from their time in power, poems, maps, radio broadcasts, and several volumes of laws and edicts -- digitizing the estimated two-three million words and translating everything into English.

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Rare Grey Pearls to Fetch up to $7 Million in Hong Kong

A rare grey pearl necklace that once belonged to a British aristocrat is expected to fetch up to $7 million when it goes under the hammer in Hong Kong, Sotheby's said Friday.

The string of pearls was part of the collection of Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson -- a renowned collector in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

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