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Vatican Women's Team Refuses to Play after Anti-Abortion Protest

The newly formed Vatican women's team called off a friendly football match in Vienna after several Austrian players protested the church's anti-abortion stance, an Austrian football official said Sunday.

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Why Muslims Celebrate Eid Twice a Year: 6 Questions Answered

Ken Chitwood University of Florida

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

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Pakistan Says It Will Create Gender-Based Violence Courts

Pakistan's top judge has vowed to set up more than 100 gender-based violence courts in the patriarchal country regularly ranked as among the most dangerous in the world for women.

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Saudi De-Fangs Religious Police but Plans to Enforce 'Decency'

Saudi Arabia has rendered toothless the once-feared religious police amid a liberalisation drive, but a planned "public decency" law is stoking controversy with some fearing a revival of morality policing.

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Vatican Formally Opens Debate on Married Priests in Amazon

The Vatican formally opened debate Monday on letting married men be ordained as priests in remote parts of the Amazon where priests are so few that Catholics can go weeks or months without attending a Mass.

The call for study on the proposal was contained in the working document, released Monday, for an October meeting of South American bishops on the Amazon.

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Paris's Notre-Dame to Celebrate First Mass after Fire

The Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris will host its first mass on Saturday, exactly two months after the devastating blaze that shocked France and the world.

For safety reasons, the mass led by Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit will be celebrated on a very small scale. Worshippers will be expected to don hard hats but priests will be wearing their ceremonial garb.

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High Spirits: Study Finds Cannabis First Used in C. Asian Funerals

At a burial site high in the Pamir Mountains, music from an ancient harp and the smell of burning cannabis and juniper incense fill the air, part of an elaborate ceremony to commune with the divine -- and the dead.

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Austria Moves to Close Saudi-Backed Interfaith Center

Austria's foreign ministry said Wednesday that it would implement a vote by MPs calling for the closure of a controversial Saudi-funded centre for religious dialogue in the capital Vienna.

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World's Most Costly Painting on Saudi Prince's Yacht, Says Report

Since its sale for a record $450 million, the whereabouts of the "Salvator Mundi," said to be painted by Leonardo da Vinci, has become one of the art world's greatest mysteries.

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Around the World in Seven Years: Taiwanese Cyclist's Odyssey

It was four years ago when Jacky Chen embarked upon a challenge after quitting his job as an electronics engineer: riding his bicycle across the world.

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