Muslim parents in Switzerland cannot refuse to send their daughters to school-run swimming lessons with boys, Europe's top rights court said Tuesday, dismissing a challenge by a Turkish-Swiss couple claiming the rule violated their beliefs.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) accepted that the refusal by Swiss authorities to exempt the couple's two daughters from the compulsory lessons interfered with their freedom of religion.Full Story
The chilly December wind whipped rain across the strewn wreckage of a city that, nearly 3,000 years ago, ruled almost the entire Middle East. Rivulets of water ran through the dirt, washing away chunks of ancient stone.
The city of Nimrud in northern Iraq is in pieces, victim of the Islamic State group's fervor to erase history. The remains of its palaces and temples, once lined in brilliant reliefs of gods and kings, have been blown up. The statues of winged bulls that once guarded the site are hacked to bits. Its towering ziggurat, or step pyramid, has been bulldozed.Full Story
With a shaky economy following years of unrest and a huge drop in tourists, Egypt is struggling to preserve its fabled archaeological heritage.Full Story
Pope Francis on Monday defended the Catholic Church's much-vaunted "zero tolerance" approach to abuse, while admitting the ancient institution had so far lacked the courage to go all out on stopping pedophile priests.Full Story
Iran has denied receiving any invitation from Saudi Arabia for talks on the hajj, after a row between the arch-foes saw its pilgrims stay at home last year.Full Story
Behind the centuries-old stone walls of a Benedictine monastery in northern France, monks are busy bringing a long-lost tradition back to life.
Between prayer, Gregorian chants and spiritual reflection, they work on producing France's only truly monastic beer.Full Story
Her diligence and face cream cleaned Nimrud's most famous ivory. She captured the archaeological dig on celluloid and Kodak film, developing the prints in water painstakingly filtered from the nearby Tigris River.
And every day, after she balanced the books and arranged for the next day's meals, Agatha Christie sat down to write.Full Story
The giant winged bulls that once stood sentry at the nearly 3,000-year-old palace at Nimrud have been hacked to pieces. The fantastical human-headed creatures were believed to guard the king from evil, but now their stone remains are piled in the dirt, victims of the Islamic State group's fervor to erase history.
The militants' fanaticism devastated one of the most important archaeological sites in the Middle East. But more than a month after the militants were driven out, Nimrud is still being ravaged, its treasures disappearing, piece by piece, imperiling any chance of eventually rebuilding it, an Associated Press team found after multiple visits in the past month.Full Story
Ukraine Friday banned Russian books glorifying the Kremlin and its leaders or espousing what it views as "totalitarian views" in a move certain to further sour relations between the two foes.Full Story
Deep in the caves of Goyet in Belgium researchers have found the grisly evidence that the Neanderthals did not just feast on horses or reindeer, but also on each other.
Human bones from a newborn, a child and four adults or teenagers who lived around 40,000 years ago show clear signs of cutting and of fractures to extract the marrow within, they say.Full Story