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Viral 'Nubian Queen' Says Women Key to Sudan Protests

A Sudanese woman propelled to internet fame earlier this week after leading powerful protest chants in the capital told AFP Wednesday that women are key to the uprising against President Omar al-Bashir's iron-fisted rule.

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Jordan Raises 'Exceptional' Marriage Age from 15 to 16

Jordan's parliament on Monday amended marriage laws to allow judges in "exceptional" cases to permit minors to wed from the age of 16, up from a previous minimum of 15.

The move was approved by both the house of representatives and the senate.

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Spanish Church Defends Bishop in 'Gay Cure' Controversy

Spain's Roman Catholic Church on Friday defended a bishop whose diocese near Madrid is being investigated after a newspaper reported it ran "courses" to "cure" gay men of their homosexuality.

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In Aleppo, the Fate of a Legendary Hotel Hangs in Balance

For generations her husband's family managed the iconic Baron Hotel in northern Syria, but after years of war the inn is empty and Rubina Mazloumian says she is too tired to carry on.

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Daring New Bauhaus Museum Challenges Far Right

The Bauhaus design school, which transformed the way people around the world live, work and dream of the future, marks its centenary this week with the launch of a politically charged German museum.

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Rights Group Calls on Lebanon to Abolish Anti-LGBT Law

Human Rights Watch is urging Lebanon to abolish a law criminalizing homosexuality after the top military prosecutor declined to prosecute a "sodomy" case.

The rights group called the decision, which was publicized Monday, a "positive development."

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Outcry over Harry Potter Book Burning by Priests in Poland

The burning of Harry Potter "magic" books by priests in Poland triggered a wave of protest in the majority Catholic country on Tuesday with critics making comparisons with totalitarian regimes and the Inquisition.

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France Urges Brunei to Drop Stoning Law for Adultery, Gay Sex

France on Tuesday called on Brunei to scrap a law due to take effect this week that would make adultery or gay sex punishable to death by stoning, joining celebrities who have spoken out against the legislation.

The new penal code under strict Sharia law, to come into force in the tiny southeast Asian sultanate on Wednesday, has already drawn fierce criticism from rights groups and the United Nations.

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Downtown Cairo Battles to Keep Cosmopolitan Heritage Alive

Cairo's downtown, with its old European-designed buildings, is wrestling to preserve its cultural heritage as Egypt readies a new capital in the desert.

A stroll through the district takes pedestrians past buildings that meld Islamic and European motifs, neo-classical columns and ornate decorations.

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Catholic Priests Burn Harry Potter Books in Poland

Catholic priests in Poland burned books they say are sacrilegious this weekend, including tomes from British author J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of fantasy novels.

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