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Ireland Gay Marriage Law Comes into Force

Ireland's new same-sex marriage law comes into force from Monday, six months after the country voted to allow gay unions in a historic referendum.

Existing same-sex marriages registered abroad will be immediately recognized in Ireland, while other couples can now submit their intention to marry.

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Asian Appetite for Luxury Boosts Global Art and Jewel Auctions

They are not in the room rubbing shoulders with traditional wealthy buyers, instead choosing to remain in the shadows, making their multi-million bids by telephone.

Asian millionaires and billionaires have this week discretely stolen the show at a range of auctions, dishing out record sums for works of art and precious gemstones put on the block.

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New York Lights World Trade Center Red, White and Blue

New York lit One World Trade Center, the tallest building in America, red, white and blue in solidarity with France after attackers killed at least 120 people in Paris.

It was a powerful symbol of U.S. friendship and support for the French, made from the tallest building in the United States, which was built on the site of the 9/11 attacks on New York.

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Promised Land? Rastafaris Struggle in Ethiopia

They came from across the world to Ethiopia in search of their "promised land", but for many Rastafarians, struggling to win even basic rights, the dream never materialized.

"How did we survive so far? I wonder," said Reuben Kush, the grey-bearded president of the Ethiopian World Federation, a branch of Rastafarianism.

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Solid Bids but no Records in Final NY Autumn Auction Night

The final night of the autumn auction season in New York on Thursday had bids from buyers above estimates by auction house Christie's, but marked no sales records.

Paintings by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Alfred Sisley and Rene Magritte, and sculptures by Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin went under the hammer.

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Uproar as Turkey Cancels Raki Festival

Turkish authorities have cancelled a festival celebrating the national drink raki because of complaints by Islamic groups, causing an uproar among secular Turks.

The annual "World Raki Festival" had been scheduled to take place on December 12 and 13 in Adana, a Mediterranean city famous for its Turkish kebab. 

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Apple Apologizes after African Students Ejected from Australian Store

An Apple manager has apologised to six teenagers of African descent after staff kicked them out of an Australian store citing concerns they "might steal something", with a video of the incident going viral on Facebook.

The video, recorded by one of the students from Maribyrnong College in the southern city of Melbourne, has been viewed almost 60,000 times after it was posted on Facebook on Tuesday with the caption "simply racism".

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Diplomat: Iran Leaders Won't Attend Receptions Serving Alcohol

Iran's leaders won't attend events serving alcohol, a diplomat said Wednesday after French media reported that President Hassan Rouhani refused to attend a state dinner in Paris because wine was on the menu.

"According to Islamic values ​​and teachings, officials of the Islamic Republic do not participate in ceremonies where alcohol is served," said the diplomat, who is in charge of protocol at Iran's foreign ministry, according to ISNA news agency.

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China Taxi Driver Turned Tycoon Streaks across Art World

A taxi driver turned financier, Chinese tycoon Liu Yiqian has stunned the art world with his record-setting purchases, the latest a famed Modigliani nude costing more than $170 million.

"Nu Couche", or "Reclining Nude", painted by the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani in 1917-18, sold to Liu after a frantic nine-minute bidding war at a Christie's auction in New York on Monday.

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Chinese Collector Snaps up $170.4m Modigliani in NY

A Chinese collector snapped up a sensuous Modigliani nude for $170.4 million in New York, setting a new world record price at auction for the Italian artist in a bumper Christie's sale.

The evening auction also set world auction records for U.S. pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, whose "Nurse" fetched $95.37 million, as well as for 19th century French painter Gustave Courbet.

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