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Another Author Boosted by 'Colbert Bump'

The "Colbert Bump" is becoming contagious.

Edan Lepucki, whose novel "California" became a best-seller thanks to a plug from Stephen Colbert, has in turn helped another book catch on.

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Marathon 18-Hour Shakespeare Play Dazzles Avignon

An 18-hour version of Shakespeare's epic "Henry VI" ended to sustained applause early Tuesday at France's top arts festival in Avignon, marking a triumph for the play's 32-year-old director.

The daunting task involving 21 actors, 150 characters, seven intermissions and 10,000 verses took a decade to come to fruition, director Thomas Jolly said, describing a long-cherished dream that finally turned to reality.

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Here's Sellin' to You, Kid. Casablanca Piano Up for Sale

The iconic piano from Hollywood romance "Casablanca" goes on sale at auction in New York in November, the highlight of more than two dozen collectors' items from the fabled war-time classic.

"Play it, Sam," says a stunning Ingrid Berman, cajoling Dooley Wilson into singing "As Time Goes By" before a moody Humphrey Bogart storms over to find his ex-lover sitting in his nightclub.

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Nigeria School Offers Hope to Children Caught in Islamist Strife

Aisha Abubakar was at home two years ago when Boko Haram Islamists stormed through the door. She watched as they executed her father.

Children in Nigeria's deeply impoverished north face immense challenges in accessing education, and for the fatherless like 13-year-old Aisha the obstacles are even tougher.  

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AIDS: Anger Flares at Homophobic Laws

Campaigners at the world AIDS conference are taking aim at countries with anti-gay laws, accusing them of creating conditions that let HIV spread like poison.

Powerfully mixing concerns over human rights and health, the issue threatens to divide western donor countries where gay equality is making strides from poor beneficiary nations where anti-gay laws persist or have been newly passed, say some.

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As Ramadan Fast Ends, the Feasts Begin

For the millions of Muslims abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset every day during Islam's holiest month of Ramadan, that first sip of water after a grueling fast is by far the most anticipated moment of the day.

In some corners of the world, Muslims are fasting for more than 20 hours a day, depending on when the sun rises and sets in their city. It is a physical and mental exercise meant to draw worshipers closer to God and increase empathy for the poor.

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Archaeologists Discover Roman 'Free Choice' Cemetery

Archaeologists in Italy have uncovered a cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome where they believe the variety of tombs found reflects the bustling town's multi-cultural nature.

Ostia "was a town that was always very open, very dynamic," said Paola Germoni, the director of the sprawling site -- Italy's third most visited after the Colosseum and Pompeii.

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Singapore Won't Destroy 2 Gay-Themed Book Titles

Two children's books dealing with gay subjects won't be destroyed after all and will be restored to Singapore's public libraries, an official said Friday.

Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim had said in mid-July he supported the state-run National Library Board's decision to pulp three books deemed to have inappropriate content. But many people in the conservative Southeast Asian city-state objected.

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Bible Museum Planned for U.S. Capital

The devout Christian family that upended a part of President Barack Obama's health care law aims to open a Bible museum in Washington in 2017, a spokesperson for the project said Friday.

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1937 'Snow White' Billboard Offered at Auction

A large, colorful billboard from the 1937 release of the animated film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is up for auction.

Heritage Auctions said the rare billboard is expected to sell for at least $10,000 on Saturday in Dallas. The 20-by-9-foot billboard was printed in England to promote the Disney film there. It features three scenes, the main one showing a rosy-cheeked Snow White in front of a castle in her classic outfit with a bright yellow skirt, surrounded by the dwarfs and other characters from the film.

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