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'Eliminating Misogyny' Key to Shaking up Japan's Workforce

Japan must work to "eliminate misogyny" if it wants to draw more women into the workforce as part of a wider bid to stimulate the economy, said the head of the United Nations Development Program.

Helen Clark, a former New Zealand prime minister, made the comments in an interview with AFP ahead of the release of the agency's 2014 Human Development Report in Tokyo on Thursday.

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JFK Returns to Old Look in New Collectors' Coins

U.S. President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins.

The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S. Mint is producing collectors' coins that restore the original 1964 design, which incorporated suggestions from a grieving Jacqueline Kennedy.

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U.N.: More than 2.2 Billion People 'Poor or near-Poor'

More than 2.2 billion people are "poor or near-poor", with financial crises, natural disasters, soaring food prices and violent conflicts threatening to exacerbate the problem, a United Nations report said Thursday.

While poverty is in decline worldwide, growing inequality and "structural vulnerabilities" remain a serious threat, said the report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), released in Tokyo.

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China's Aging Millions Look forward to Bleak Future

As she nears retirement along with millions of other Chinese, He Xiangying is too busy sending her son money and raising a stranger's child to worry about who will eventually look after her.

The nanny's plan is to work until her health fails, then go back to her home village in the Chinese countryside and grow vegetables to save money.

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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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