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Skeletons Unearthed in Giant UK Train Line Excavation

Tucked beside one of London's busiest railway stations, a small army of archaeologists dig through clay as they clear a burial site of 40,000 bodies to make way for a new train line.

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It's a Tough Fit if You Want to be Buried in Paris

There are only 14 cemeteries in the French capital, and whether it's under an overpass next to the Sacre-Coeur basilica in Montmartre, or under shady trees in trendy Montparnasse, the graveyards are mostly full.

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Vatican Backs Spain's Search for Reburial Spot for Franco

The Vatican said Tuesday it agreed with Spain's efforts to find an alternative to the Madrid cathedral as a place to rebury late dictator Francisco Franco, once he is exhumed from his vast mausoleum.

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Moroccan Girl, 9, Wins $136,000 Arab Reading Prize

A nine-year-old Moroccan girl on Tuesday won $136,000 (120,000 euros) in an Arabic-language reading competition organized by the Dubai government. 

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India Deploys Huge Security for Inauguration of World's Biggest Statue

Thousands of police officers guarded the world's biggest statue ahead of its inauguration by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, anticipating protests by angry locals displaced by the enormous figure.

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Iranians Find Joy in Serving Pilgrims on Road to Karbala

A 15-minute walk from the Iraqi border in the west Iranian town of Mehran, three young clerics are hard at work polishing the shoes of pilgrims. 

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'Walk to Heaven': Shiite Pilgrims Trek to Iraq's Karbala

Millions of Shiite Muslims from around the world are making their way this week to their sect's holy shrines in the Iraqi city of Karbala, a pilgrimage that is as much about community as it is about religion.

The shrines are of two revered Shiite imams: Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and his half-brother Abbas. The annual commemoration, called Arbaeen, draws more pilgrims each year — according to Iraqi figures — than the hajj in Saudi Arabia, a pilgrimage required once in a lifetime of every Muslim who can afford it and is physically able to make it.

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Catholic Church Split over Abuse Scandal Gravity

Pope Francis has vowed to end clerical sexual abuse, but bishops from Asia and Africa have shown a mixed response to a scandal some have termed a "Western problem".

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Syria Reopens Damascus Antiquities Museum

Syria reopened a wing of the capital's famed antiquities museum on Sunday after six years of closure to protect its exhibits from rebel rocket fire in the civil war.

Officials swung open the large wooden door of the building in central Damascus for the first time since 2012.

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Ireland Votes on Historic Blasphemy Ban

Irish voters were deciding Friday whether to repeal a ban on blasphemy -- the latest potential reform distancing the once-devout nation from its Catholic past.

The referendum was being held alongside a presidential election in which incumbent Michael Higgins was expected to secure a new seven-year term in the largely ceremonial post.

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