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Obama Says Gay Marriage Ruling 'Victory for America'

U.S. President Barack Obama hailed the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage Friday, saying it shows social changes once thought impossible can become reality.

"Today we can say in no uncertain terms that we've made our union a little more perfect," Obama said in a White House address shortly after the court issued its decision.

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J.K. Rowling to Put on 'Untold' Harry Potter Play

British author J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter novels became global bestsellers, said Friday that an "untold part" of the story about the fresh-faced wizard will be staged as a play in London.

"A new play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be opening in London next year," she tweeted, saying that she could not reveal any details but that it would be an "untold part of Harry's story".

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German Artist Shrugs off Queen's 'Strange' Horse Remark

A German artist whose painting of a blue horse was presented as a gift to Britain's visiting Queen Elizabeth II, prompting a quizzical reaction over its "strange color", defended her work Friday.

Nicole Leidenfrost told German newspapers that her art was about "having fun" and insisted the 89-year-old queen had liked the rendering of her as a little girl being led on a pony by her father, King George VI.

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Soap Opera Shines Positive Light on Egypt's Jews

With scenes of religious coexistence and vintage elegance in a more cosmopolitan era, an Egyptian soap opera aims to dispel prejudice towards the country's long-vilified and nearly extinct Jewish community.

"The Jewish Quarter" shows life inside Cairo's Haret al-Yahud district during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, depicting an almost idyllic portrait of a society where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived side by side.

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Rio Tinto Puts 'Vivid' Pink and Red Diamonds on Market

Sixty-five extremely rare pink and red diamonds were unveiled Friday by mining giant Rio Tinto which expects the stones from a remote western Australia mine to fetch record prices.

The diamonds come from the Anglo-Australian firm's Argyle mine -- where more than 90 percent of the world's pink and red jewels are produced each year.

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Two Moroccan Women Facing 'Indecency' Charges over Dresses

Two Moroccan women who walked through a market wearing dresses are facing charges of "gross indecency", a rights group and media reported Thursday, sparking an outcry in the kingdom.

The women were arrested on June 16 as they strolled through the open-air market in Inezgane, a suburb of the southern city of Agadir, on their way to work, said Fouzia Assouli, head of women's rights organization LDDF.

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Centuries of Sporting Tradition on Display in Florence

When it comes to history, soccer's classic derby matches are put in the shade by the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, a fixture that has been played in Florence since the 16th Century.

Every year on June 24, the feast day of the city's patron saint, St John the Baptist, sees teams from two of the four historic neighbourhoods do battle in the final of a competition that wraps football and rugby skills into something that resembles a mass brawl conducted in historical costume.

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Previously Uncast Rodin Sculpture Fetches $1.1 Million

A sculpture by renowned French artist Auguste Rodin, only cast in bronze for the first time last year, sold for more than $1 million at a London sale on Tuesday.

The sculpture of "Aphrodite", moulds of which were until recently thought lost, was created by Rodin in 1913 for a play of the same name in Paris -- but at the time it was cast only in plaster for its appearance on stage.

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Mozambique, Angola Mark 40 Years of Independence from Lisbon

Mozambique and Angola this year mark four decades of independence from Portugal, with robust economic growth rates buoyed by abundant natural resources giving the southern African nations reason to celebrate.

A prime investment destination following the recent discovery of huge natural gas and coal deposits, Mozambique will be the first to mark its freedom on Thursday.

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Nazi-Looted Painting from Munich Haul to be Auctioned

A Nazi-looted painting that was hidden for decades is being auctioned by Sotheby's Wednesday in a rare sale as investigators work painstakingly to identify the origins of hundreds of other works from the same haul.

Max Liebermann's "Two Riders on a Beach" was found among more than 1,200 works of art in the Munich apartment of German recluse Cornelius Gurlitt when police raided it in 2012, capturing global attention.

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