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Cameroon Extends Ban on Full Veil in Bid to Stop Attacks

Cameroon has extended a ban on full Islamic veils in parts of the country as it seeks to curb Boko Haram violence after a string of suicide bombings by female attackers.

The decision comes less than a month after two female suicide bombers wearing full veils blew themselves up on the border with Nigeria in the north, killing 11.

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Spain Raises Minimum Marriage Age from 14 to 16

Spain raised the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16 on Thursday, in a reform that brings the law in line with the new age of consent.

The minimum age for marriage in exceptional cases, which require the consent of a judge, has been raised from 14 to 16, though the general rule is still that people need to be 18 to marry.

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'Titanic of the Med' Wreck Lures Thousands of Divers to Cyprus

An iron and steel colossus that sank on a summer's night 35 years ago off Cyprus is now considered one of the world's best shipwreck dives.

Thousands dive down each year to see the Zenobia -- the "Titanic of the Mediterranean" -- which is slumped on its port side at a depth of 40 metres (130 feet) off the island.

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Karachi Artists Reclaim City Walls from Hate Graffiti

For years Karachi's walls have been spattered with the bloodstains of murder victims and scrawled with graffiti touting everything from sectarian hatred to quack cures for erectile dysfunction.

Now a group of artists and volunteers are reclaiming the walls by painting them with cheerful designs aimed at bringing some happiness and pride back to an often violent, chaotic and corrupt city.

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After 'Goodbye Lenin', a Berlin Resurrection

Buried and long forgotten, the head of a giant Lenin statue is set to make a comeback in the German capital a quarter-century after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Soviet leader will gaze again on the people when the 3.5 tonne piece is resurrected from its current grave -- a sandpit under a pile of rocks home to a colony of lizards.

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Collector's Fury as Chinese Antiques Returned from Paris

More than 30 ancient gold ornaments went on show in a Chinese museum this week after Paris quietly insisted a billionaire collector and France's top antique dealer return them on the grounds they were stolen.

The move came 15 years after the two men donated the works to a Paris museum following an intervention by France's then President Jacques Chirac, an admirer of Asian art.

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One of 'World's Oldest' Koran Manuscripts Found in UK

A Koran manuscript has been carbon dated to close to the time of the Prophet Mohammed, making it one of the oldest in the world, a British university said Wednesday.

The two leaves of parchment, filled with "surprisingly legible" text from Islam's holy book, have been dated to around the early seventh century, the University of Birmingham said.

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Unwanted Gift from Stalin, Warsaw Palace of Culture Turns 60

Some Poles liken the skyscraper to an elephant in lace underpants. A famous poet dubbed it "the nightmare of a drunken baker." And one joke goes that it provides the best view of Warsaw because you can't see the building from inside.

Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science has been derided as an oppressive eyesore ever since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin built it as his personal gift to the city. Now —having survived persistent calls to tear it down — the building marks its 60th birthday on Wednesday as an enduring symbol of a city that has known waves of destruction.

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China Artist Ai Weiwei Says Passport Returned after Four Years

Police handed Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei his passport on Wednesday four years after it was confiscated, he told AFP, hailing the move with a smiley emoticon.

Ai is China's best known contemporary artist abroad, but authorities have denied him a passport since 2011 in an apparent attempt to limit his international influence.

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American Novelist E.L. Doctorow Dies

Award-winning American author E.L. Doctorow, known for fictional historical works such as "Ragtime," "Billy Bathgate" and "The March," and an experimental narrative style, died Tuesday, The New York Times reported. He was 84. 

The cause of death was complications from lung cancer, the novelist's son, Richard Doctorow, told the paper.

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