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Nazi-Soviet Pact Turns 75 with Europe Still Divided

An infamous Nazi-Soviet pact that divided up Europe on the eve of World War II turns 75 on Saturday, with Moscow and the West still engaged in a scarcely hid rivalry to expand their influence across the continent.

On August 23, 1939 then Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and his Nazi counterpart Joachim von Ribbentrop signed a non-aggression pact between their two countries in Moscow.

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Study: Gambling, IT, Booze Addictions Rife in Japan

Nearly five percent of Japanese adults are addicted to gambling, a rate up to five times that of most other nations, according to a study.

The study, released to local media on Wednesday, also showed rising adult addiction to the Internet and alcohol in a society long known for its tolerance of boozing and its love of technology.

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Dutch Museum Keeps Disputed Crimea Treasure to Avoid Legal Fight

A Dutch museum said on Wednesday it would delay the return of Crimean archaeological treasures it is exhibiting, fearing a legal tussle with either Russia or Ukraine.

The priceless medieval artefacts, on loan from four Crimean museums, went on display at Amsterdam's Allard Pierson Museum in February, less than a month before the peninsula was annexed by Russia.

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Memories of German WWI Atrocities Haunt Belgium

Bloody German atrocities against Belgian civilians at the outset of World War I still haunt gentle towns such as Dinant and Louvain whose sacrifice sparked global outrage and a drive to curb war crimes. 

Seeking a quick, knockout victory, German armies ploughed through neutral Belgium aiming to take Paris from the north but unexpectedly fierce resistance at Liege in the east and then Namur, south of Brussels, threw their timetable out of the window.

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Report: Famed Iranian Poet Behbahani Dies at 87

Famed Iranian poet Simin Behbahani, who wrote of the joys of love, demanded equal rights for women and spoke out about the challenges facing those living in her homeland, died Tuesday at the age of 87.

Behbahani had been hospitalized and unconscious in Tehran since Aug. 6 and later died of heart failure and breathing problems, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.

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Palestinian Poet Samih al-Qasim Dies at 75

Samih al-Qasim, a Palestinian poet known across the Arab world for his nationalist writing, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, a family friend said. He was 75.

Qasim died in Safed hospital in northern Israel after suffering from cancer of the liver for the past three years, Issam Khuri, a novelist and close family friend, told Agence France Presse.

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Peru Auctions Jailed Ex-Spy Chief's Luxury Jewels

Peru began auctioning off the jewelry collection of jailed ex-spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos on Monday, looking to recoup more than $1 million of the public funds he was convicted of stealing.

Montesinos was the head of the intelligence services under former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who is today serving prison time, as well.

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Statue of Slain PKK Commander Unveiled in Turkey

A statue of a former militant commander of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who planned the first attacks of its 30-year insurgency against the Turkish authorities has been unveiled in southeast Turkey, reports said Sunday.

The statue of Mahsum Korkmaz, who was killed in 1986, was unveiled on Saturday in the village of Yolacti in the Lice district of the majority Kurdish Diyarbakir province in Turkey's southeast.

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Pakistani Interfaith Couples Brave Threats for Forbidden Love

Thirteen years ago among the whirring looms of a garment factory in an eastern Pakistani city, a Muslim woman fell in love with a Christian co-worker.

Now married with three children, Kalsoom Bibi and her husband Yousuf Bhatti have been shunned by their communities, endured death threats and an abduction, all in the name of religious honour in this conservative Islamic country.

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Name of Muslim Group in Myanmar Goes Unspoken

Myanmar's downtrodden Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship, targeted in deadly sectarian violence and corralled into dirty camps without aid. To heap on the indignity, Myanmar's government is pressuring foreign officials not to speak the group's name, and the tactic appears to be working.

U.N. officials say they avoid the term in public to avoid stirring tensions between the country's Buddhists and Muslims. And after Secretary of State John Kerry recently met with Myanmar leaders, a senior State Department official told reporters the U.S. thinks the name issue should be "set aside."

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