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Greek Writer Menis Koumandareas Murdered

Acclaimed Greek author Menis Koumandareas, found dead in his Athens home over the weekend, was beaten and strangled, autopsy results showed Monday.

The author, who lived alone in the working-class district of Kypseli, also had wounds on his face and abdomen, a police source said.

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Erdogan Vows to Impose 'Arabic' Ottoman Lessons in Schools

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Monday to make lessons in the Arabic-alphabet Ottoman language compulsory in high schools -- a highly symbolic move which enraged secularists who claim he is pursuing an increasingly Islamist agenda.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, abolished the Ottoman language in 1928, replacing its Arabic alphabet with a Latin one.

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Goetze's WCup Boot Gets Nearly $2.5M for Charity

Mario Goetze's World Cup-winning left shoe has fetched a donation of 2 million euros (nearly $2.5 million) at a children's charity gala in Germany and is headed for a museum.

The Bayern Munich player scored Germany's winning goal against Argentina with his left foot during extra time in the World Cup final in July.

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Marilyn Monroe's Lost Love Letters Sold for $121K

Joe DiMaggio's love letter to Marilyn Monroe has sold for $78,125 at a Beverly Hills auction.

Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills says the letter, written by the New York Yankees baseball star after Monroe announced she was divorcing him, was sold Saturday to an undisclosed buyer.

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At Bolshoi, World Ballet Stars Dance for Ukraine

A dozen top ballet stars including Svetlana Zakharova and Natalia Osipova put up a dazzling performance Sunday at a keenly awaited but politically sensitive gala at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre in support of young dancers in war-torn Ukraine.

During the benefit organised by The Bolshoi's Ukrainian-born prima ballerina Zakharova, dancers from top international companies performed highlights from a range of ballets.

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Beirut's 'Fairytale' Villa Comes Back to Life

Like a mirage in the middle of Beirut's high-rise seafront, the exquisite mansion is a lonely reminder of this city's romantic past.

Rose House is an architectural gem, an Ottoman villa perched rather bizarrely next to an equally elegant lighthouse overlooking the Mediterranean.

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Mystery Clings to Berlin Cold War Snooping Station

Perched atop a wooded Berlin hill, an abandoned Cold War listening post where NATO once eavesdropped on their communist foes is a reminder of Germany's tumultuous past.

Today tourists flock to the conspicuous historical relic, known as Teufelsberg, or Devil's Mountain, complete with its three white radar domes resembling giant golf balls.

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Kennedy Center Breaks Ground on Major Expansion

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts broke ground Thursday on a major expansion to be completed in time for the 100th anniversary of the slain president's birthday in 2017.

Vice President Joe Biden oversaw a ceremonial groundbreaking that used the same shovel then-president Lyndon Johnson wielded in 1964 when construction on the cultural venue first began.

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Miami Beach Transforms into Fashionable Art Hub

The U.S. city of Miami Beach transformed Thursday into a hub of modern and contemporary art as part of the prestigious Art Basel show.

Organizers expect tens of thousands of expert art collectors and curators as well as casual shoppers and tourists to descend on the convention center in Miami Beach.

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Elgin Marbles Sculpture Leaves Britain for First Time

Part of the Elgin Marbles has left Britain for the first time since they were taken from the Parthenon in 1803, on loan to a Russian museum, the British Museum said on Friday.

The museum has loaned one of the statues -- taken from Greece by British diplomat Lord Elgin and which Athens has repeatedly demanded be returned -- to Russia's State Hermitage Museum.

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