Brazilian bishops are criticizing a recent decision that gives a de facto green light to same-sex marriage just two months before a visit to the predominantly Catholic country by Pope Francis.
On Tuesday, the National Council of Justice (NCJ), a panel which oversees the South American state's legal system and is headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, said government offices that issue marriage licenses had no standing to reject gay couples.Full Story
Women can not contest Iran's June 14 presidential election, a member of the Islamic state's electoral watchdog said in media reports on Friday, dashing the hopes of some 30 female candidates.
"The law prohibits women from being president," said hardline cleric and former judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, quoted by the Mehr news agency.Full Story
Over the past two years, publishers have been steadily filling one of the largest gaps in the e-book catalogue — poetry.
Adrienne Rich, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes and Wallace Stevens have been among the poets whose work recently became available in electronic format. And Random House Inc., W.W. Norton and several other publishers now routinely release new books in both print and digital versions, including last month's Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry, Sharon Olds' "Stag's Leap."Full Story
Hope and human resilience are the guiding themes of the new permanent exhibit at Geneva's International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, which will finally re-open its doors this week after a nearly two-year makeover.
"It was important to have the museum be a museum of hope, to show that it is possible to rebuild a new life after living through something very dramatic," director Roger Mayou told Agence France Presse after showing off the revamped exhibition to journalists ahead of the official reopening on May 18.Full Story
Moscow metro is set to auction off more than a hundred of its iconic blue carriages after updating its rolling stock, a spokesman told Agence France Presse on Thursday.
The 120 carriages will be sold in lots of three and the state-owned system hopes to raise a total of almost 8 million rubles ($255,221), said metro spokesman Alexei Manakov.Full Story
Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum is selling a limited number of copies of the Dutch master's sketchbooks for the first time, providing rare insight into his life and the origin of some of his most famous portraits, the museum said on Thursday.
Only four of Van Gogh's many sketchbooks survive today, three of which form part of a new "Van Gogh at work" exhibition and contain "perhaps some of his most intimate creations," the museum said on its website.Full Story
The General Directorate of General Security on Thursday announced that it has busted a network that has been smuggling antiquities from Syria into Lebanon.
“After the GDGS received a tip-off and after reporting to the Public Prosecution, a unit from the directorate's information affairs bureau raided a hideout containing a quantity of stolen relics,” it said in a statement.Full Story
The head of Georgia's influential Orthodox Church called Thursday on the authorities to ban a gay rights rally set to be held in the deeply religious country.
The call came a day before gay rights activists were to stage a brief demonstration in central Tbilisi to mark the International Day against Homophobia.Full Story
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of economically troubled Greece met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday, hailing the contributions to global civilization of their respective cultures.
Samaras was greeted at the Great Hall of the People with military honors that included armed guards, a marching band and a 19-gun salute.Full Story
On a scaffold five meters off the ground, artist Meg Saligman uses her paintbrush to carefully touch up an enormous mural covering an entire wall of a Philadelphia parking lot.
"At first, I was afraid of heights, but I'm not anymore. Now I actually love it," Saligman said from her perch where she worked on refurbishing the 500-square-meter (nearly 5,400-square-foot) painting.Full Story