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Palestinian Dancer Seeks Change Through Ballet

Ramallah dancer Shireen Ziyadeh wants to use pirouettes and plies to change the place where she grew up, training aspiring ballerinas to show that "something beautiful comes from Palestine".

In tights and a white tunic, her hair scraped back in a flawless bun, the 24-year-old Palestinian repeats instructions to a group of tiny dancers in pink tutus and slippers at her ballet school in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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Study: Americans not So Cool with Gay Public Affection

A majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, but that doesn't mean they're so cool with gays and lesbians displaying affection in public, a study published Thursday suggests.

Sociologists at Indiana University asked more than 1,000 people how they might feel about seeing couples hold hands, kissing on the cheek and French kissing in a park.

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Cornell Professor Unlocks Mysteries of Paintings

Richard Johnson can see right through the masterpieces of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

The Cornell University electrical and computer engineering professor is a digital art detective, able to unlock the mysteries of a work's age and authenticity by analyzing its underlying canvas or paper.

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Ambassador Hale Inaugurates Renovated Byblos Citadel Tower

U.S. Ambassador David Hale participated on Tuesday in the opening of the renovated Main Tower of the Citadel at the archaeological site of Byblos, a media release said.

The inauguration was attended by Minister of Culture Raymond Arayji, Member of Parliament Simon Abi Ramia, District Commissioner of Jbeil Najwa Sweidan, Mayor of Jbeil Ziad Hawwat, and representatives from the Ministry of Culture and the U.S. Embassy.

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'Vape' is Word of the Year for Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford Dictionaries picked "vape" -- the act of smoking an e-cigarette -- as their new word of the year on Tuesday, with the affectionate "bae" and the more pragmatic "contactless" as runners-up.

"Vaping has gone mainstream," with usage doubling in 2014 compared to 2013, editorial director Judy Pearsall said.

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Myanmar Students Vow Protests over Education Law

Students in Myanmar have threatened to protest nationwide if the government does not amend an education law that prohibits them from engaging in political activities and curbs academic freedom.

After four consecutive days of defying threats of arrest by rallying in the crumbling former capital, Yangon, the students gave the government 60 days to meet their demands, said Phyo Phyo Aung, general secretary of the All Burma Federation of Students Union.

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Japan's Lower House Passes Bill Banning 'Revenge Porn'

Japan's lower house on Tuesday passed a bill criminalizing "revenge porn", as it seeks a legal remedy to a growing problem of the Internet age.

The bill, which cleared the house unanimously, will be sent to the upper house and likely enacted on Wednesday, in what could be one of the last duties of this parliament before an expected election next month.

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Kenyans March in Pro-Miniskirt Protest

Hundreds of Kenyans marched through the streets of Nairobi on Monday to protest at the stripping of a woman wearing a miniskirt, saying they had the right to wear what they want.

Protesters turned out to show their outrage following the widespread circulation on social media of a video showing a woman being attacked and stripped by a mob last week in central Nairobi after they said her skirt was too tight and short.

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Report: Modern Slavery Affects 35.8 Million People

Forced to pick cotton, grow cannabis, prostitute themselves, fight wars or clean up after the wealthy -- some 35.8 million people are currently trapped in modern-day slavery, a new report said Monday.

The 2014 Global Slavery Index (GSI), in its second annual report, said new methods showed some 20 percent more people were enslaved across the world than originally thought.

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Napoleon's Two-Pointed Hat Auctioned off for 1.9 mln Euros

One of Napoleon's famous two-pointed hats was sold on Sunday to a South Korean collector for nearly 1.9 million euros ($2.2 million) at an auction outside Paris.

The black felted beaver fur "bicorne" hat is one of only 19 examples left of the unusual headwear sported by the French emperor, one of the country's best known historical figures.

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