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Kimono-Clad Foreigners Get a Taste of Old Tokyo

With some help from Japanese volunteers, more than 80 foreigners from around the world, including the United States, Russia and Malaysia, donned casual summer kimonos called "yukata" for a stroll around old Tokyo this month.

The six-hour "Yukata de Guide Tour," now in its 10th year, took them to Japan's national sumo arena, a traditional tea ceremony at the Kyu Yasuda Garden and a cruise on the Sumida River.

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18th Century Treasure Worth $4.5 mn Found off Florida

Treasure hunters off Florida found $4.5 million in gold coins from a Spanish ship that sunk during a hurricane in the 18th century, the salvage company said Wednesday.

Ten galleons traveling from Havana to Spain went down off Florida's east coast, not far from Vero Beach, in the July 1715 storm. The vessel broke up and booty was flung far and wide.

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China Fashion Exhibition is New York Smash Hit

A New York exhibition exploring Chinese influence on Western fashion has become a summer smash-hit, attracting a record 670,000 visitors in a sign of China's growing clout in America.

Spread across 16 galleries, "China: Through the Looking Glass," is the most visited show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute and has been extended for three weeks.

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FBI Seeking Help to Find 2 of 6 Stolen N.C. Wyeth Paintings

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for help in finding two N.C. Wyeth paintings stolen from a home in Portland, Maine.

A total of six Wyeth paintings were stolen from the home of a businessman in 2013, and FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Rivas in Los Angeles says the person responsible for taking the paintings remains a mystery.

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White House Hires First Transgender Official

The White House said Tuesday it had hired its first openly transgender official, a move which supporters said underscored the administration's drive against inequality.

Officials said former activist Raffi Freedman-Gurspan began work on Tuesday in a team that recruits personnel to serve the president.

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Muslim Forum in Egypt Urges Moderation in Issuing Fatwas

Leading Muslim clerics meeting in Cairo on Tuesday called for moderation in issuing religious edicts, in an attempt to counter extremist fatwas that sanction jihadist atrocities.

The muftis -- often chief interpreters of Islamic law in their countries -- and clerics agreed at the conclusion of the two-day conference on training for Muslim scholars and coordination on issues of Islamic law.

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Near Bustling Harvard Square, Monks Provide Silent Sanctuary

Just blocks away from the bustling heart of this city, a community of monks offers a silent escape from it.

The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, an order of Episcopal brothers, has kept a guesthouse at its monastery for decades to give outsiders a place to unplug and relax in a place of deep, serene quiet.

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In U.S. Workshop, an Altar for Pope Francis Takes Shape

Deacon David Cahoon is a carpenter on the holiest of deadlines: to build the altar from which Pope Francis will celebrate Mass before an al fresco crowd of thousands in Washington next month.

"Thirty-seven days left," he said Monday, sweat beading on his brow, as the altar and accompanying papal chair took shape in a dusty cabinetmaker's shop an hour's drive from the US capital.

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A Room with a Royal View: Plans for a Hotel at Versailles

Imagine opening your hotel room window to gaze upon the lavish grounds and famous palace of Versailles after spending a night on the estate itself.

That prospect could soon be reality -- at least for some of the wealthier visitors to France -- after a government body that manages Versailles put out a tender to build a hotel alongside the fabled grounds.

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Newspaper Nixes Peru Cardinal after Papal 'Plagiarism'

Peru's leading newspaper said it will no longer publish editorials by the cardinal and archbishop of Lima after accusing him of plagiarizing past popes in his articles.

The suspect stories have also been taken down from the website of El Comercio "because the newspaper does not publish articles in which the text is signed by someone but in reality written by another," the publication said.

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