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Travel Warnings, Jihadists, Changing French Holiday Plans

With France's autumn school holiday approaching, a time when many leave to soak up foreign sun, travel companies are complaining that bookings are in free-fall after the beheading of a Frenchman in Algeria.

Following mountain guide Herve Gourdel's murder by Islamic State-linked militants last month, France's foreign office urged nationals to exercise "vigilance" in some 40 countries, mainly Muslim states in north Africa and Asia.

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Provocative Argentine Exhibit of Barbies is Pulled

Barbie has long been an icon, just not a holy one.

A provocative art exhibit featuring Barbie fashion dolls as religious figures such as the Virgin Mary and her boyfriend Ken as a crucified Jesus Christ has been cancelled amid complaints and threats by angry believers, the artists behind the collection said Friday.

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Gay Rights Groups Hail New Catholic Tone

Gay rights groups are cautiously cheering a shift in tone from the Catholic Church toward homosexuals, encouraged that Pope Francis' famous "Who am I to judge?" position has filtered down to bishops debating family issues at a Vatican meeting this week.

There is no discussion that church doctrine on homosexuality will change or that the Vatican will soon endorse gay marriage or even gay unions. It will not, as the Vatican's top canon lawyer made clear Thursday.

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Lauren Bacall Art Collection Up for Sale in New York

The art collection of late Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall, which includes work by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century and is worth an estimated $3 million, will go on sale in New York next year.

Auction house Bonhams said that many of the lots in the 700-piece collection amassed by Bacall graced the Los Angeles home she shared with first husband and legendary co-star Humphrey Bogart.

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Nobel Peace Prize to Pakistan's Malala and India's Satyarthi

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly Friday to 17-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, and to India's Kailash Satyarthi for their championing of children's rights.

Malala, the youngest Nobel laureate, heard the news while in class at her school in Birmingham, England, where she moved from Pakistan to receive life-saving treatment two years ago.

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Muslim Hijabi Hipsters Fusing Fashion with Faith

Fashion-conscious Muslim women from Kuala Lampur to Los Angeles who wear the Islamic headscarf, known as the hijab, have had to get creative.

By fusing both their sense of fashion with their faith, this growing group, some of whom have dubbed themselves hipster hijabis, is reinterpreting traditional notions of what it means to dress conservatively. They're spawning a new market for niche fashion brands and finding unexpected supporters among some mainstream brands, as well as from conservative Christian and Orthodox Jewish women who also dress modestly.

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Sea of Candles Marks 'Magical' Rally that Shook Berlin Wall

Some 200,000 people joined a candlelight procession on Thursday marking a watershed mass protest 25 years ago that helped bring down the Berlin Wall a month later.

European leaders and former dissidents joined local residents in a day of celebrations culminating in a reenactment of the iconic march in the eastern German city of Leipzig, while warning of the recent rise in Cold War-style tensions with Russia.

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Local Sightseers Inject New Life into Pakistan Idyll

LAfter a slump in foreign visitors triggered by a deadly attack last year, a new wave of local sightseers has saved tourism in Pakistan's idyllic northern Hunza Valley -- but not everyone is happy.

Though there are no official figures, hotel owners say large numbers of domestic tourists are visiting in unprecedented numbers, heading north to escape the sizzling heat of summer that lasts well into October.

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Researchers Say 'Sexting' Still Prevalent among U.S. Teens

"Sexting," or sending sexually explicit images by phone, remains prevalent among U.S. teenagers despite the well-known risks and consequences, according to a new study.

University of Utah researchers found 19.1 percent of those surveyed acknowledged having sent a nude photo of themselves to another and 38 percent had received such a picture.

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Cuba's New Rebels: Emos, Screamos, Mikis and Freaks

Every weekend, a new generation of rebels converges on downtown Havana, their tattoos, piercings, and dyed hair a world apart from the "new man" the island's revolutionary leaders dreamed of.

They claim membership in a disparate band of urban tribes -- "emos," "screamos," "repas," "mikis," "punks" and "freaks" -- but come together on G Street, one of the capital's main avenues, to drink, smoke, flirt, gossip and listen to the music that defines their clans.

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