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Gender Equality Push Picks Up Pace in Tunisia

Long seen as a pioneer for women's rights in the Arab world, Tunisia is pushing ahead with reforms promised after its 2011 revolution -- but campaigners say much remains to be done.

The country's 2014 constitution was praised as a key achievement in the revolt that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

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French Vegan Faces Terror Charge over Slain Butcher Comment

A French vegan activist was set to appear in court on Thursday for allegedly condoning terrorism after writing on social media that a butcher killed in an Islamist attack deserved his fate, a legal source told AFP.

The unusual case, being prosecuted under France's tough anti-terror security laws, was to be heard in the town of Saint-Gaudens in southwest France.

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Vatican Rules Out 'Imminent' China Bishop Deal

A historic deal between China and the Vatican on the appointment of bishops is not "imminent," a Vatican spokesman said Thursday, contradicting an optimistic statement from a Chinese government-approved bishop.

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First Van Gogh in 20 Years to Go under Hammer in Paris

The first Van Gogh painting to go under the hammer in France in more than two decades was unveiled Wednesday.

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Fifty Years On, Yuri Gagarin's Death Still Shrouded in Mystery

Yuri Gagarin, feted as a Soviet national hero for being the first man in space, was killed in a plane crash 50 years ago but the details of his death remain shrouded in mystery.

On March 27, 1968, at 10:18 am, Gagarin was preparing for a training flight in his MiG-15 plane at the Chkalovsky aerodrome near Moscow, his former cosmonaut colleague Vladimir Aksyonov recalls. 

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In 'City of Shanasheel', Iraqi Heritage Crumbles from Neglect

As a child, Adnan Khalaf used to marvel at the Iraqi city of Basra's "shanasheel", finely crafted bay windows complete with intricate wooden latticework and ornate stained glass.

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Sex Doll 'Brothel' in Paris Faces Calls for Closure

Barely clothed or naked and perched suggestively on a bed or chair, the plastic dolls on offer in the most controversial "brothel" in Paris have led to accusations that they could encourage rape.

Since February, four silicone figures have been on offer at hourly rates of 89 euros (110 dollars) in a discreet apartment in the south of the city, far from the historic red-light district around the Pigalle area in the north. 

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Saudis Revamp School Curriculum to Combat Muslim Brotherhood

Saudi Arabia is seeking to purge its school curriculum of any influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and dismiss employees who sympathise with the banned group, the education minister said.

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Abortion, Free Speech in Spotlight at Top U.S. Court

U.S. Supreme Court justices from across the ideological spectrum reacted with skepticism Tuesday to a California law requiring private anti-abortion facilities to inform pregnant clients they can obtain the procedure elsewhere.

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Hawking Remains to be Buried near Newton, Darwin Graves

Stephen Hawking's ashes will be buried near the graves of fellow British scientists Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin at Westminster Abbey, it was announced Tuesday.

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