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Holy Land Clerics Launch Interfaith Earth Forum

Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in the Holy Land joined forces Monday to launch a multi-faith environmental campaign, citing religious injunctions to protect the Earth across their three faiths.

Among their plans are the convening of an international conference of religious leaders in New York ahead of the 2012 U.N. General Assembly, a North America public relations campaign and training future clerics on the importance of environmental issues, one of the organisers said.

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Bulgarians Celebrate The Art of Home-Made Yoghurt

On a Saturday in July, some 20 men and women stood behind pots and jars of homemade yoghurt at Tran's pensioners' club, feverishly awaiting the jury's pronouncement on their concoctions.

Every year in mid-July, the small town of Tran, huddled at the foot of the Balkan mountains near Bulgaria's border with Serbia, celebrates the art of making yoghurt and commemorates the local scientist who discovered the bacteria that turns milk into its thickened sour form -- a food seen as the pearl of Bulgarian gastronomic heritage.

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Tiny 2,000-Year-Old Golden Bell Found in Jerusalem

A tiny golden bell which was lost in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago during the Second Temple period has been found among ruins near the Old City, Israel's Antiquities Authority said on Friday.

The bell, which is thought to have been an adornment which was sewn onto the garments of a senior official, was uncovered during excavation work on a drainage channel in the City of David, an area in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan just south of the Old City walls.

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In Palestinian City, Diggers Uncover Biblical Ruin

Archaeologists unearthing a biblical ruin inside a Palestinian city in the West Bank are writing the latest chapter in a 100-year-old excavation that has been interrupted by two world wars and numerous rounds of Mideast upheaval.

Working on an urban lot that long served residents of Nablus as an unofficial dump for garbage and old car parts, Dutch and Palestinian archaeologists are learning more about the ancient city of Shekhem, and are preparing to open the site to the public as an archaeological park next year.

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NY Metropolitan Museum Announces Record Attendance

It's been a banner year for New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The museum on Thursday announced its highest attendance in 40 years, saying over 5.6 million people visited during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

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Survey: Muslims, non-Muslims Still Dislike Each Other

Attitudes toward Muslims have become slightly more positive in the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Russia compared with five years ago, although negative views between Muslim countries and the West persist on both sides, a Pew Center survey found.

The survey, by Pew's Global Attitudes Project, found majorities of Muslims surveyed in five of six Muslim-dominant countries and the Palestinian territories described non-Muslim Westerners as selfish and greedy.

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Australian Jailed for Making 11-Year-Old Pregnant, Says his Act is Culturally Acceptable

A man who claimed it was acceptable in his culture to have sex with a child was Friday sentenced to 10 years' jail for his lengthy abuse of a girl who became pregnant at 11.

The Victorian County Court heard that the man was from the same ethnic minority as the girl and had been a family friend when he began abusing her in 2008. She gave birth to a baby boy in October 2010.

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African American Civil War Museum Gets New Home

With a fife and drum band playing Yankee Doodle and civil war re-enactors sweltering in the summer sun, a museum honoring the contribution of African Americans in the U.S. Civil War moved into its new home in Washington Monday.

"It is finally finished, a great new 5,000 square foot (465 square meters) African American Civil War Museum," Frank Smith, the director of the museum, said at a ceremony to install it in its new home overlooking a square housing a memorial to black Civil War soldiers.

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Museum Scavenger Hunts Ask Who Killed The Curator

An assistant museum curator who questioned the authenticity of a Leonardo da Vinci has been murdered — but before he died he left a code in his appointment calendar and a cryptic trail of clues connected to secrets in works of art that point to the killer.

Now, would-be gumshoes must figure out what drove one of four suspects to kill him. Was it greed? Fame? Lust? Or revenge?

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Egypt's Iconic Antiquities Chief Fired

Egypt's antiquities minister, whose trademark Indiana Jones hat made him one of the country's best known figures around the world, was fired Sunday after months of pressure from critics who attacked his credibility and accused him of having been too close to the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

Zahi Hawass, long chided as publicity loving and short on scientific knowledge, lost his job along with about a dozen other ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle meant to ease pressure from protesters seeking to purge remnants of Mubarak's regime.

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