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Cleveland Gets First Roll of Casino Dice in Ohio

Visitors to Ohio's first casino won't see glitzy Las Vegas-style stage shows but instead will get an invitation to gamble and then sample the attractions in blue-collar Cleveland.

The Horseshoe Casino Cleveland will open in late March on four floors of a renovated department store overlooking Public Square in the heart of downtown.

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Ancient Seal Found in Jerusalem Linked to Ritual

A rare clay seal found under Jerusalem's Old City appears to be linked to religious rituals practiced at the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, Israeli archaeologists said Sunday.

The coin-sized seal found near the Jewish holy site at the Western Wall bears two Aramaic words meaning "pure for God."

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Mandela Grandson to Marry Despite Ban on 3rd Wife

Nelson Mandela's grandson will tie the knot with a third wife in a traditional ceremony on Christmas Eve Saturday despite a court ban on the wedding, according to a report.

All systems were go for chief Mandla Mandela's union with Swazi princess Mbali Makhathini at the Mvezo Royal Palace in rural Eastern Cape province, family spokesman Sidima Mnqanqeni told Sapa news agency.

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Czechs Bid Farewell to Vaclav Havel

Czechs and world leaders paid emotional tribute to Vaclav Havel on Friday at a pomp-filled funeral ceremony, ending a week of public grief and nostalgia over the death of the dissident playwright who led the 1989 revolution that toppled four decades of communist rule.

Bells tolled from churches while a wailing siren brought the country to a standstill in a minute of silence for the nation's first democratically-elected president after the nonviolent "Velvet Revolution."

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Lenin and Soviet Past Not Yet History in Russia

Lenin is still in his mausoleum on Red Square, his statue stares down on central squares and hammers and sickles are a familiar sight on buildings.

Twenty years after the collapse of the USSR, the Soviet past is still very present in Russia.

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Satire Flourishes in Syria as Violence Intensifies

The violent repression of dissent in Syria has sparked an explosion of satire produced by anonymous artists who are flooding the Internet with film, music and art that mock the Damascus regime.

"The revolt has broken the barriers of silence and fear," said Syrian playwright Walid Kowatly, who is based in Dubai.

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Indonesian Hotels, Malls Splurge on Christmas Glitz

An imported Christmas tree. Santa taking wish lists from children. Fake snow and carols at shopping malls. Christmas is serious business in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Malls and luxury hotels in Jakarta are offering holiday deals and are decked out for Christmas, with shoppers at the sprawling Taman Anggrek mall even surrounded by fake snow drifting from the ceilings in the tropical country.

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Nun Famous for Kissing Elvis Prays for Miracle

In the little town of Bethlehem, a cloistered nun whose luminous blue eyes entranced Elvis Presley in his first on-screen movie kiss is praying for a Christmas miracle.

Dolores Hart, who walked away from Hollywood stardom in 1963 to become a nun in rural Bethlehem, Conn., now finds herself back in the spotlight. But this time it's all about serving the King of Kings, not smooching the King of Rock and Roll.

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Scrapbook Tells How Rudolph Went Down in History

You know Dasher and Dancer and the rest of the gang. But do you recall, the most "Perfect Christmas Crowd-Bringer" of all?

That's how executives at Montgomery Ward originally described Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, who first appeared in a 1939 book written by one of the company's advertising copywriter and given free to children as a way to drive traffic to the stores.

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West Bank Christians Pray for Threatened Valley

A handful of Palestinian Christians stand on a ridge under grey skies at an open-air mass, praying for protection for the sweeping valley that descends from their feet.

For decades, the dwindling Christian community of Beit Jala and Bethlehem has joined its Muslim neighbors to work the land of the Cremisan Valley during the week, and picnic here with their families at the weekend.

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