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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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Patent Models Join Art in New Smithsonian Exhibit

The Washington building known as the "temple of invention" when it was built in 1836 to hold the nation's patents is revisiting its roots, hosting a new "Great Hall of American Wonders" to explore 19th-century innovations through art.

The idea for this major exhibit that opened Friday at the Smithsonian American Art Museum was sparked in part by talk among experts that the United States is losing its edge in innovation as other countries spend more on research and export more technology and foreign companies gain more U.S. patents. Curators pulled together artworks, inventions and scientific discoveries from the 1800s in an unusual project for the museum to show how Americans came to believe they have a "special genius" for invention.

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Chaos Threatens Philippines' Cultural Treasures

Thieves and art dealers are the usual suspects, but mildew and flashbulbs are just as dangerous for some of the Philippines' beleaguered cultural treasures.

From a 30,000-year-old skull fragment of one of its first human inhabitants to imposing churches built during Spanish colonial rule, the Southeast Asian archipelago has a stunning display of artifacts showcasing its diverse history.

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Indians Put More Meat on The Menu

Indians are consuming more meat than ever before despite a strong culture of vegetarianism and a religious taboo about consuming beef, as diets change and hygiene improves in the processing industry.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says Indians' per capita consumption of meat is running at 5.0 to 5.5 kilograms (11 to 12 pounds) a year, the highest since it began compiling records, reflecting a wider taste for protein-rich diets in developing countries.

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Domingo Sings Live from Streets of Italy, on PBS

American television audiences will see something unique this week — filmed live in the streets and palaces of an Italian city: Verdi's "Rigoletto" with Placido Domingo, singing right where the story is set.

When the plot says "midnight" — he's there exactly at midnight, singing from the city of Mantua for TV.

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Israel Gives Go-Ahead to Museum Opposed by Muslims

Israel has given final approval to build a museum of tolerance over a centuries-old Muslim graveyard in the Jewish western half of Jerusalem.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said Wednesday that a building permit was issued for the project and construction can begin immediately.

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Tribes Welcome Indonesia's Pledge to Forest People

Forest groups on Wednesday welcomed an Indonesian commitment to protect the rights of indigenous people who have long complained that their land is being stolen in the name of conservation schemes.

With billions of dollars in foreign aid and carbon offsets potentially on the table, tribal groups have accused internationally backed efforts to tackle deforestation of pushing them off their ancestral land.

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Kenya's Extreme Winemaking High Above The Equator

The mist lifts from the mountains of Kenya's fabled Rift Valley, better known for its flamingoes and zebras than its wine, as women weave in and out with baskets of grapes on their heads.

It is grape picking time at Kenya's only commercial vineyard.

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