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Swedish Poet Transtromer Wins Nobel Literature Prize

Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer won the 2011 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday, the Swedish Academy said.

Transtromer, 80, was honored "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality," the jury said.

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Stolen Paintings Seized in NY Return to Poland

Two Polish paintings that were stolen during World War II and confiscated by U.S. authorities last year were returned to the National Museum in Warsaw on Tuesday.

Polish Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski handed over the pictures to the museum in a ceremony at his ministry.

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Namibia's Ancestral Skulls Receive Heroic Welcome Home

Thousands of Namibia's ethnic Hereros and Namas gave an heroic welcome Tuesday to 20 skulls of their ancestors returned from Germany, where colonial authorities had taken them a century ago.

About 4,000 people stood on the tarmac at the capital Windhoek's international airport, where the plane carrying them home landed at sunrise to ululating women and men shouting battle cries amid banners reading "welcome to our ancestors, our heroes".

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Call of a Lifetime: 'Congrats! You Win a Nobel!'

Scientists, writers and brokers of peace around the world will be holding their breaths for a potentially life-altering, $1.5 million phone call from Scandinavia next week.

Goran Hansson will dial the first one.

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'Phantom of the Opera' at 25 Offers a Special Show

Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" will celebrate its 25th anniversary this weekend with a lavish birthday party that will certainly involve someone swinging from a chandelier.

Producers will broadcast on Sunday a live performance of the show from London's 5,500-seat Royal Albert Hall to movie houses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia. The live performance — one of three shows at the hall — will be followed by rebroadcasts to cinemas on Oct. 5, 6 and 11.

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Berlin Show Offers Snapshot of Ancient Pergamon

A major new exhibition offering a glimpse into life in the ancient Greek city of Pergamon opened here Friday.

Visitors to Berlin's Pergamon Museum will be treated to a 24-meter (80-foot) high 360-degree panorama of the city in modern-day Turkey from the year 129 AD.

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New Festival Chief Wants Mostly New Productions

The new artistic director of the Salzburg Festival has unusual plans — he wants most operas performed there to be new productions.

Alexander Pereira says revivals will be the exception at the famed festival under his leadership.

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Tainted African Ruler May Get U.N. Prize in His Name

The African heads of state who converged on the capital of Equatorial Guinea this summer are used to life's finer things — yet even they were impressed.

The minuscule nation located on the coast of Central Africa spent several times its yearly education budget to build a new $800 million resort in which to house the presidents attending this summer's African Union summit.

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Racism, War -- and Laughs for Arab-Americans

Osama bin Laden, racial profiling, airport security, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict -- and that was just the opening for Arab-American comedians at a New York festival.

No topic was too edgy at the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival in a packed Manhattan club on Wednesday. And for a group often marginalized, if not mistrusted, since the September 11 attacks, it was a chance to unwind.

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Treasure Hunters Eye Huge Silver Haul from WWII Ship

When the SS Gairsoppa was torpedoed by a German U-boat 70 years ago, it took its huge silver cargo to a watery grave. U.S. divers are working to recover what may be the biggest shipwreck haul ever, valued at some $210 million.

Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration on Monday confirmed the identity and location of the Gairsoppa, and cited official documents indicating the British ship was carrying some 219 tons of silver when it sank in 1941 in the North Atlantic some 300 miles (490 kilometers) off the Irish coast.

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