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Hurricane Delays Martin Luther King Memorial

Organizers said Thursday they were delaying this weekend's long-awaited dedication of a U..S. national memorial to slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King due to impending Hurricane Irene.

The dedication -- slated for Sunday, the 48th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech -- will instead take place in September or October, said Harry Johnson, head of the memorial project.

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Jerusalem's Walls Restored, Idiosyncrasies and All

Israeli experts are nearing completion of an ambitious restoration of the five-century-old walls of Jerusalem, the holy city's dominant architectural feature and a unique record of its eventful and troubled history.

The $5 million undertaking, which began in 2007, is set to be complete by the end of this year. The first restoration of the walls in nearly a century, it has required decisions about which of the walls' many idiosyncrasies — the falcon nests, for example, the hundreds of machine-gun bullets, the botched restorations of years past — are flaws to be corrected, and which have earned a place in Jerusalem's story and are thus worth preserving.

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Indonesian Mayor Seeks to Ban Church Construction

A mayor is trying to ban Christian churches on streets with Islamic names, the latest attempt to block construction of a new parish in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

Critics say the proposal — however arbitrary — is another example of growing religious intolerance.

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Public to Get First Glimpse of King Memorial

Tourists and Washingtonians were about to get their first up-close look Monday at the memorial to the civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The site was set to open without fanfare around 11 a.m. to kick off a week of celebrations ahead of Sunday's official dedication.

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100 Years Ago, The Mona Lisa Vanishes

It was an art heist for the ages: On August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa vanished from the main gallery of the Louvre museum, lifted by an Italian laborer who later claimed patriotism as his only motivation.

That Monday morning, at the crack of dawn, 30-year-old house painter Vincenzo Peruggia worked his way into the Louvre that was closed for the day.

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U.S. Embassy Stresses Importance of Cultural Differences

The U.S. embassy hosted 40 Lebanese youth leaders at an Iftar on Thursday stressing the importance of respecting and celebrating cultural and religious differences.

The guests included members of civil society organizations, alumni of Department of State exchange programs, and students from different regions of Lebanon, the embassy said in a statement.

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A New Language for Western Opera: Chinese

Twenty young opera singers from the West are in Beijing to learn to perform in a new language: Chinese.

Their monthlong training culminated in a performance this week at the National Center for Performing Arts.

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ICoast Museum Mourns Stolen Artifacts

Bullet holes pock the vault door and empty display boxes litter the showroom floor of Abidjan's Museum of Civilization, robbed of 100 ancient artifacts under the cover of deadly conflict in April.

"A piece of our history has been wiped out," museum director Silvie Memel Kassi laments of the collection's lost crown jewels, some dating back to the 17th century, that may now be melted for the gold.

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One-Child Policy a Surprising Boon for China Girls

Tsinghua University first-year student Mia Wang has confidence to spare.

Asked what her home city of Benxi in China's far northeastern tip is famous for, she flashes a cool smile and says: "Producing excellence. Like me."

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Future of Egypt's Ramadan Lanterns Under Threat

Tucked away in an alley in one of Cairo's oldest quarters, Nasser Mustafa painstakingly welds small metal pieces that will come together to form a traditional lantern.

Egyptians turn to the lantern, known as a fanoos, as part of the tradition of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset in a process intended to light one's path toward prayer and God.

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