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Festival Reading of Rushdie Book Stirs Anger in India

Indian police examined television footage on Saturday pending any formal investigation after Salman Rushdie's banned novel "The Satanic Verses" was read out at a literary festival.

Rushdie was forced to withdraw from appearing at the Jaipur Literature Festival due to security fears when some Muslim groups threatened to demonstrate at the event over the allegedly blasphemous book.

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Renowned Chinese Painter Fu Baoshi Takes on U.S.

Revered Chinese modern painter Fu Baoshi's life was an epic journey -- literally and figuratively -- but only now, with retrospectives in the United States, has his powerfully emotional body of work traveled as far as the West.

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday opens "Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965)," an exhibition that seeks to put this giant of Chinese culture on the international map.

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Rushdie Pulls Out of India Fest After 'Assassin' Threat

British novelist Salman Rushdie withdrew Friday from India's largest literary festival, saying he feared assassination after his participation was opposed by hardline Muslim groups.

"I have now been informed by intelligence sources... that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to eliminate me," the Indian-born writer said in statement read by the producer of the Jaipur Literary Festival, Sanjoy Roy.

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No Flowers Again on Birthday of Late Edgar Allen Poe

A mysterious nocturnal visitor who used to visit the grave of American poet Edgar Allen Poe on his birthday and lay a rose in his memory failed to appear for the third consecutive year, U.S. media said.

After waiting up all night, the curator of the Poe museum in Baltimore officially declared on Thursday that the night-time tradition was over.

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New York Noir Brought to Life in Photo Exhibit

Murders, fires, traffic accidents, mafia encounters: this was the world of eccentric New York photographer Arthur "Weegee" Fellig now brought back to life in a new exhibit.

"As a photographer, Weegee is perhaps the truest, most perceptive, most cynical, and yet blatantly sentimental chronicler of urban life in 20th century New York," the International Center of Photography said, presenting the exhibit "Murder is my Business."

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Rent-a-Fort in India's Rajasthan

One of India's prime tourist attractions, the princely forts and palaces of Rajasthan state, are hoping for a new lease on life -- literally.

More than two million domestic and foreign tourists visit Rajasthan every year for a glimpse of the state's royal past and to experience the architectural legacy of kingdoms that lost their identity when India became a republic.

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Spain Wants Nobel Laureate Llosa to Head Cultural Body

Spain's government said Wednesday it has invited Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa to head the Cervantes Institute, which is charged with promoting Spanish language and culture worldwide.

Madrid would like the Peruvian-Spanish author to occupy the new post of president of the institution, which would involve representing it throughout the world, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said.

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Churchill Library to Be Created in DC

An international group seeking to preserve the legacy of Winston Churchill is announcing plans Thursday to create the first U.S. research center devoted to the longtime British leader.

The new National Churchill Library and Center will be established between 2013 and 2015 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with an $8 million (€6.23 million) pledge from the Chicago-based Churchill Centre.

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Legend Abdul-Jabbar Named U.S. Cultural Amabassador

NBA all-time scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a legendary retired center, was named a global cultural ambassador on Wednesday by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Abdul-Jabbar, born Lew Alcindor before changing his name after leading Milwaukee to the 1971 NBA title, scored 38,387 points in 1,560 games over a 20-year NBA career and was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in 1971 and 1985.

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Georgia, Stalin's Birthplace, Shuns Soviet Legacy

Twenty years after the USSR collapsed, Georgia's fervently pro-Western government regards the Soviet Union as a repressive dictatorship and has been trying to erase its legacy.

But perhaps inconveniently for the administration of President Mikheil Saakashvili, the USSR's most notorious leader Joseph Stalin was born as Joseph Dzhugashvili in 1878 in the provincial Georgian town of Gori.

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