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Saudi to Apply Law for Women Only to Sell Lingerie

Saudi Arabia says starting Thursday, only females can work in women's lingerie stores.

The 2006 law banning men from working in female apparel and cosmetic stores has never been put into effect, partly due to hard-liners in the religious establishment who oppose the whole idea of women working where men and women congregate together, like malls.

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Chinese President Calls for Confronting Westernization

Chinese President Hu Jintao has warned that "hostile" powers are seeking to "Westernize" the country and called for greater efforts to enhance China's cultural influence overseas.

Hu's remarks published in the latest edition of Communist Party magazine Seeking the Truth come after Beijing ordered the culture industry -- taken to include the media -- to lift its game as China pushes its "soft power" abroad.

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Golden Year for Klimt as Austria Marks 150th Anniversary

His golden "The Kiss" adorns scarves and coffee mugs worldwide, while his portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer sparked a decades-long restitution battle: in 2012, Austria celebrates 150 years since Klimt's birth.

Gustav Klimt, born on July 14, 1862, is one of the best known figures of the Jugendstil art period.

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Cuba Relic Ends Mammoth Pilgrimage

Cuba's patron saint wrapped up a 16-month pilgrimage here Friday ahead of a papal visit early next year to mark the 400th anniversary of the relic's legendary discovery.

The statue of Our Lady of Charity, the patroness of Cuba, has criss-crossed 28,000-kilometers (18,000 miles) of the communist Caribbean island since beginning its tour in August 2010.

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Malaysian 'Lords of The Jungle' Cling to Ancient Ways

As their wooden boat nears the river's edge, hunters from Malaysia's Kayan tribe reach for machetes and spears while their dogs leap out and splash up the banks on the scent of a deer.

As the dogs and hunters dart into the thick jungles of Sarawak state on the island of Borneo, 50-year-old Ngajang Midin points to the fresh footprint of a deer in the mud at his feet.

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Several Theater Festivals Fire Up Cold New York

Hanging around outside The Public Theater next week could turn you into an unanticipated actor.

An hour or so before the group known as the Gob Squad hits the stage with its new offering for the Under the Radar Festival, four members will hit the streets armed with video cameras to create their new work, "Super Night Shot."

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New Year's Concert Gives Nod to Olympics, Denmark

The London Olympics and Denmark's EU presidency will get a musical salute at the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's concert on January 1, conducted for the second time by the Latvian Mariss Jansons.

Broadcast as every year around the world, the 2012 event will see the return of the Vienna Boys' Choir and, unusually, live performances by the Vienna Ballet, amid the usual Strauss waltzes and polkas.

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Nepali Girls Confined by Stigma and Superstition

Saraswati Biswokarma sits in the dark, rearranging the threadbare cotton sheet and straw bed she is forced to sleep on before bringing her knees up to her chest with a shiver.

It is already mid-morning but she has not been allowed out of the airless brick shed where she has spent every night for the past week.

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Japanese Investor to Restore Ancient Roman Pyramid

A Japanese businessman has agreed to invest around one million euros ($1.3 million) to restore a 2,000-year-old Roman pyramid in the Italian capital, La Repubblica daily reported on Thursday.

Yuzo Yagi, a fashion business owner from Osaka, is due to sign the agreement later this month and work on the pyramid, which was built in 13 AD as a tomb for Roman magistrate Gaius Cestius is set to start in April, officials said.

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Record Ivory Seizures in 2011

The past 12 months has seen a record number of large ivory seizures across the world, confirming a sharp increase in the illegal trade in recent years, a wildlife watchdog said Thursday.

TRAFFIC, which runs the ETIS database of illegal ivory trades, said there had been at least 13 large-scale seizures in 2011, totaling at least 23 tons of ivory -- representing about 2,500 elephants.

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