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‘Hyphen Islam-Christianity’ Wins France-Lebanon 2011 Award

A 700‐page collector’s book called ‘Hyphen Islam-Christianity’ has been awarded with a Special Mention within the contest France‐Lebanon 2011 organized by the French‐writing Authors’ Association (ADELF) in France.

The book which was written by Joelle Sfeir and Nada Raphael is a human voyage into the heart of Lebanon, beyond all the preconceived ideas and political discourses.

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China Uncovers 2,400-year-old Pot of Soup

Chinese archaeologists believe they have discovered a 2,400-year-old pot of soup, sealed in a bronze cooking vessel and dug up near the ancient capital of Xian, state press said Monday.

"It's the first discovery of bone soup in Chinese archaeological history," the Global Times quoted Liu Daiyun of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology as saying.

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Suleiman: Lebanese Nationalism-Arab Belonging Important in Nation Building

President Michel Suleiman said Wednesday that the choice of Beirut as host of the Arab Thought Conference is an acknowledgment of Lebanon’s role in the service of Arab culture.

“The Lebanese challenge to allow all sects to participate in decision-making … increases our responsibilities” amid efforts by some people to thwart such attempts, Suleiman said during the opening of the conference at the Phoenicia intercontinental hotel in Beirut.

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Salzburg Festival to Stage All Three Mozart-Da Ponte Operas

Mozart's three greatest and best-loved operas -- "Don Giovanni", "Cosi fan tutte" and "The Marriage of Figaro" -- will top the bill at next year's Salzburg Festival, the organizers announced Wednesday.

German director Claus Guth will rework his recent readings of Mozart's three so-called "Da Ponte" operas, which he wrote with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, for the 2011 edition of the ultra-swank annual summer extravaganza.

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Houellebecq Wins France's Top Book Prize

France's best-known writer Michel Houellebecq has won its top literary prize Monday for a best-selling satire of art and celebrity, fans hailing it as an overdue honor for his edgy, sex-charged writing.

Houellebecq came close to winning in 1998 and 2005 but has divided readers and critics with dark tales that have drawn accusations of obscenity and racial provocation.

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Garcia Marquez Publishes Book, Finishes New Novel

Colombian author and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez is putting the finishing touches on a new novel and is about to publish his first book in six years, his editor said Thursday.

The book out Friday in Spain and Latin America, "Yo no vengo a decir un discurso," (I Didn't Come to Give a Speech) is a compilation of 22 speeches Garcia has given throughout his life, Random House Mondadori editor Cristobal Pera said at its presentation.

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South Korea Gives Venezuelan Musician Peace Prize

Venezuelan economist and musician Jose Antonio Abreu received the Seoul Peace Prize on Wednesday for his achievements in bringing music to young people.

Judges praised Abreu for devoting himself through his "El Sistema" music education programme to saving youngsters exposed to drugs, crime and violence.

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Morocco to Shut 1,000 Mosques at Risk of Collapse

Morocco will shut more than 1,000 unsafe mosques in a bid to avoid a repeat of a minaret collapse in February that killed 41 people, the ministry of religious affairs said Tuesday.

"The regional commissions (of the ministry) have inspected 19,205 mosques and decided to completely close 1,256 mosques and partially close 416 mosques," the ministry said in a statement.

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