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Indonesians Left Hungry as Eid Festival Postponed

Many Indonesians found themselves hungry and confused on Tuesday after the government declared the Eid al-Fitr festival that ends the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan would not start there for another day.

The government decided late Monday, after consulting with religious bodies, that the moon was not in the right position for Eid to begin on Tuesday, as it has done for most Muslims around the world. It will start Wednesday instead.

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Mexican Author Wins Guadalajara Book Fair Prize

Colombia-born Mexican author Fernando Vallejo was awarded the 2011 prize Monday at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, the biggest Spanish-language literary event, organizers said.

The 68-year-old Vallejo is best known for "Our Lady of the Assassins", which was made into a feature film by French director Barbet Schroeder in 2000.

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Goethe Greatest German of All Time

German poet, playwright and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has been voted the greatest German of all time in a new poll, beating runners-up chancellor Konrad Adenauer and physicist Albert Einstein.

The author of "The Sorrows of Young Werther" and "Faust", who died in 1832, received the most votes in a poll of 2,000 people for the daily Bild newspaper, said the Forsa institute which conducted the survey.

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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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