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Napoleon's English Lessons Sell for 90,000 Euros

Napoleon's first English lessons while he was banished to exile on the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena fetched more than 93,000 Euros at an auction in France Sunday, several times more than they had been valued.

Three lots of text in English and French, as well as drawings, by the fallen emperor had been valued 7,000 to 9,500 Euros, said the Osenat auction house.

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Saudi King Restricts Lingerie Shop Work to Women

King Abdullah has issued a decree limiting work in lingerie shops to Saudi women only in a bid to reduce high female unemployment in the conservative kingdom, state media reported Monday.

SPA news agency said the king also made employment at certain industrial facilities, including drug manufacturers, exclusive to Saudi women, and backed a program to encourage production by families.

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India Goa Temple Bans Foreigners Over Skimpy Dress

Foreign tourists have been banned from visiting a prominent Hindu temple in India's Goa state after outrage at their inappropriate clothing and behavior, religious leaders said.

Officials at the Mahalasa Narayani temple in Mardol, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the state capital Panaji, said they had taken the decision because of complaints from worshippers about scantily-clad women sightseers.

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Piaf Biography Invites New Look at French Icon

A new book about legendary French singer Edith Piaf reveals much about her life before stardom, including her yearnings for poetry and philosophy as a young girl working to overcome her tough upbringing.

Writer Carolyn Burke said her biography "No Regrets -- The Life of Edith Piaf" delves deeply into the early life of the "Little Sparrow", and invites a reassessment of one of the most famous singers of the 20th century.

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A Feast for The Senses on The Venice Lagoon

An array of sometimes disconcerting sights and sounds went on public display Saturday on the shores of the Venice lagoon for the Biennale contemporary art festival.

From a picture of Jesus in his underwear to a human skull decorated with pearls, the images at the festival provoke, bemuse or titillate.

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Thailand Says Religious Tattoos Taboo

Thailand has ordered a crackdown on foreign tourists having religious images tattooed on their bodies while visiting the kingdom, official media said Wednesday.

Tattoos with images such as of the Buddha may offend Thai people, Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat was quoted as telling reporters.

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Chile to Probe Death of Prize-Winning Poet Pablo Neruda

Chile will launch an investigation into the death of Nobel Prize-winning writer Pablo Neruda, who died 12 days after the 1973 coup that overthrew the government, officials said Thursday.

It had long been believed that Neruda, among Latin America's most renowned literary figures and an active Communist Party member, had died of cancer, but officials said they now will try to determine whether Neruda was the victim of homicide.

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Venice Art Festival Becomes City of Light

The City of Water has been transformed into a City of Light for the prestigious Venice Biennale contemporary art festival starting Saturday, where 83 artists and 89 countries are represented.

Venice's historic Arsenal, a medieval shipyard complex in the heart of the historic city, hosts an exhibition entitled "ILLUMInations" while the national pavilions are spread around a park on the shores of the Venice lagoon.

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Torn Ancient China Painting Joined in Taiwan

One of China's best-known ancient paintings, torn into two parts in the 17th century, was shown in its entirety in Taiwan Wednesday for the first time in more than 360 years.

China and Taiwan have one part each, and the fact that the two could be joined together for the first time in generations symbolized a broader trend of closer ties across the Taiwan Strait, officials said.

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Honolulu Remembers Loved Ones By Floating Lanterns

Thousands of people have floated lanterns into the ocean from a Honolulu beach to remember loved ones and pay tribute to ancestors.

The Japanese Buddhist sect Shinnyo-en organized the annual Memorial Day ceremony. Now in its 13th year, the event drew about 40,000 people to Ala Moana Beach Park on Monday.

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