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Kuwait Activists Combat Rise in Banning of Books

In 2014, the Kuwaiti press hailed Gabriel Garcia Marquez as a literary "giant". But since his death, the Colombian writer and a slew of others have been banned as censorship takes root in the Gulf state.

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Regional 'Burqa Ban' Up for Vote in Switzerland

A second Swiss canton will vote Sunday on whether to introduce a regional "burqa ban", a controversial law that would prohibit all face-covering garments in public spaces.

The ballot in northeastern St. Gallen is to be held as voters across the country also determine whether a moratorium on genetically modified crops should become a full-out ban.

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Making, Drinking Arak a Source of National Pride in Lebanon

Every part of Lebanon's national drink, arak, is infused with tradition — from distilling the aniseed-tinged liquor to the ritual of mixing it at the table, when the transparent liquid suddenly turns milky white as water is added.

Arak is a staple of big Sunday meals. With a sweet taste and high alcohol content, around 40 percent, it's best consumed with food — lots of it. That makes it perfect for Lebanon's traditional meze, spreads of never-ending small dishes that family and friends linger over for hours.

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SGBL Committed to Lebanon's 2018 Cultural Festivals

Art, in all of its aspects, is “a means of enriching culture and innovation,” the SGBL bank has said in a statement.

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Ashura: Why Holy Day Brings Fear for Afghan Shiites

Millions of Shiite Muslims in deeply religious Afghanistan are bracing for violence as they prepare to commemorate Ashura, one of the holiest days in the Islamic calendar.

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Russian 'Facebook' Bans Myanmar Army Chief, Hardline Monk

Russian social media site VKontakte (VK) has followed Facebook by banning Myanmar's army chief and a nationalist monk known for stirring up Islamophobia in a country condemned globally for the treatment of its Rohingya Muslims.

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Over 28% of Japanese Population Officially Old

More than 28 percent of Japan's population is now officially classified as elderly according to government data, the highest rate in the world as the first wave of postwar baby boomers enter old age.

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Dalai Lama to Meet Sex Abuse Victims in The Netherlands

The Dalai Lama will Friday meet a dozen victims of alleged sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers in what is believed to be the first such gathering with Tibet's spiritual leader.

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Singer Rachid Taha, who Fused Arabic Music and Rock, Dies

France-based Algerian singer Rachid Taha has died. His record label, Naïve, announced his death at age 59 in a statement on its Facebook page.

Naïve said Wednesday that the singer who thrillingly blended Arabic music with rock and techno died overnight after suffering a heart attack at his home in the Paris suburbs.

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Kurds, Christians Split over Syria School Curriculum

Kurdish authorities in Syria's diverse northeast are facing swelling anger from the area's Syriac Christians after shutting down more than a dozen schools run by the ancient minority.

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