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Winfrey teams with Arthur C. Brooks on book about happiness

Oprah Winfrey's latest book project is one she helped write. Winfrey has teamed with the author, educator and Atlantic columnist Arthur C. Brooks on "Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier," to be published Sept. 12 by Portfolio Books.

"I started reading Arthur Brooks' column 'How to Build a Life' during the early days of the pandemic," Winfrey said in a statement released Wednesday by Portfolio, a Penguin Random House imprint. "I found myself happily anticipating each week's lesson, which turned out to be a recipe for growing forward. When I discovered he taught happiness at Harvard, I wanted to extend that to the rest of us."

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Catholic, Orthodox Coptic popes offer joint Vatican blessing

Pope Francis and the Orthodox Coptic pope, Tawadros II, delivered a joint blessing Wednesday from St. Peter's Square in a significant ecumenical gesture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic meeting of their predecessors.

Tawadros, the Orthodox Coptic patriarch of Alexandria, in Egypt, joined Francis on the stage for the entirety of Francis' weekly general audience. He delivered a lengthy speech at the start in Arabic and then joined Francis in blessing the crowd at the end on a rainy Wednesday morning.

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As more women forgo the hijab, Iran's government pushes back

Billboards across Iran's capital proclaim that women should wear their mandatory headscarves to honor their mothers. But perhaps for the first time since the chaotic days following Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, more women — both young and old — choose not to do so.

Such open defiance comes after months of protests over the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country's morality police, for wearing her hijab too loosely. While the demonstrations appear to have cooled, the choice by some women not to cover their hair in public poses a new challenge to the country's theocracy. The women's pushback also lays bare schisms in Iran that had been veiled for decades.

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Former UNDP chief and Turkish minister Dervis dies at 74

Turkish economist, politician and former head of the United Nations Development Program Kemal Dervis died Monday at the age of 74, Turkish news outlets reported.

He was being treated for an unspecified illness in Washington D.C., state-run Anadolu Agency reported, as did BBC Turkish and t24, which first reported the news.

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It's Pulitzer Prize day, honoring journalism's best work

The Pulitzer Prizes will be awarded Monday to honor outstanding journalism during a violent year that included Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine, mass shootings that targeted an elementary school and supermarket, and communities beset with floods and flames fueled by climate change.

The winners will be announced during a livestream beginning at 3 p.m. EDT.

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Lebanon crisis mutes national music conservatory

At Lebanon's national music conservatory, pianos collect dust and classrooms sit empty, making the institution another casualty of an economic collapse that has crippled the public sector and hampered education.

Toufic Kerbage, 65, watched the value of his pay packet and pension evaporate after the Lebanese economy began melting down in 2019, taking the local currency and people's savings with it.

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King Charles III crowned with regal pomp, cheers and shrugs

King Charles III has been crowned at Westminster Abbey, in a ceremony steeped in ancient ritual and brimming with bling at a time when the monarchy is striving to remain relevant in a fractured modern Britain.

At a coronation with displays of royal power straight out of the Middle Ages, Charles was given an orb, a sword and scepter and had the solid gold, bejeweled St. Edward's Crown placed atop his head as he sat upon a 700-year-old oak chair.

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U.S. Embassy Beirut hosts Elie Saab in a night of culture

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea hosted an evening with the Lebanese and global fashion designer and businessman Elie Saab, as part of the U.S. Embassy’s “Meet the Artist” series, which highlights established Lebanese talents from all artistic backgrounds.

The event served as a window into Elie Saab’s inspiration for building a global brand and highlighted his vision for Lebanon’s future.

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Interpol says 11,000 stolen artifacts seized in Europe crackdown

Law enforcement officials across Europe arrested 60 people last year in a crackdown that retrieved over 11,000 trafficked artworks and artifacts including ancient books, sculptures and coins, Interpol said Thursday.

As part of an annual operation codenamed Pandora VII, forces led by Spain's Guardia Civil police swooped on the art criminals from September 13 to 24 last year in a slew of European nations, the international police cooperation body said.

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Pope greets Russian Orthodox envoy amid peace mission talk

Pope Francis on Wednesday greeted the foreign envoy of the Russian Orthodox Church, just days after revealing a secret "mission" was under way to try to put an end to the war in Ukraine.

Metropolitan Anthony attended Francis' weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square and then greeted Francis at the end. He presented the pope with an icon, which Francis blessed. Anthony was later seen being led off the stage by one of Francis' aides.

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