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More pandas will be coming to the US, China's president signals

Chinese President Xi Jinping signaled that China will send new pandas to the United States, calling them "envoys of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples."

"We are ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation, and do our best to meet the wishes of the Californians so as to deepen the friendly ties between our two peoples," Xi said Wednesday during a dinner speech with business leaders.

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Salman Rushdie receives first-ever Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award

The latest honor for Salman Rushdie was a prize kept secret until minutes before he rose from his seat to accept it.

On Tuesday night, the author received the first-ever Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award, presented by the Vaclav Havel Center on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Only a handful of the more than 100 attendees had advance notice about Rushdie, whose whereabouts have largely been withheld from the general public since he was stabbed repeatedly in August of 2022 during a literary festival in Western New York.

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Ailing Pope Francis meets with European rabbis and condemns antisemitism, terrorism, war

Pope Francis met with European rabbis on Monday and decried antisemitism, war and terrorism in a written speech he declined to read, saying he wasn't feeling well.

Francis told the rabbis during the audience in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace that he was very happy to receive them, but added: "I'm not feeling well, and so I prefer not to read the speech but give it to you, so you can take it with you."

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Kahlil Gibran's hometown Bsharre celebrates 'The Prophet' centennial

Nestled in the mountains of northern Lebanon, a museum dedicated to Kahlil Gibran in his hometown of Bsharre has been celebrating the centennial of "The Prophet", the renowned author's most famous work.

Since it was first published in the United States in 1923, millions of copies of "The Prophet" have been sold worldwide, with the book becoming a literary classic that has been translated into dozens of languages from the original English.

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White House to develop anti-Islamophobia strategy amid skepticism from Muslim Americans

President Joe Biden's administration is preparing to announce that it will develop a national strategy to combat Islamophobia, according to people briefed on the matter, as it faces skepticism from many in the Muslim American community for its staunch support of Israel's military assault on Hamas in Gaza.

The White House announcement had originally been expected to come last week when Biden held a meeting with Muslim leaders, but was delayed, three people said. Two of them said the delay was due in part to concerns from the Muslim American community that the administration lacked credibility on the issue given its robust support for Israel's military, whose strikes against Hamas militants have also killed thousands of civilians in Gaza. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the White House plans.

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From Stalin to Putin, abortion has had a complicated history in Russia

They were banned under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin but commonplace under later Kremlin leaders. Now, after less than a century, official attitudes about abortion in Russia are changing once again.

Although abortion is still legal and widely available, new restrictions are being considered as President Vladimir Putin takes an increasingly socially conservative turn and seeks to reverse Russia's declining population.

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Harassment against Jewish, Muslim Americans increases amid Gaza war

Muslim and Jewish civil rights groups say they've seen large increases in reports of harassment, bias and sometimes physical assaults against members of their communities since Oct. 7.

The Anti-Defamation League and the Center on American-Islamic Relations saw increases in reported instances, many involving violence or threats against protesters at rallies in support of Israel or in support of Palestinians over the last two weeks as war broke out between Israel and Hamas. Other attacks and harassment reported by the groups were directed at random Muslim or Jewish people in public.

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Register online for the #1 Art Fair for individual artists!

Building upon the success of the first two editions of ARAB ART FAIR; & on behalf of EDUCITY, the leading organizer of prestigious events, we warmly welcome you to join us on this extraordinary journey.

Step into a world of Art, creativity and culture at the 3rd edition of ARAB ART FAIR!

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Third edition of ARAB ART FAIR to be held in Beirut

ARAB ART FAIR, the first art fair for independent artists, where you can find original artworks made by emerging artists at a very good price, is coming for the 3rd edition to Beirut. This all new show that democratizes art, and makes it accessible for everyone, is a revolution in times of making art for everyone.

“ARAB ART FAIR stands out as an exceptional fair where art lovers can find a very good deal with affordable prices from both: very known artists and emerging ones,” a press release said.

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For Murakami, reading fiction helps us 'see through lies' in world divided by walls

For Japanese author Haruki Murakami, the bloody conflict in the Gaza Strip is a horrendous example of how our world is divided by walls, both physical and metaphorical.

But while admitting he can only pray for peace now, he also feels confident that fiction, rather than offering an escape, can help us understand, and survive, increasingly perilous times.

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