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Festival Brings Sunshine To Scandal-hit Sumo Wrestling

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TOKYO, Japan – Laughter, sunshine and optimism were the order of the day at the ceremonial Spring Festival sumo tournament held at a controversial war shrine in Tokyo on Monday.

As the ancient sport looks to move on from a raft of negative publicity surrounding incidents ranging from assault and bullying to accusations of sexism, there were few signs evident that the recent issues would dampen sumo’s popularity.

Hard core sumo fanatics and tourists alike flocked to the event held at the Yasukuni Shrine, seen by many in Asia as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.

They were treated to exhibition bouts, preceded by time-honored foot-stamping ceremonies, as well traditional chanting and even a comedy routine explaining the dos and don’ts of sumo wrestling.

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Chinas Lisu Aim To Save Crossbow Culture

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LUSHUI, China – Deep inside mountains along the China-Myanmar border, a 26-year-old ethnic Lisu villager, surnamed Zhang, sharpens his crossbow arrows to prepare for a hunt.

For Zhang and many other Lisu, a mostly Christian minority who inhabit the border region, the crossbow is an indispensable part of their culture dating back to 200 BC.

In a country that often bans the sale of kitchen knives during political summits, it’s still normal to see ethnic Lisu openly carrying the weapon in public.

Despite a decades-old hunting ban, law enforcement remains lax and Zhang and his friends still hunt birds and rodents for sport. Before the ban, Lisu hunters traditionally went for larger game such as bears and wild boar.

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Modiglianis Largest Nude To Go Under Hammer Seen At 150 Million

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HONG KONG – A painting of a reclining nude by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani is set to go under the hammer in New York on May 14 with a record sale estimate of $150 million, auction house Sotheby’s announced on Tuesday.

“Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)”, or Reclining Nude (on the left side) shows the entire figure of a woman lying on white sheets, looking casually behind her back and fixing her gaze directly at the viewer.

Painted in 1917, shortly before the artist’s death at the age of 35, the painting of the woman, believed to be a professional model, is the largest in his body of work and described as his “most ambitious.”

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Gospel Choir To Sing At Wedding Of Uk Prince Harry And Meghan Markle

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LONDON – A Christian gospel choir and a teenage cellist will provide some of the music at the wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle next month, Kensington Palace said on Tuesday.

Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, will tie the knot at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, with a reception at Queen Elizabeth’s home west of London afterwards.

“Both Prince Harry and Ms Markle have taken a great deal of interest and care in choosing the music for their service, which will include a number of well-known hymns and choral works,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

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