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With a slender sword in one hand and an antique storybook in the other, Ahmad al-Lahham captivates a packed Damascus coffeehouse with tales of ancient kingdoms and brave conquerers.

Cardinal cut: Italy's tailor to the stars of the Church

Raniero Mancinelli cannot afford to drop a stitch. Pope Francis is creating five new cardinals next week and the race is on to have their scarlet robes ready in time.

Temples transformed: superheroes bolster Buddha's ranks

Superheroes are coming to the rescue of Thailand's temples, where monks have commissioned giant statues of comic book icons and toy robots to entertain children while parents donate to their coffers.

Former Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari talks new make-up line Special

TV personality and fashion designer Kristin Cavallari chatted with Digital Journal about her partnership with the make-up line Savvy Minerals by Young Living.

Rich Venezuelans eat sushi, guzzle cocktails amid chaos

While most Venezuelans struggle to buy food and make ends meet, a small group still manages to eat sushi and sip cocktails in exclusive discos and country clubs.

Russia's Putin lifts veil on grandchildren

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a glimpse at his family life Thursday, confirming for the first time that he has grandchildren and saying he wants to keep them out of the spotlight so they can grow up "normally"."I have grandchildren.

Yoga with goats craze takes off in US

Adonna Ebrahimi is stretched out on her yoga mat, struggling to maintain a cobra pose -- and her composure -- as a couple of baby goats do a balancing act on her back.

Gamers raise money for foster youth

Seventy-four gamers have raised $138,609 for foster kids recently during an all-day tournament in Bellevue, WA, in the Seattle area . The money went to Seattle-based Treehouse.

After delay, Trump's family joins him in White House

As of Sunday night, the White House has two new occupants: US First Lady Melania Trump and her son Barron have finally moved in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Legislator Sarah Anker talks autism awareness, SASI Special

Suffolk County legislator Sarah S. Anker (for the sixth district) sat down and chatted with me at "The Blue Party" at The Inn at East Wind in Wading River on Long Island.

Vote for the best invention of all time

English Heritage has recently conducted a poll of visitors to its historic places to find out what the greatest invention of all time is. There are some interesting selections, with the Internet and the humble tea bag among them.

Trump to make room soon for Melania and son at White House

The US first couple has hardly gotten off to a conventional start. Now, after a period spent apart, it's in for a very public test: life together in the Petri dish that is Washington.

Priscilla Arena discusses SASI, autism awareness, 'Blue Party' Special

Suffolk Aspergers/Autism Support & Information (SASI)'s executive director and co-founder Priscilla Arena chatted with me about the "Blue Party" event that was held in Wading River, which supported SASI.

Op-Ed: Univ of Oklahoma prof views Mexican-American as a point of unity Special

Robert Con Davis-Undiano’s book, "Mestizos Come Home! Making and Claiming Mexican American Identity" (2017) is trying to get the country and even other Latinos to view the Latino community differently.

Pet-parent Stefanie Michaels talks pet-friendly travel tips Special

World renowned travel expert and pet-parent Stefanie Michaels chatted with Digital Journal. She gave pet-friendly travel tips for the summer season.

Break-up pill could soon be available to treat love addiction

Researchers at the University of Oxford have concluded that love addiction is real. However, they said it may be biochemically curable.

Chinese skinny-dippers defy public morals on nudity

The water might be chilly but dozens of naked men happily relax in an outdoor pool in a Beijing suburb making the most of the sunshine."This is a paradise for Chinese nudists," says 18-year-old Zhen, displaying a tiger tattoo on his chest.

Feel the force: Kylo is the fastest-rising baby name in U.S.

The popular power of media in action: the fastest rising name for babies in the U.S. is Kylo, which happens to the name of the villain in the new Star Wars trilogy.

Op-Ed: A Fan makes documentary of Wrestling in U.S. — his first film Special

Wrestling fan and now documentary film maker, Ryan Blake was pleased to see the movie "American Wrestler - The Wizard," which as covered by this reporter had a special local premiere-showing in Petaluma, CA this past May 5th.

Does musical taste reveal social class?

Do you like wild rock or more sedate easy listening? An opera buff or a hip-hop lover? A new sociological study indicates what your musical taste reveals about you and your peers.

Review: 5th annual Pink Tie event was a massive success on Long Island Special

On May 22, the fifth annual Pink Tie event took place on Long Island and it was a massive success all around. It was held at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to host 2017 festival

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Babylon is going to host its 2017 Greek festival from June 1 to June 4 on Long Island.

Dr. Bobbie Kabuto talks new book 'Teaching without Testing' Special

Professor Bobbie Kabuto chatted with Digital Journal about her new book "Teaching without Testing: Assessing the Complexity of Children's Literacy Learning," which she wrote with Denny Taylor.

Growing up transgender: US family confronts stigma

For months in the Lemay home, the same phrase was repeated over and over by their troubled young child, barely more than a toddler, who showed growing signs of depression."It is a mistake. I am not a girl, I am a boy.

'Thank heavens for airbrushing' says star Monica Bellucci

Actress Monica Bellucci reopened the heated debate on the airbrushing of stars' photographs on Wednesday by declaring, "Thank heavens for retouching.

Things get Messi for Iranian lookalike

Iranian student Reza Parastesh looks so much like his sporting hero Lionel Messi that it almost landed him in jail for disrupting public order this week.

Afghan beauty parlours are a sanctuary for city women

The photos in the window promise much: languorous, kohl-rimmed eyes and bright, bold nails -- but once you enter the beauty parlours of Kabul, it becomes clear the images outside are a pale reflection of the vibrant reality inside.

Fashion's feather master tickles up a storm

Serkan Cura was first tickled by the possibility of feathers when he was just 13."I found a bird of paradise feather in a street market in Brussels," he told AFP. "It was love at first sight." The thrill has never quite left him.

Op-Ed: New Americans Center at YMCA is a place of hope for a better life Special

With all the upset lately regarding the current Presidential Administration over immigration and the treatment of migrant and undocumented workers, The New Americans Center at the YMCA of Greater New York helps immigrants aim to a better life.

'Love locks' on the block in Paris charity auction

Amorous couples, here's your chance to own a piece of the world's most romantic city: Paris is selling off the "love locks" that lovebirds attached to the city's bridges before officials cracked down on the practice.

Girl barred from Malaysia chess competition over 'seductive' dress

A 12-year-old girl was barred from a Malaysian chess tournament over her "seductive" dress, her coach has claimed, igniting public outrage against the organisers of the competition in the Muslim-majority nation.

Rap, a universal language, in service of endangered ones

Rap has been called a universal language -- but it can also be a tool to preserve languages at risk.

Op-Ed: Tea for Mom on Mothers' Day from Petaluma People Services Special

Whether it is said with a greeting card, a phone call or a dinner gathered in her honor, taking some time to express appreciation for the mom in one's life is important.

Madonna angered by unauthorized biopic

Madonna voiced anger Tuesday over news that a Hollywood studio plans an unauthorized biopic of her early years in New York struggling to break into the music business."Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen.