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Elephants perform for final time at Ringling Bros. circus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An elephant carrying a performer holding an American flag kicked off the final elephant performance at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, as the show closes its own chapter on a practice that has entertained audiences in America for two centuries but has come under fire by animal rights activists.

Former SS Auschwitz guard apologizes at trial in Germany

DETMOLD, Germany — A 94-year-old former SS sergeant admitted in court Friday that he had served as an Auschwitz death camp guard, apologizing to Nazi Holocaust survivors looking on in a German courtroom that even though he was aware Jews were being gassed and their corpses burned, he did nothing to try to stop it.

Revered Chinese monk is mummified and covered in gold leaf

BEIJING — A revered Buddhist monk in China has been mummified and covered in gold leaf, a practice reserved for holy men in some areas with strong Buddhist traditions.

The monk, Fu Hou, who died in 2012 at age 94 after spending most of his life at the Chongfu Temple on a hill in the city of Quanzhou, in southeastern China, according to the temple’s abbot, Li Ren.