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German village votes to keep ‘Hitler bell’ as memorial

BERLIN: A German village has decided to keep a contentious Nazi-era church bell that bears a swastika and the words "All for the Fatherland — Adolf Hitler", arguing it serves as a reminder of the country's dark past. The parish council of Herxheim voted 10-3 on Monday that the bronze bell from 1934 should remain as "an impetus for reconciliation and a memorial against violence and injustice". The council rejected an offer by the regional Protestant Church to pay for taking down the 240 kilogramme (530 pound) bell and…

London’s “Big Ben” bell to fall silent for four years

LONDON: The "Big Ben" bell in the British parliament's famous clock tower will cease its regular bongs at noon on Aug. 21, falling silent for most of the next four years while renovation works are carried out, the House of Commons said on Monday. The hammers which have struck the 13.7 tonne bell every hour for most of the last 157 years will be locked and disconnected from the clock, although the bongs will still sound for important events such as New Year's Eve celebrations. "This essential program of works will…