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Jostling with enthusiastic eaters at the bar, I munch on my last spider crab open-face sandwich. A tiny plate of toothpicks is all that's left of my meal. I keep them because this allows the bartender to tally the bill. After paying, he insists I drink one more glass of txakolí (cha-koh-LEE) – the local sparkling white wine. It's on the house … and falls nearly from the ceiling as he theatrically pours from as high as he can reach. No one but me marvels as the house wine high-dives expertly into my glass. Watching the bartender's face – proudly set off by a red neckerchief, surrounded by a happy commotion of black berets – I think it's no wonder these Basque people are so stubborn when it comes to independence.

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It’s a simple solution, but one that may keep the marble columns and valuable mosaics of Venice’s iconic St. Mark’s Basilica safe from seawater-induced erosion: A set of glass barriers installed around the 900-year-old church has kept its floors dry during frequent high tides.

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California’s committee to study reparations for African Americans met Wednesday in Oakland to discuss what could be done to mitigate the generational harm of slavery and discrimination, and who would receive possible payments. The first-in-the-nation task force previously voted to limit reparations to Black California residents whose ancestors were living in the United States in the 19th century. 

Some of these locations experience a full range of temperatures — from very high in the summer to nail-bitingly cold in the winter. Others simply experience cooler versions of their typically warm (or cold) weather.

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