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Trained hawks scare off smaller birds, draw stares in LA

LOS ANGELES — A hawk named Riley soars between high-rises in downtown Los Angeles. Smaller birds take notice. And take flight.

Riley lands on a branch, surveys the concrete jungle below and swoops down to land on the gloved hand of her owner.

Blazer-clad professionals on their way to lunch do double-takes.

Personalized maps offer the gift of place

If you’ve got avid travellers on your gift list this year, or just armchair ones, consider getting them a custom map. Maps of favourite places might commemorate special trips or experiences, and can appeal to any age or gender.

Map Your Travels, in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, has some options. One of its maps shows all the national parks, with pins to chart your visits.

Historic Virginia church to relocate Washington, Lee plaques

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A historic Episcopal church in northern Virginia has decided to relocate two plaques in its sanctuary that honour George Washington and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who worshipped there.

Leaders of Christ Church in Alexandria sent a letter to congregation members last week explaining the decision, and announcements were made during Sunday services.

Saudi women to be allowed into sports stadiums next year

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia will allow women into sports stadiums as of next year, the kingdom’s latest step toward easing rules on gender segregation but they will be seated in the so-called family section, an area separate from the male-only crowd.

Still, the decision, announced on Sunday, marks another incremental step toward greater women’s rights in the kingdom.