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Tibet's exiled spiritual leader called China "childish" on Thursday after conferring with President Barack Obama in a meeting that was held over Beijing's objections. The White House released a carefully worded statement (posted after the jump) that praised the Dalai Lama without lending too much weight to his cause.

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According to a survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, Americans are getting more creative with their choice of religion -- or choices, as the case may be. They're picking and choosing from various world religions and using the Internet to learn about different faiths.

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The Dalai Lama ran with the theme of the day while accepting the Lantos Human Rights Prize in Washington on Tuesday, taking the opportunity to point out that "generally speaking, we are lacking" when it comes to "taking care of others' well-being." While he was at it, he also schooled his audience about America's widening class divide.

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Somewhere in Afghanistan there's a statue of Buddha more than 1,000 feet long, according to the ancient journal of 7th century Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang. Dr. Zemaryalai Tarzi, an Afghan archeologist with a sense of adventure, believes the legend.

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As opening day of the Beijing Olympics approaches, the Chinese government and official media have intensified their attacks on the Dalai Lama, blaming him for the recent violent demonstrations in Tibet. Pico Iyer, whose new book is "The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama," talks with Truthdig's Jon Wiener about this intercultural conflict and about the Dalai Lama himself.

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