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No Comment of the Week: French hay sculptures, Pyongyang ceremony, US football celebrations

Hay, straw, and a challenge for sculptors at contest in French Alps

The 8th edition of the annual contest for sculptures in hay and straw ended on Sunday (July 7) in Valloire, in the French Alps.

12 teams of sculptors from around the world had five days to build monumental sculptures from hay and straw in the Alpine town.

The jury prize went to 'Cameleon', a giant lizard constructed by a Lithuanian team. The sculpture also won the youth audience prize.

Second prize went to 'The Power of the Subconscious' from a Russian team, while 'In the Circles', from a Czech team, clinched the bronze medal.

Each sculptor was given 600kg of hay and 400kg of straw to create the massive artworks, which will remain on display all summer along the road leading to the famous Alpine pass Col du Galibier.

North Korea remembers founding father Kim Il Sung on 25th anniversary of death

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited his grandfather Kim Il Sung's mausoleum to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the founder of the reclusive communist country's death.

The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the embalmed bodies of Kim Il Sung and late leader Kim Jong Il lie, and bowed in front of the statues.

North Koreans observed a three-minute silence at midday local time (0300 GMT) on Monday.

Pyongyang residents were also seen bowing their heads on streets, boats and public squares, as sirens went off for to signal a minute of silence.

Paying respects in this way is required on all main anniversaries and holidays, and not just at the giant statues in downtown Pyongyang, but at images of the past leaders all over the country.

Kim Il Sung led his country from its founding in 1948, through the 1950-53 Korean War, and until he died in 1994. He was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Il, who died in December 2011.

Kim Jong Un took over then, and North Korean authorities have continued to increase the requirements on citizens to demonstrate loyalty to this leadership system.

Therefore, North Koreans are extremely careful when talking in public about their leaders, especially in front of foreign media.

US football champions celebrate women's cup win in New York

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers celebrated the fourth victory of the US women's football team at the Women's World Cup.

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