POSTED: Saturday, January 23, 2010

Isle churches to host concerts

Oahu churches will be the concert halls for free performances next week.

» Tuesday, 7 p.m. The Oahu Chamber Orchestra will present an all-Mozart concert at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, Fort Street Mall. The program, marking the composer's birthday, will include the overture to “;Don Giovanni”; and Symphony No. 31.

» Next Saturday, 4 p.m. The Oahu Chamber Orchestra will repeat the all-Mozart concert at First Presbyterian Church, 45-550 Kionaole St., Kailua.

» Jan. 31, 1 p.m. The Windward Choral Society will perform “;Christian Music from Around the World”; at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1508 Punahou St.


Teen convert to stay in foster care

COLUMBUS, Ohio » A runaway teenage girl from Ohio who converted from Islam to Christianity has reached a court settlement that allows her to remain free of her Muslim parents.

The agreement reached Tuesday says that 17-year-old Rifqa Bary will stay in a foster home under state custody in Columbus until she turns 18 in August, The Columbus Dispatch reported. After that she will be an adult and free to live where she chooses.

Bary ran away to Florida last summer, saying she feared her father would harm or kill her for leaving Islam. Her father denied the claim, and a law enforcement investigation found no credible threats to the girl.


Largest jade Buddha to be created

HAI DUONG, Vietnam » One of the flamboyant entrepreneurs in booming Vietnam unveiled a massive precious stone on Monday that he plans to transform into the world's largest jade Buddha.

Dao Trong Cuong, owner of a Vietnamese gem mine, purchased the 35-ton stone in Myanmar last year for $2 million and imported it to Vietnam in October. By the time a team of 50 artists and sculptors finishes chipping away at it, the finished Buddha is expected to weigh nearly 20 tons.

“;We hope to get it into the Guinness Book of World Records,”; Cuong told a crowd of nearly 2,000 people during a ceremony unveiling the stone, which is 10 feet tall, 6 1/2 feet wide and 6 1/2 feet deep.

Cuong said it will take two years to complete the statue.

According to Vietnamese media reports, the world's biggest existing jade Buddha weighs 4 tons and stands 9 feet tall.