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Why a few drops of water make whisky taste better

Paris - Ignore the snobs, because most experts agree: a few drops of water enhance the taste of whiskies, from well-rounded blends to peat bombs redolent of smoke, tobacco and leather. The only real question is, why is this true?

Alibaba profit nearly doubles on robust revenues

Shanghai - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said Thursday its net profit almost doubled in the latest quarter on the back of solid revenue growth in its core shopping business and in cloud computing.

Melbourne retains world's most liveable city crown

Sydney - Melbourne has topped a list of the world's most liveable city for the seventh year running but terrorism and diplomatic tensions are eroding living conditions worldwide, an annual report from the Economist has found.

Uber's Philippine suspension: What we know

Manila - Ride-sharing app Uber faces a month-long suspension in the Philippines, in its latest run-in with authorities around the world.

Online matchmaker aims to save Dutch farms with no heirs

Nieuwveen - Standing in his rubber boots in his fields surrounded by his beloved Red Holstein cows, Dutch farmer Gerard Hartveld has an air of resignation as he contemplates the future.Hartveld says he is a dairy farmer in "his heart" and soul.

Google cancels diversity debate Town Hall

San Francisco - Google Thursday canceled a Town Hall intended to air viewpoints on diversity, sexism and free speech, citing worker safety concerns.

Big names flock to Cuba's first contemporary art space

Havana - For decades, Cubans have been used to the revolutionary slogan "La lucha continua," or "the struggle goes on.

Chinese 'Sex and the City' confronts awkward truths

Shanghai - A wildly popular drama likened to "Sex and the City" is breaking ground on China's staid state television with content that strikes at the heart of life today for the nation's urban women.

China issues bike-sharing guidelines as complaints rise

Shanghai - China on Thursday issued national guidelines governing bike-sharing operations to nurture a new industry credited with spurring a transport revolution while addressing mounting complaints over an accumulation of millions of bikes on city streets.

Hair for the Gods ends up on thinning heads in Europe, Africa

- For Hindu followers it is an act of devotion, but at the Thiruthani Murugan temple and others across India there are millions to be made from heads that are shaved and smothered with tumeric paste.

Ink or swim? Tattoos on show at world swimming championships

Budapest - World records have tumbled and gold medals won but the colourful array of tattoos on show at the world swimming championships have proved just as eye-catching, be they designs of sharks, dolphins or even the lion adorning the arm of Adam Peaty's grandm...

Tesla begins to deliver model for the masses

Fremont - Tesla began delivering on a dream to make an electric car for the masses, rolling out the first of its keenly-awaited "Model 3" cars, aiming to disrupt a world accustomed to automobiles powered by pollution-spewing fossil fuel.

Ethiopia to issue IDs for Rastafarian community

Nairobi - Ethiopia's foreign ministry said Friday it will issue identification cards to Rastafarians, granting rights to a community that has long complained of living in limbo in their "promised land".

Birds get new wings at Brazil rehab center

Serop - Not a single wing flutters in the Seropedica aviary near Rio de Janeiro, where aras and others parrots are learning how to fly again after they were rescued from traffickers.

Gilberto Gil daughter becomes healthy food 'guru'

Rio De Janeiro - Bela Gil may be the youngest daughter of Brazilian singer and politician Gilberto Gil, but she's not riding on her father's musical coat tails.

Pioneering Paris canal swimming spot closed due to pollution

Paris - A new public bathing area on a Paris canal that has been helping residents keep cool during the summer was temporarily closed Monday due to pollution concerns just a week after opening.

Pioneering Paris canal swimming spot closed due to pollution

Paris - A new public bathing area on a Paris canal that has been helping residents keep cool during the summer was temporarily closed Monday due to pollution concerns just a week after opening.

Japan launches 'telework' campaign to ease Tokyo 2020 congestion

Toukyo - Japan on Monday launched a national exercise to encourage tens of thousands of commuters to work from home, in a bid to ease rail and road congestion before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and reform the country's workaholic culture.

Havaianas: the flip-flops emblematic of Brazil — corruption and all

Rio De Janeiro - You'd be hard pressed to find an item more representative of Brazil than Havaianas: those brand-name flip-flops adopted by just about every inhabitant, rich or poor, as well as tourists seduced by the beach vibe.

Cooking with a conscience: Colombian chef Espinosa wins top prize

Mexico - Leonor Espinosa, a Colombian chef known for sourcing local ingredients and giving back to the communities that supply them, won the Basque Culinary World Prize Monday, a 100,000-euro prize for chefs who make a difference.

Shopping-weary Chinese find refuge in souped-up man caves

Shanghai - It's a familiar sight in shopping malls around the world -- weary-looking men dutifully following their wives from store to store. But China may have the solution: so-called "husband rest booths".

Indigenous Mexicans best pros on extreme mountain run

Guachochi - In old indigenous Latin American cultures, women toil at farming and tackle family duties. Atop this remote Mexican mountain, they also slap on sandals and crush pro athletes on long-distance runs.

Ecuador designers reinvent indigenous style for modern age

Riobamba - After years of taking a backseat to Western style, indigenous fashion is re-emerging in Ecuador, thanks to a new generation of designers who are re-imagining traditional clothes."Make the turn snappy!

Dutch project tests floating cities to seek more space

Den Haag - Dutch researchers unveiled Tuesday a model of what could become within two decades a floating mega-island to be used as a creative solution for accommodating housing, ports, farms or parks.

Ghana eyes surfing to boost tourism numbers

Kasoa - Brett Davies paced up and down the sloping sands of Kokrobite beach in Ghana, organising surfers from 20 different countries at his annual international competition.

Three gored in first Pamplona bull run

Pamplona - Two Americans and a Spaniard were gored on Friday at the first running of the bulls at the annual San Fermin fiesta in Pamplona, organisers said."A Spaniard from the Navarro region...

Qualcomm steps up legal battle with Apple, asks iPhone ban

Washington - Qualcomm on Thursday escalated its legal battle with Apple, filing a patent infringement lawsuit and requesting a ban on the importation of some iPhones, claiming unlawful and unfair use of the chipmaker's technology.

Running of the bulls festival kicks off in Spain

Pamplona - A wine-soaked sea of revellers dressed in red and white packed into a Pamplona square on Thursday to kick off Spain's most famous street party, the San Fermin bull-running festival. At noon, a shout of "viva San Fermin!

Custom-made clothes for all within reach says top designer

Paris - Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato claimed Wednesday that he has cracked a digital technique which could revolutionise fashion with mass made-to-measure clothes.

Fashion's 'kaiser' Karl Lagerfeld crowned king of Paris

Paris - They call him the "kaiser", and Karl Lagerfeld came as close as you can come to being crowned king of Paris on Tuesday when the French capital awarded the fashion designer its highest honour.
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