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Syrian refugee children to join Rio carnival parade

Rio De Janeiro - Refugee children from Syria and other conflict-torn countries will be treated to a place in Rio de Janeiro's exuberant carnival parade on Tuesday, UN officials said.

Lunar New Year turbulence as 'fire monkey' swings into action

Hong Kong - As the Lunar New Year of the Monkey swings into action Monday, fortune tellers foresee 12 months of political and financial turbulence at the hands of the mischievous, unpredictable creature.

Dazzling Rio carnival climax gives Brazilians reason to smile

Rio De Janeiro - Dancers -- some nearly naked, others in elaborate costumes -- strutted into the final round of the Rio Carnival's samba championship Monday, capping a wild party that has helped Brazilians forget about Zika and other worries.

China school sees monkey business in New Year

Dongying - Macaques in frilly dresses turn backflips and answer maths questions for crowds of screaming children at a Chinese monkey school, where trainers teach them to waltz and play rock drums.

Rio carnival goers tell Zika mosquito to buzz off

Rio De Janeiro - A massive, fleshy crowd of semi-naked people might seem like the Zika-transmitting mosquito's paradise, but Rio Carnival goers Saturday said nothing -- not even an international health emergency -- can stop the party.

New year, new travel: More Chinese choose tourism over tradition

Bejing - While hundreds of millions of his Chinese compatriots pack into planes, trains, and automobiles to return to their ancestral homes for the Lunar New Year celebration, Zhang Hao, 30, is getting as far away as he can.

Carnival opens in Rio, defying growing Zika fears

Rio De Janeiro - Rio's Carnival -- a five day festival of dancing, bared flesh and wild costumes -- got underway in the face of warnings that the Zika virus might make even kissing dangerous.

Disabled Czechs get new lease on sex life

Prague - Tomas Pik has lost nothing of his lust for life despite the crippling disease that confined him to a wheelchair five years ago as the nerves in his limbs withered.

No mountains? Unique French ski resort runs on old slag heap

Noeux-les-mines - France's busy little ski resort of Noeux-les-Mines is also its most unusual. It has no mountains, no snow, runs all year round and is built on a decades-old slag heap.

Dancing at dawn: S. Africa's new pre-work party scene

Johanesburg - As dawn breaks over a Johannesburg park, some 300 people dance in silence, some dressed as Batman, Spiderman or Wonder Woman.Others are in tutus, black catsuits or animal "onesies". Many have masks and painted faces.

Paris entrepreneur's 2CV tours to go electric

Paris - The humble "Deux Chevaux", once ubiquitous in the French countryside, chugging down tree-lined roads -- cue accordion music -- is now more of a curiosity than a cheap and cheerful runabout.

Michelin crowns Paris hotels under cloud of top chef's suicide

Paris - France's Michelin guide gave the country's most famous chef a much-prized third star and stripped him of another Monday as the restaurant world reeled after the apparent suicide of the "world's best chef" Benoit Violier.

Youngest elephant at famed U.S. circus dies

Miami - Ringling Brothers, America's best-known circus, announced the death of its youngest elephant at a conservation center where it is retiring the animals after criticism from rights groups.

Reality check: Barbie can now be tall, curvy or petite

New York - Barbie, long the stereotypical blue-eyed blonde bombshell, has been given a makeover. The iconic doll will now be available in three new body types -- tall, petite and curvy.

Ex-top model holds fashion world to account on anorexia  

Paris - It was the stuff of dreams: walking down a Paris street one day to walking the runway as a top 20 model in the world's fashion capital.That's exactly what happened to Victoire Macon Dauxerre at 18 as she prepared to graduate from high school in 2011.

Lucky Thai dolls 'non-human' says aviation authority

Bangkok - Thailand's air safety body warned passengers Wednesday that lucky "child angel" dolls cannot be considered real people and must be properly stowed before take-off and landing.

Op-Ed: Why my family got off Facebook

Two years ago, my family decided to delete our Facebook accounts and we have never been happier. Maybe it's time for more of us to do the same.

Big dreams but little action for Manila's traffic nightmare

Manila - Web designer Maria Zurbano kisses her three-year-old daughter goodbye and sets out in the pre-dawn darkness for a torturous commute through the Philippine capital.

Death is just a pretty face for Brazilian tattoo fans

Rio De Janeiro - In their quest for beauty, Brazilian tattoo fans are turning to the most unlikely of pretty faces: the death skull.

'India's cleanest village' clings on to its serenity

- In the tiny hamlet of Mawlynnong in India's far north east, plastic is banned and spotless paths are lined with flowers -- but its reputation as Asia's cleanest village has proved a mixed blessing.

Hamtramck, a 12-mosque town in the heart of America

Hamtramck - Three faces from afar -- a man in a headdress and a veiled girl and woman -- greet patrons at a Yemeni restaurant in the US city of Hamtramck, gazing into the distance from a mural outside the eatery.

Brazilian carnival goers shun political masks

Rio De Janeiro - Brazilian carnival goers are angry at their leaders and worried about the economy -- at least if pre-party mask purchases are anything to go by.

New York deal to limit horse-drawn carriage rides

New York - New York reached a deal that will almost halve the number of horses licensed to perform carriage rides in Central Park after the mayor called them inhumane to animals.

Three winners hit $1.6 bn US lottery jackpot

Los Angeles - Three winning tickets shared a $1.6 billion bonanza in the US Powerball lottery on Wednesday, after millions of people tuned in to see the fate of the world-record jackpot live on TV.

Hollywood's finest turn out for Stella McCartney extravaganza

Los Angeles - Actress Gwyneth Paltrow in a pair of eye-catching blue bootsies and pop star Katy Perry headlined the A-listers who turned out for the presentation of Stella McCartney's Fall 2016 collection Tuesday in the heart of Hollywood.

No winner in U.S. lottery draw, jackpot swells to $1.3 billion

Washington - The jackpot for the US Powerball lottery rose to a whopping $1.3 billion (1.19 billion euros) on Sunday after organizers said there was no winner in the weekend draw.

Electric bike revolution spinning profits for Dutch firms

Dieren - On the busy assembly line at Gazelle, one of the top Dutch bike manufacturers, a quiet revolution is taking place: mixed with wheels, brakes and saddles are now batteries and engines.

Record US lottery jackpot hits $950 million

New York - Americans with dreams of life-changing riches flocked to buy lottery tickets and a chance at winning the record $948.9 million jackpot, the largest in US history.

Kyrgyzstan expels Briton after 'horse penis' Facebook comment

Bichkek - A Briton working at a Canadian-owned gold mine in ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan has been expelled after comparing a local delicacy to a horse penis in a Facebook post, an interior ministry spokesman confirmed Monday.

Nose bandages symbolise Iran cosmetic surgery craze

Tehran - Lying on an operating table in northern Tehran, Nazanine says she wants it all: a third nose job, her eyebrows tattooed and liposuction on her thighs to "fix" her figure.
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