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'Big Brother' still huge in Brazil, 21 seasons on

Rio De Janeiro - Brazilian TV is perhaps best known for its "telenovelas," but another kind of show has been captivating the country and holding a mirror up to its changing face for 21 seasons: reality franchise "Big Brother Brazil.

Biden names two women generals to lead military commands

Washington - President Joe Biden on Monday announced the nomination of two women to lead US military commands, who will be only the second and third women to hold such senior military positions in the United States.

US to join UN group on ending violence against women

New York - The United States is planning to join an informal UN group on curbing violence against women and girls, Washington's envoy to the world body announced Monday on International Women's Day.

French nun, Europe's oldest person, turns 117 after surviving Covid

Toulon - Europe's oldest person, French nun Sister Andre, turns 117 on Thursday after surviving Covid-19 last month and living through two world wars, with a special birthday feast including her favourite dessert -- Baked Alaska.

Fresh protests in France against controversial security bill

Paris - Tens of thousands of protesters marched across France Saturday to denounce a security bill critics say would restrict the filming of police and posting images to social media, notably to document cases of police brutality.

Brazil police charge six in black man's killing that sparked protests

Rio De Janeiro - Brazilian police recommended Friday that prosecutors charge six people over the killing of a black man beaten by security guards at a supermarket, a case that shocked the country and triggered protests.

The bookseller of Kinshasa: A lone fight to help DR Congo's bookworms

Apo - In the aircraft hold, Alpha Ramazani has stowed a precious cargo.In Europe, its contents may seem banal. But in the chaotic, rundown capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are revered as nectar for the brain.

Sao Paulo's first black trans councilwoman defies barriers

S - As she steps into the staid chamber of Sao Paulo's city council, the first black trans woman elected to the municipal legislature is well aware of the dangers before her.

'We got this': American left galvanized by death of RBG

Washington - The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg sounded a warning for American progressives, thousands of whom -- wracked with ever-deepening concern for the future -- gathered Saturday outside the Supreme Court to honor the late justice.

Pandemic devastating to Dominican transgender sex workers

Santo Domingo - Since the novel coronavirus first hit the shores of the Dominican Republic in March, Luna Veras, a transgender sex worker, has struggled to put bread on the table. Between fear of Covid-19 and a nightly curfew, her business has dropped by 80 percent.

US university professor admits she posed as black woman

Washington - A US university has launched an investigation after a professor admitted she had lied for years about being black and is in fact white -- a stunning admission amid a tense national reckoning on race issues including cultural appropriation.

Nothing gives champagne its fizz like a humble radish

Paris - Forget Beluga caviar, foie gras, smoked salmon or ortolan, the tiny bird that French gourmets put a napkin over their heads to eat so they can savour every last second of their unique aroma.

Morocco asks Amnesty for proof it used spyware on journalist

Rabat - Morocco's prime minister has demanded Amnesty International provide evidence to support its allegations that Rabat used spyware to bug a journalist's phone.

Coronavirus complicates Quebec moving season

Montr - Moving house is a palaver at the best of times, but in the Canadian province of Quebec it is even more testing as the majority of leases end on the same day.

Confederate statues fall as winds of change buffet American South

Richmond - Armed with a brush, Carolyn McCrea furiously scrubs the grey marble. Someone has written "WLM" -- "White Lives Matter" -- on the only statue of a black man on this avenue in Richmond, Virginia, and she intends to wash away the affront.

France's first transgender mayor vows to wake up village

Tilloy-lez-marchiennes - France's first transgender mayor has vowed to wake up her village in northern France after taking office at the weekend in a step hailed by activists as a breakthrough.

Tourists stranded as Morocco links to Europe cut over virus

Fnideq - Thousands of tourists were stranded in Morocco on Saturday after the kingdom suddenly announced strict border restrictions in response to the coronavirus, leaving travellers stuck at borders, ports and airports."We are lost!

To 11 million Brazilians, the Earth is flat

S - Sitting by a model of the Earth shaped like a pancake, Brazilian restaurant-owner Ricardo lets out an exaggerated laugh: "'Hahaha!' That's how people react when you tell them the Earth is flat," he says.

Brazil carnival queens: reigning over wild parties is hard work

Rio De Janeiro - Brazil's carnival celebrations are among the wildest parties in the world, but someone has to reign over them -- and being "queen" can be a year-round job.

French state in dock over violence against women

Paris - A Frenchwoman whose sister and parents were murdered by the sister's former partner on Monday asked a court to find the state responsible for their deaths over its alleged failure to protect the family.

Nicaraguan cigar factories keep it in the family

Estel - Part of the success of Nicaragua's thriving cigar industry is a carefully honed mystique of family: how the clannish industry was forged and maintained by a handful of fathers, sons, cousins, brothers -- and sisters and mothers, too.

Fed up Venezuelans find solace on the beach

La Guaira - When Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for street protests at the weekend in a bid to rekindle popular outrage against President Nicolas Maduro, only a few hundred people turned up.

Thousands rally worldwide against abuse of women

Paris - Tens of thousands have rallied across the world to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, as France unveiled new measures to combat domestic violence.

France unveils plan to halt violence against women

Paris - France on Monday announced new measures to combat violence against women by their partners or ex-partners, seeking to toughen up the law as concern grows over the number of femicide murders in the country.

Boy or girl? US parents go too far in gender reveals

Washington - A plane crash in Texas, a deadly explosion in Iowa, a massive fire in Arizona -- elaborate baby gender reveal parties, a growing trend among parents in the US, have taken a nightmarish turn."It's a girl!

Evangelical churches gain ground in Pope's crisis-hit Argentina

Buenos Aires - The pastor's voice bellows through an old converted cinema in a rundown Buenos Aires barrio and hundreds of hands reach out in prayer.

Iran women freely attend football match for first time in decades

Tehran - Waving flags and snapping selfies, thousands of Iranian women on Thursday attended a football match freely for the first time in decades, after FIFA threatened to suspend the country over its controversial stadium restrictions.

Huge crowds for inauguration of Senegal's mega-mosque

Dakar - Tens of thousands of people from across Senegal converged on the capital Dakar on Friday for the inauguration of a huge mosque, claimed to be the largest in West Africa.

Clashes as 'yellow vest' protesters revive protests across France

Montpellier - French police clashed Saturday with anti-government protesters seeking to inject fresh momentum into demonstrations calling for social justice and the ouster of President Emmanuel Macron.

Clashes as 'yellow vest' protesters revive protests across France

Montpellier - French police clashed Saturday with anti-government protesters seeking to inject fresh momentum into demonstrations calling for social justice and the ouster of President Emmanuel Macron.
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