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Director Spielberg meets with Bollywood actors

US director Steven Spielberg was in India’s entertainment capital Monday to meet Bollywood filmmakers and stars of the country’s film industry. Spielberg and various Indian directors were seen by an AFP photographer arriving at the Taj Lands End Hotel in Mumbai’s fashionable Bandra suburb on Monday evening. Bollywood superstar Amitabh…

Free-dive champion Pierre Frolla travels the world to swim with sharks

Once petrified at the thought of a deep-sea encounter with a shark, free-dive champion Pierre Frolla now travels the world to swim with these predators, describing them as majestic and much-maligned. “As a child, I was terrified of sharks, like many of my generation who grew up with ‘Jaws’. Today…

European Union bans cosmetics tested on animals

BRUSSELS — After years of trying, the EU finally put into effect Monday a complete ban on the sale of cosmetics developed through animal testing. The EU has progressively clamped down on animal testing since the 1990s and banned most such products in 2009, but it left a few exemptions…

Saudi Arabia frees all but two women protesters jailed over sit-in

Saudi authorities have freed all but two of a group of women arrested early this month while staging a sit-in to demand the release of Islamist prisoners in the city of Buraida, police said on Monday. “All women arrested have been freed, with the exception of two of them who…

Former head of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was Nazi paramilitary

A former head of Vienna’s prestigious Philharmonic Orchestra was a member of Nazi Germany’s elite paramilitary SS and collaborated with the secret police, while half of its musicians were members of the Nazi party, historians have said. Helmut Wobisch, a member of the Nazi party since 1933 when it was…

Close friend of Mandela’s says his memory is fading

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s frail anti-apartheid hero who spent a night in hospital at the weekend for a medical checkup, is doing well but has memory lapses, a close friend said on Monday. Renowned South African human rights lawyer George Bizos, who defended Mandela during his 1960s treason trial, said…

Falklands set to reaffirm their British status in referendum vote

Falkland Islanders were to vote Monday on the final day of a two-day referendum designed to make clear their staunch desire to remain British despite Argentina’s increasingly bellicose sovereignty claims. In a move instigated by residents themselves, 1,672 eligible voters are being asked whether they want the Falkland Islands to…

Cardinals hold final talks before beginning selection of next pope

Cardinals will hold a final set of meetings on Monday before they are locked away to choose a new pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church through troubled times. The conclave triggered by the historic resignation of Benedict XVI will start on Tuesday, with the eyes of the world on…

Murder trial set to begin for ‘Canadian Psycho’

The epilogue of the most significant Canadian crime story in years begins Monday in Montreal with the trial of Luka Rocco Magnotta, accused of slaying and dismembering a Chinese student. The case made international headlines after the murder and lewd acts involving the victim’s corpse were filmed by the killer…

Rivals trade barbs as race to succeed Hugo Chavez starts

Venezuela entered a bitter election race to succeed Hugo Chavez, with his chosen successor branding his challenger a “fascist” after the opposition candidate accused him of lying about the late leader’s death. Henrique Capriles accepted the nomination of the main opposition coalition for the April 14 election, immediately launching a…

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