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Disney’s blonde ‘Latina princess’ draws fire from Latino activists

Once upon a time a major US animation studio crowned a character who was billed its first Latina princess. Then out came the big bad critics, and Disney ran away. Some fans were pleased that “Sofia the First” could have a Latina lead — after all, the European, African American,…

French chocolatier creates a dress that’s good enough to eat

“You can eat all of it, except for the plastic and the fabric,” said chocolatier Frédéric Cassel. “You can lick it, you can eat all the drops here, the flowers. So there’s a lot you can eat.” Cassel and his team create a chocolate dress each year for a show.…

Citi fined $2 million after leaking confidential information on Facebook’s IPO

US banking giant Citigroup paid a $2 million fine to a state regulator and fired a junior analyst over a probe into leaks of confidential information on Facebook’s public offering, officials said Friday. A senior tech analyst also left Citi Friday, the banking group confirmed, after the Massachusetts investigation uncovered…

Forecasters warn that ‘Frankenstorm Sandy’ could prove more deady than 2011′s Irene

Forecasters warned Friday that the impact of a so-called “Frankenstorm” generated by Hurricane Sandy could exceed that of Irene, which killed 47 people on the US eastern seaboard in 2011. Sandy is moving northwards from the Bahamas parallel to the US coast, but weather models predict that on Tuesday it…

Gay Jamaican beaten by police sues home country

Gareth Henry hit the international headlines in his native Jamaica four years ago when he was beaten by policemen in front of a mob of 200 people who cornered him in a Kingston pharmacy. A year later, in 2008, the head of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and…

Study of charter schools supported by Romney, Obama shows mixed results

The teacher’s command of his class is total. “Which one is the whole number?” he asks crisply. “Is it seven over three, or is it four?” He zeroes in on a child who gives the right answer, then the next task: “Seven over three divided by four over one? Hands,…

Star butchers in France aim to sex-up image

They call themselves the best in the world. But France’s butchers are only now stepping out of the shadows, with stars of the trade showing off their skills on television shows, in books or at celebrity cook-outs. Suppliers to three-star restaurants, artists or the president’s table, a handful of butchers…

Rio’s iconic cable car extends service on 100th anniversary

Rio’s famed Sugarloaf cable car, one of the world’s most visited tourist landmarks, fetes its 100th birthday Saturday with plans to extend its service to other neighboring hilltops. Inaugurated on October 27, 1912, the cable car ferries visitors to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain, the 395 meters (1,250 feet)…

Microsoft kicks off sales of Windows 8 and Surface tablet

Microsoft kicked off sales of its revamped Windows 8 system and Surface tablet Friday amid mixed reviews as the tech giant ramped up efforts to compete in a market shifting rapidly from PCs to mobile devices. Analysts said Microsoft, which unveiled its new efforts Thursday, is trying to walk a…

French magazine appeals injunction over topless Princess Kate photos

French gossip magazine Closer’s appeal against a court injunction ordering it to hand over all forms of pictures of Prince William’s wife Catherine sunbathing topless will he heard next April, a source said Friday. The hearing will take place on April 24, 2013 at an appeals court in Versailles, west…

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