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Daniel Craig’s swimming shorts up for grabs in James Bond auction

Props, costumes and memorabilia from 50 years of James Bond films went up for auction in London on Friday, with an Aston Martin car and a pair of Daniel Craig’s swimming trunks among the lots. Christie’s auction house expects the tight sky-blue shorts — which left some fans shaken and…

French judge seeks to ID photographer of topless Kate for royal family

A French judge will lead a probe into how topless photos were obtained of Prince William’s wife Catherine and will seek to identify the photographer, sources close to the inquiry said Friday. French prosecutors last week ordered a preliminary investigation into whether Closer magazine, which published the images on September…

Royal family files complaint over naked Prince Harry photos

The British royal family will not formally complain to a press watchdog over the publication of nude photos of Prince Harry by Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun newspaper, officials said on Friday. Harry’s office at St James’ Palace said lodging a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) would be a…

France and Germany revive plan to tax financial markets

France and Germany are bidding to revive a controversial financial transactions tax (FTT), seeking support from the European Commission and enough EU partners to start the tax in a core group. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and French counterpart Pierre Moscovici wrote to European Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta and their…

Starbucks to open first outpost in tea-loving India

Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee chain, said Friday it will open its first outlet in India next month as it seeks to tap the beverage’s growing popularity in a country famed for its love of tea. Seattle-based Starbucks, which has eyed the Indian market for years, has chosen to launch…

Czech president unharmed after being shot by camouflaged man

Czech President Vaclav Klaus was left shaken Friday after a man clad in camouflage gear shot at him with a so-called airsoft replica gun, local media reported. Klaus was opening a bridge in Chrastava in the northern Czech Republic when the man approached him and took several shots at the…

Famous smoking orangutan gives birth in Indonesia

An orangutan famous for puffing on cigarettes gave birth this week at an Indonesian zoo, an official said on Friday, in a rare event giving a boon to the critically endangered species. Tori, 15, gave birth on Wednesday in the central Javanese city of Solo, Taru Jurug Zoo director Lilik…

World’s smallest state, Vatican holds one-of-a-kind trial of Pope’s former butler

The trial of Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler and a Vatican computer technician for leaking secret papers starting on Saturday has no precedent since the Holy See became a sovereign state in 1929. The 19th-century courtroom where the trial takes place is tucked away behind the apse of St. Peter’s…

Hong Kong tycoon’s lesbian daughter wants $65 million marriage bounty dropped

A gay Hong Kong woman on Friday implored her tycoon father to rescind a $65-million “marriage bounty” for any man who can win her heart, as applications poured in from around the globe. “For your family’s sanity’s sake, Daddy please rescind the notice!!!!” Gigi Chao, 33, wrote on her Facebook…

Putin gives Chavez ‘El Ruso’ the puppy

Vladimir Putin has sent a Black Russian Terrier puppy to his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, who joked the Russian strongman would receive a capybara, the world’s largest rodent, in return. The three-month-old puppy was given to Chavez by Igor Sechin, one of Putin’s most trusted lieutenants and chief executive of…

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