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Strauss-Kahn paid hotel maid $1.5 million: report

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Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn paid a settlement of $1.5 million (1.1 million euros) to the New York hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault, a French newspaper reported Sunday.

Citing sources close to Strauss-Kahn, Le Journal du Dimanche said Nafissatou Diallo had received the payment under a confidential deal reached to settle her civil suit against him.

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The newspaper said Diallo went away with about 70 percent of the sum after paying her defence team.

A judge announced the deal last month, with reports at the time suggesting Strauss-Kahn had paid up to $5 million in the settlement.

Diallo also received a payout from the New York Post, which she had sued for reporting that she worked as a prostitute.

The incident disgraced Strauss-Kahn before a worldwide audience, forcing him to resign his IMF post and wrecking his chances of becoming French president.

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He was arrested after Diallo, a Guinean immigrant, claimed he had jumped on her naked and forced her to perform oral sex in his Sofitel hotel room in New York in May 2011.

Strauss-Kahn admitted a sexual encounter took place but insisted it was consensual.

A criminal investigation into the incident collapsed after Diallo changed her version of events, prompting the prosecution to conclude there was little chance of a conviction.

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Strauss-Kahn, 63, is still facing a probe in France into allegations that he was involved in procuring prostitutes, after a French court last month rejected a request for the charges to be dismissed.

The case, known as the “Carlton affair” in France, centres around allegations that business leaders and police officials in Lille operated a vice ring supplying girls for sex parties, some of which are said to have taken place at the Carlton Hotel in the northern city.


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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.

The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.

A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.

But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.

"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.

The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.

"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.

The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.

"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.

The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.

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