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Mystery of California Hilltop Piano Solved

For a couple of days this week, a Southern California hilltop was alive with the sound of — mystery.

Hikers venturing to Topanga Lookout in the Santa Monica Mountains found a battered upright piano, sitting on a graffiti-scrawled concrete slab with a panoramic view over the mountains between Calabasas and the Pacific Ocean.

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Haitian Sentenced to Pay More than $7,000 over Plane Seat Row

A Haitian man who forced a flight to be diverted after reacting angrily to a seat being reclined in front of him was ordered to pay more than $7,000 by a U.S. court on Friday.

The case was part of a series of three incidents dubbed the legroom wars, which unfolded over a nine-day period in August and September when passengers lost their temper over reclining seats, forcing U.S. passenger planes to divert.

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Oregon's Pink Chicken Mystery Solved; Owner Explains

The mystery of Portland's pink chickens is solved.

Multnomah County Animal Services says the birds' owner told the agency he used food coloring, beet juice and Kool-Aid to dye the two birds, then released them to "make people smile."

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Sex Talk Stumps Aussie Cricket Captain Clarke

Australia captain Michael Clarke was momentarily stumped by a bungled question which appeared to be about his sex life as he celebrated Thursday's World Cup semi-final win over India.

Clarke, who had just led the co-hosts to a crushing 95-run win against the defending champions, was facing the media at the post-match press conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground, when he was asked to comment on "the tremendous sex" he had enjoyed since taking over as captain.

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Indian Village Bans Kissing in Public

An Indian village in a western coastal state has imposed a ban on couples kissing in public, claiming the sight of such "obscene" behaviour is unwanted by local residents.

The village parliament of Salvador-de-Mundo, eight miles north of Goa's capital Panaji, unanimously passed a resolution this week warning holidaymakers against engaging in public displays of affection.

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Japan Official Sacked over Fake Funeral Claims

A civil servant who made up deaths, and even claimed he was going to the same person's funeral twice, has been sacked in Japan.

Shigenori Natori was fired from his job managing public parks in Sendai, northeastern Japan, after taking 16 days of bereavement leave over a five-year period, supposedly because of the deaths of 12 relatives.

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Sanitary Towel Fix for Sweaty Rosberg

Heat and humidity are a perennial problem at the Malaysian Grand Prix but Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has a unique solution -- wearing a sanitary towel inside his helmet.

The German revealed that he uses the absorbent towels as sweatbands to stop moisture trickling into his eyes, a special "trick" which could give him an edge this week.

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Miami Beach Celebrates its 100th Birthday

Thousands of tourists and residents basking in a hot sun filled the streets of the art deco district of Miami Beach to celebrate its 100th birthday on Thursday.

"Happy Birthday, Miami Beach," yelled one of the party promoters through a loudspeaker from one of the bars along Ocean Drive -- the seaside avenue lined with hotels, bars and restaurants. It was closed to traffic all day for the festivities.

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Singapore Mourns Lee with Buns, Dolls and Exercise Routines

A Lee Kuan Yew bun or figurine? The death of Singapore's founding leader on Monday has spawned unusual tributes and business ideas, ranging from the reverent to the ridiculous.

As tens of thousands of people pay their respects to the 91-year-old former prime minister's remains in parliament ahead of his funeral on Sunday, a mini-industry inspired by Lee's death has sprouted.

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French Restaurants Hounded into Using Doggy Bags

Long snubbed as the risible trademark of boorish Anglo-Saxon diners, the doggy bag is set to make its appearance in France, a top restaurant body said Wednesday.

The idea of taking uneaten portions of meals home has been frowned upon for decades in France, but the Union of Hotel Professions (UHP) said doggy bags had become necessary to combat the problem of food waste.

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