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Illinois City Marks Birthday with Mega Bratwurst

Residents in the southwest Illinois city of Belleville celebrated its 200th birthday with a 200-foot bratwurst, complete with a 200-foot bun.

Larry Schubert and his team from Schubert's Packing Co. in Millstadt used about 120 pounds of meat to make the brat, which volunteers grilled Sunday, the final day of the city's bicentennial celebration, the Belleville News-Democrat reported (http://bit.ly/1po9SwO ).

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Britain Offers New Gold Coin Service

Britain's Royal Mint on Monday launched an online gold and silver coin trading service and said purchases could be stored under 24-hour military protection in its vault or delivered to your door.

Use of the vault is only for clients buying a minimum of 25 gold sovereigns -- worth around £4,600 (5,847 euros, $7,515).

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Alaska TV Reporter Quits on Air to Promote Pot

A television reporter quit her job on live TV with a big four-letter flourish after revealing she owns a medical marijuana business and intends to press for legalization of recreational pot in Alaska.

After reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club on Sunday night's broadcast, KTVA's Charlo Greene identified herself as the business's owner.

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Mother Teresa 'Would Have Scared Me' Says Pope

Pope Francis joked during a visit to Albania that Mother Teresa would have struck fear into him if she had been his mother superior, the Vatican spokesman said Monday.

"She spoke her mind," Francis told the Albanian priest acting as his interpreter during the visit on Sunday, according to papal spokesman Federico Lombardi.

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NFL: Seahawks' Shead Pops Question to Girlfriend

Amid the furor over the NFL's handling of recent domestic abuse incidents, there was a heart-warming moment in Seattle Sunday as Seahawk DeShawn Shead proposed to his girlfriend.

The cornerback proposed at midfield shortly after Seattle's 26-20 overtime win over Denver and she accepted, the team reported via Twitter.

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Flame Goes out at Asian Games

The Asian Games' symbolic flame went out before the first day of competition had even ended, red-faced organizers admitted.

The cauldron at the main Incheon stadium, lit at a grand opening ceremony on Friday night, went out for 10 minutes late Saturday, organizing committee officials said.

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Having a Bawl: Japan's Sumo Wrestlers Grapple with Cry-Babies

Japanese parents watched with glee on Sunday as sumo wrestlers tried to reduce their babies to tears, in a centuries-old ritual believed to bring good health to bawling infants.

More than a hundred sobbing babies were subjected to the ordeal at Tokyo's Irugi Shrine, with their doting parents watching happily as the amateur wrestlers bounced them up and down in a makeshift sumo ring.

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Pole Dancing Being Used for Fitness

Poles have long been a staple of smoky strip clubs, but the women scaling and swinging from them in Las Vegas earlier this month weren't doing it for dollar bills.

Many of the attendees at the 3rd Annual Pole Expo are taking the lead of expo founder Fawnia Dietrich and refining their slinky craft as a workout activity.

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French Criminal Arranges Own Funeral to Escape Justice

A French criminal came up with a cunning plan to escape the long arm of the law by announcing his own funeral, which both the police and his unsuspecting granny attended.

The 26-year-old, wanted for a long list of offences including fraud and theft, placed a death notice in the Ouest-France regional paper and online.

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Director, Crew Held over Greek Nude Scene

A German avant-garde director and his crew spent a night in police custody over a racy nude scene shot in one of Greece's top monuments, a culture ministry source said on Friday.

Matthias Langhoff, 73, a naturalized French citizen, ran afoul of authorities whilst filming in the ancient theatre of Epidaurus in the Peloponnese late on Wednesday.

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