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Hello Kitty Celebrates 40th Birthday

Hello Kitty, Japan's global icon of cute, marked her 40th anniversary on Saturday with a human-size version of the feline character regaling fans at an upscale Tokyo department store and a theme park.

The moon-faced creation that adorns everything from pencil cases to pyjamas the world over, began her birthday as a one-day manager of the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo's glitzy Ginza district.

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Sri Lanka Cuts Mudslide Dead and Missing Toll to 38

Sri Lanka on Saturday reduced to 38 the number of dead and missing from a mudslide at a tea plantation after giving an initial toll of over 300.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said interviews with survivors and officials found the number of victims was far below early estimates by disaster management authorities.

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Estonian Man Faces Cyber Scam Charges in U.S.

An Estonian man accused of being part of a ring that swindled advertisers out of millions of dollars by "hijacking" online traffic was hauled before a U.S. judge on Friday.

Vladimir Tsastsin, 34, was extradited to a federal court in New York to face charges including computer intrusion, wire fraud and money laundering, according to U.S. prosecutors.

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Aid Group MSFS: Leone Ebola Outbreak 'Catastrophic'

Ebola has wiped out whole villages in Sierra Leone and may have caused many more deaths than the nearly 5,000 official global toll, a senior coordinator of the medical aid group MSF said Friday.

Rony Zachariah of Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, said after visiting Sierra Leone that the Ebola figures were "under-reported", in an interview with AFP on the sidelines of a medical conference in Barcelona.

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Superheroes, Hazmat Suits in NY Halloween Parade

Bloody zombies lumbered alongside superheroes, cowboys shared the road with villains and marchers in hazardous-materials garb evoked the Ebola crisis as the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade made its freewheeling way through downtown Manhattan on Friday.

Creativity was on display and current events were on marchers' minds as a costumed crowd of thousands flowed up Sixth Avenue on a windy Halloween night.

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Budapest's Black Cats Get Halloween Protection

For a Hungarian animal shelter, Halloween is less about pumpkins, witches and ghosts, but keeping black cats out of the hands of Satanists.

"Unfortunately cats here are prized by Satanists who want to use them in seances and sacrifical rituals around Halloween," Kinga Schneider, head of the Noah's Ark Foundation in Budapest, told AFP.

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Irish Court Fines Italian for 'Sick' Ebola Joke

An Irish court on Friday ordered an Italian man arrested at Dublin airport after "a sick joke" about Ebola during a flight to pay a 2,500-euro ($3,126) fine for charity.

Roberto Binaschi, 56, wrote the words "Attenzione Ebola" on the lid of a disposable coffee cup as a prank on his daughter during an Aer Lingus flight from Milan to Dublin on Thursday.

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Instagram Bans U.S. Comedienne's Topless Putin Jab

U.S. comedienne Chelsea Handler is fighting with Instagram after it took down a topless picture she posted looking similar to a famous shirtless picture of Russian President Vladmir Putin on horseback.

"Taking this down is sexist. I have every right to show I have a better body than Putin," the 39-year-old actress and talk show host said on her Twitter feed after the spat erupted Thursday night.

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Formula One: Leak Threatens Hamilton Domination in Texas

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton maintained his supremacy in Friday’s second free practice session for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix when he outpaced his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by just 0.003 of a second.

But he finished his day back in the pits as his team worked on his car to deal with an unspecified leak that raised reliability alarms as he pursues his fifth straight win.

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Manchester Supremacy on Line in Derby Clash

Manchester football supremacy will be at stake at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday when Premier League rivals Manchester City and Manchester United face off in a potentially momentous derby showdown.

United goalkeeping great Peter Schmeichel, who also played for their cross-town rivals, opined this week that City's status as champions meant that they are presently "a bigger club" than United.

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