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HSBC Left Red-Faced by Flawed Hong Kong Dollar Notes

HSBC Hong Kong on Monday apologized for printing a batch of flawed HK$100 ($12.8) notes depicting the petals of the Bauhinia flower -- the city's emblem -- pointing in the wrong direction.

HSBC is the largest banknote issuer in the southern Chinese city accounting for around 65 percent of those in circulation, according to the Hong Kong unit of the giant British banking group.

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Honda to Recall 200,000 Cars Globally

Japan's Honda Motor said Monday it would recall about 200,000 passenger cars globally due to defective engine parts.

The company said it had received 63 customer reports in Japan of engine malfunctions as a result of the defect, but said none had led to accidents.

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Rare Captain Bligh Medals Under The Hammer in Australia

Two "extremely rare" gold medals awarded to Captain William Bligh of HMS Bounty fame will be auctioned in Melbourne this week in one of the most significant maritime history offerings in recent years.

"You'll never see the likes of the Bligh medals again. They're so historical," a spokesman for the auction house told Agence France Presse.

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Mubarak, Ex-Interior Minister to be Tried Together

A Cairo court on Monday decided to merge the trials of former president Hosni Mubarak and ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly, both accused of killing protesters during an uprising that toppled the regime.

The decision came as former prime minister Ahmed Nazif was charged in a corruption case by military prosecutors, in the first case of a former regime official facing military justice.

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Cirque Du Soleil to End Shows at Tokyo Disneyland

Entertainment company Cirque du Soleil will withdraw from Tokyo Disney Resort at the end of the year, the theme park's operator said Monday, citing the impact of the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.

"It is with regret... that due to the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the business environment for this theater has greatly changed," amusement park operator Oriental Land said in a statement.

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The Nightmare of Love Across The West Bank Barrier

When Sana, who comes from the West Bank city of Hebron, married her Jerusalem-born husband Mohammed 13 years ago, she never imagined their union would lead to a life of fear and hiding.

At first, their different residency permits -- hers for the West Bank, his for Jerusalem -- weren't much of an issue. She could live with her husband in Arab east Jerusalem with a temporary permit, and movement between the city and the West Bank was still fairly easy.

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Languages on Papua Vanish Without a Whisper

Who will speak Iniai in 2050? Or Faiwol? Moskona? Wahgi? Probably no-one, as the languages of New Guinea -- the world's greatest linguistic reservoir -- are disappearing in a tide of indifference.

Yoseph Wally, an anthropologist at Cendrawasih University in Jayapura keeps his ears open when he visits villages to hear what language the locals are speaking.

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Actress Linda Christian, First Bond Girl, Dies at 87

Actress Linda Christian, who married Hollywood leading man Tyrone Power and became the first Bond girl, has died aged 87, her daughter Romina Power said.

Christian, who starred in the 1954 television adaptation of Ian Fleming's debut novel "Casino Royale" about 007 agent James Bond, died in Palm Desert, California on Friday after a battle with colon cancer.

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Arrests after Anti-Assad Demos in Damascus

Syrian armed forces have arrested several people after demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad's regime were held across Damascus, rights activists said on Monday.

"The army on Sunday arrested nine people in the district of Hajar al-Aswad and many others in Sahnaya," a suburb south of Damascus, said Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Holy Land Clerics Launch Interfaith Earth Forum

Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in the Holy Land joined forces Monday to launch a multi-faith environmental campaign, citing religious injunctions to protect the Earth across their three faiths.

Among their plans are the convening of an international conference of religious leaders in New York ahead of the 2012 U.N. General Assembly, a North America public relations campaign and training future clerics on the importance of environmental issues, one of the organisers said.

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