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Gullit Arrives on Chechen Mission

Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit landed in the Chechen capital on Wednesday to the cheers of hundreds of Terek Grozny supporters who hope to see him make their side the new darling of Europe.

The two-time world footballer of the year draped a green Chechen republic scarf around his neck and smiled broadly as fans chanted Gullit's name and performed traditional Caucasus dances around the global superstar.

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Meryl Streep Daunted at Prospect of Thatcher Role

Oscar winner Meryl Streep has undergone a dramatic transformation for her role as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a forthcoming biopic about her life called "The Iron Lady."

Streep has adopted Thatcher's trademark bouffant hairstyle, ruby-red lipstick and pearl earrings for her part in the film about Britain's longest continuously serving premier of the 20th century.

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Berlusconi: Milan Prosecutors Acting 'Subversively' Over Sex Scandal

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Wednesday said prosecutors requesting to put him on trial immediately are acting subversively and dismissed their case as a pretext to oust him.

Berlusconi was reacting to news that Milan prosecutors had requested an immediate trial based on allegations the prime minister abused his power and paid for sex with an underage girl.

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US Shop's Valentine's Offer: Swap Guns for Sex Toys!

A shop in the U.S. state of Alabama on Tuesday launched a Valentine's Day offer it hopes will trigger a large response in a limp economy: customers can swap their guns for sex toys.

"In today's economy, this is a way of helping people who may feel they can't afford something for Valentine's Day," said Sherri Williams, the owner of the "Pleasures" sex toy shop, where assorted erotica during the next week can be obtained in exchange for cast-off firearms.

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Google Translation 'App' Hits iPhone

Google software that turns iPhones into interpreters became available at Apple's online App Store on Tuesday.

"The new app accepts voice input for 15 languages, and - just like the web app - you can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages," Google engineer Wenzhang Zhu said in a blog post.

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Greek-flagged Oil Tanker Hijacked off Oman

Pirates on Wednesday seized a Greek-flagged, British-owned oil tanker off the coast of Oman in the second such hijacking in as many days, the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces said.

"We can confirm that the Irene SL has been pirated off the coast of Oman," a spokeswoman for the international naval force told Agence France Presse by telephone.

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South Sudan Minister Shot Dead in Juba

South Sudan's minister of cooperatives and rural development Jimmy Lemi Milla and his bodyguard were shot dead in Juba on Wednesday, the southern army's spokesman said, in what appeared to be a personal dispute.

"There was shooting at the ministries (complex), in which the minister of cooperatives and rural development was killed, as well as his bodyguard," the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesman Philip Aguer told Agence France Presse.

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McAfee Says Cyber Crooks Targeting Smartphones

Smartphones have become prime targets for hackers and spammers, computer security firm McAfee said in a report released Tuesday.

The number of pieces of malicious software, referred to as "malware," surged 46 percent last year as compared with 2009, according to a McAfee Threats Report for the final three months of 2010.

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Lohan to Be Charged With Stealing Necklace

Troubled U.S. starlet Lindsay Lohan is to be formally charged Wednesday with stealing a 2,500 dollar necklace from a jeweler store, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The actress, who is on probation after completing a court-ordered spell in rehab for drug addiction, admits she took the necklace from a Venice Beach store but claims it was only on loan.

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Painting of Picasso's Muse Sold at British Auction

A celebrated masterpiece by Pablo Picasso sold Tuesday at Sotheby's auction house in London for 25.2 million pounds, more than double its pre-auction valuation.

"La Lecture" is a work from the Spanish painter's "annus mirabilis," 1932, and depicts the artist's famous muse, Marie-Therese Walter. The painting was sold for the equivalent of 40.7 million dollars or 29.7 million Euros.

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