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World Stock Markets Rise After Wall Street gains

World stock markets regained some vitality Tuesday as investors hung hopes on action from the Federal Reserve to keep the U.S. from sliding back into recession.

Oil prices rose to near $86 a barrel as traders scaled back expectations that Libyan oil would be quickly restored to world markets as fighting raged in Tripoli between rebels and forces loyal to Gadhafi. The dollar weakened against the yen and the euro.

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Kate Winslet Escapes Fire at Branson's Island Home

Guests including Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet escaped uninjured when fire destroyed Richard Branson's Caribbean home during a tropical storm Monday, said the British businessman.

The Virgin Group boss said about 20 people, including Winslet and her children, were staying in the eight-bedroom Great House on Necker, his private isle in the British Virgin Islands.

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George Michael Reveals Separation from Kenny Goss

George Michael made an emotional and introspective return to the stage on Monday, admitting mid-performance he'd split with long-term partner Kenny Goss and recalling his own troubled past with drugs.

The 48-year-old singer — appearing at the Prague State Opera House on the opening night of his "Symphonica" tour — told the audience: "Kenny and I haven't been together for two and a half years ... It's time to be honest."

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Letterman Mines Laughs from Website Death Threat

Even a fatwa is grist for comedy when you're David Letterman.

Back from two weeks' vacation and making his first TV appearance since a threat against his life was posted on a jihadist website, the "Late Show" host played it for laughs during Monday's monologue.

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Kim Kardashian Wedding Prompts 22 Calls to Police

Kim Kardashian's weekend wedding kept the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office busy.

Officer Drew Sugars says the Saturday evening ceremony brought 22 calls into the station, mostly complaints from neighbors about loud music and helicopters overhead.

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Indonesian Mayor Seeks to Ban Church Construction

A mayor is trying to ban Christian churches on streets with Islamic names, the latest attempt to block construction of a new parish in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

Critics say the proposal — however arbitrary — is another example of growing religious intolerance.

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Chinese Site Bans Web Tools Used to Evade Filters

A major Chinese online commerce site has banned sales of software used to bypass Internet censorship amid Beijing's efforts to block the development of a Middle East-style protest movement.

But, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said it took the action on its own and received no official order.

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Google to Include Amazon Forest on Street View

Google says it will soon make available images of the Amazon rain forest on its Street View mapping service.

Spokesman Fabio Sabba says Google began taking photographs of Amazon rivers and trails in a partnership with a local environmental group called Fundacao Amazonia Sustentavel.

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Ford, Toyota to Work Together on Hybrid Trucks

A chance meeting in an airport lobby between the top executives of Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. has evolved into a deal between the auto giants to jointly develop a gas-electric hybrid engine for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

The companies signed the agreement Monday to share development costs, saying they want to make the technology more affordable for customers and bring it to market faster. Many details have yet to be worked out, but both said their vehicles would remain unique even if they share the same drive systems.

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U.S. Pulls out of Bid for 2020 Summer Olympics

This time around, the United States is saying no to the Olympics.

Locked in a dispute over millions of dollars, the U.S. Olympic Committee pulled the plug Monday on a bid for the 2020 Summer Games before the International Olympic Committee could say no to the Americans, as it has the last two times. The two sides have been at odds over a revenue-sharing agreement for years.

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