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Top Iran Filmmaker Says Sick Children Paying Price for Sanctions

Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Rakhshan Banietemad on Thursday urged the West to lift sanctions on her country as she presented her latest film at the Venice Film Festival, laying bare their devastating effects on the population.

"The economic situation in Iran is critical due to the sanctions, which penalize the people. They must be lifted, and the people compensated," said the award-winning director, known for her socially-driven documentaries and films.

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William Greaves, TV Host and Filmmaker, Dead at 87

William Greaves, the Emmy-award winning co-host and executive producer of a groundbreaking television news program and a prolific filmmaker whose subjects ranged from Muhammad Ali to the Harlem Renaissance to the black middle class, has died at age 87.

Greaves died Monday at his Manhattan home after a prolonged illness, according to his granddaughter, Liani Greaves.

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Company: Hello Kitty Not a Cat, Has Never Been

Hello Kitty is not a cat, the company behind Japan's global icon of cute insisted Thursday, despite an uproar from Internet users who spluttered: "But she's got whiskers!"

The moon-faced creation that adorns everything from pencil cases to pyjamas the world over is, in fact, human.

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Diane Sawyer Exits as ABC Evening Anchor

Diane Sawyer has signed off as anchor of ABC's "World News," telling viewers that it has been wonderful to be the "home port" of the network's news team each weeknight.

She will be replaced next week by David Muir. The 68-year-old Sawyer, one of television news' best-known personalities, has anchored ABC's flagship newscast since December 2009.

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Swedish Royals Boycott Chuck Berry Award Ceremony

Members of Sweden's royal family boycotted a prestigious music prize ceremony to honor rock and roll legend Chuck Berry because of his 1961 conviction for transporting a minor, Queen Silvia said on Wednesday.

Even though the 87-year-old musician was unable to travel to Stockholm for the Polar Music Prize because of health reasons, Queen Silvia told the tabloid Expressen that she and her daughter Madeleine had refused to attend the event.

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Designer to Settle Case with Fashion House Balenciaga

Designer Nicolas Ghesquiere and the fashion house Balenciaga are to settle a $9.5 million breach of contract case out of court, legal representatives for both sides told Agence France Presse Wednesday.

Ghesquiere -- considered one of the fashion world's most talented designers and now women's design director at Louis Vuitton -- was being sued by his former employer over comments he made after leaving the company in 2012.

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Kate Bush Returns to Stage after 35 Years

Ecstatic fans welcomed British pop singer Kate Bush back to the stage for her first show for 35 years on Tuesday, in the same venue as her only previous tour.

The crowd stood and roared with approval as Bush, dressed in black, entered the stage with her back-up singers and opened with her 1993 song "Lily".

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Ex-007 Brosnan Back as Spy in New Action Thriller

Former 007 star Pierce Brosnan returns to the world of guns and spies in "The November Man," an action thriller that pits his character against his former CIA bosses, with explosive effect.

The Irish actor, who has never hidden his desire to have played James Bond for a little longer, said he is still up to the action game despite his 61 years -- although he had to work hard to get in shape.

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Spain's Tomato-Squishing Fiesta Stained by Row

Thousands of half-naked revelers will pelt each other with squishy tomatoes on Wednesday in Spain's Tomatina, a world-renowned fiesta stained this year by a row over its privatization.

Popular with visitors from Britain, Australia, the United States and Japan, the Tomatina brings the small eastern town of Bunol to world attention once a year for an orgy of goo dubbed "the world's biggest food fight".

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Placido Domingo Seeks New Opera Stars

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo presented Tuesday the latest edition of Operalia, a competition he described as the "Olympics of the opera".

The contest showcasing young opera stars was founded in 1993, and this year 40 singers from 17 countries including the United States, Russia and China are taking part.

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