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French Left Scratching Heads over Baffling Government Posts

France's freshly reshuffled government left some puzzled Friday over the role of new ministries such as that of "real equality", while another linking "family, children and women's rights" has irked feminists.

French President Francois Hollande on Thursday announced the government shake-up in a bid to gain fresh political momentum 15 months ahead of presidential elections.

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India Police Eye New Weapon: Chilli-Loaded Slingshots

Police in northern India will soon use slingshots loaded with chilli powder and marbles to tackle unruly protesters in the world's largest democracy, an inspector said on Wednesday.

Not content with water cannon, tear gas and traditional wooden sticks or lathis, police in Haryana state close to New Delhi will turn to the slingshots as a "non-lethal way" to control violent crowds. 

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Battle Royale in Britain's Maddest Match

Britain's craziest game of football unleashed chaos Tuesday as several thousand townsfolk tussled for a ball in a heaving melee that can last for eight hours.

The Royal Shrovetide Football match is an adrenaline-fueled tradition with roots going back to at least the 12th century -- and the game has barely moved on since then.

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No Kidding: India Police Arrest Goat for Grazing in Garden

Police in central India arrested a goat and its owner for repeatedly damaging a senior bureaucrat's garden, a local official said Tuesday.

Police in Chhattisgarh state sprang into action on Monday, registering a case against the man and his animal for chewing up the district magistrate's garden.

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'Dead' Chinese Baby Awakes Just before Cremation

A Chinese baby boy who was declared dead and spent the night in a morgue showed signs of life just as he was about to be cremated, local TV reported.

Workers at the crematorium in Pan'an in the eastern province of Zhejiang were preparing to cremate the baby on Friday when he suddenly starting moaning, provincial television reported.

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Brazil Mayor Imposes Breathalyzer Tests for Sober Town Hall Meetings

Town hall meetings at a village in Brazil turned into drunken brawls so often that the mayor has resorted to breathalyzer tests before the councilors can take their seats.

The sessions in Pianco in northeast Brazil's Paraiba state had become so notorious the town council is known among locals as "the dog pound" because of all the fighting, news reports said Saturday.

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Monkey Year Inspires Kung Fu, Predictions of Fire, Disease

The new Chinese year is the one to go bananas over. On Feb. 8, the zodiac calendar enters the Year of the Monkey — the ninth of 12 animal signs. Plastic monkeys are adorning shopping centers and office buildings, and government departments have been giving out toy monkeys.

Having a baby in the Year of the Monkey is generally thought to be more auspicious than in that of its predecessor, the sheep, and the cute creature is in any case largely beloved by the masses for its playful and human-like characteristics, despite a penchant for stealing food.

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Throwing Sex Toys 'Wrong Image' for New Zealand, Says PM

Dildo throwing is not a good look for New Zealand and an "appalling way" to behave on the country's national day, Prime Minister John Key said Saturday, angered by an attack on a senior government minister.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce was hit in the face by a pink dildo thrown at him by a protester during national day celebrations in the northern town of Waitangi on Friday. 

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Thieving Monkey Bound and Caged in India's Mumbai

The captured monkey, its arms tied tightly behind its back, sits crouched over in a Mumbai residential colony trying with its teeth to untie the cord bound around its ankles.

But this primate -- caught just moments ago by a professional monkey catcher in India's commercial capital -- isn't going anywhere for a while, other than straight into a cage.

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Crew Grounded over Bollywood Crooner's Mid-Air Concert

India's Jet Airways has grounded five crew members for allowing a Bollywood singer to perform over the in-flight announcement system, an airline spokesman said Friday, prompting a social media backlash against the decision.

The temporary suspension of the crew comes after a video showing singer Sonu Nigam's impromptu performance last month went viral, prompting an investigation by authorities.

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