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McCain Plays Phone Game at Syria Debate

Senator John McCain, a longtime advocate for forceful military intervention in Syria, was caught playing poker on his smartphone Tuesday as top administration officials testified at one of the most pivotal congressional hearings of the year.

McCain is hardly the only U.S. lawmaker ever to seek a diversion from what can be hours of legislative debate on Capitol Hill.

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WikiLeaks' Assange Leads Offbeat Race to Australian Polls

From WikiLeaks' Julian Assange to a larger-than-life billionaire who is rebuilding the Titanic, the Australian election boasts a cast of unlikely candidates who are shaking up the political scene.

When Australians go to the polls on Saturday, a mandatory exercise for all adults, they will have 1,717 candidates from more than 50 parties to choose from.

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Take that! Mad Max Gets Girl-Slapped

Former Formula One driver Max Papis claims he was left with a broken jaw after being slapped by the girlfriend of a rival driver following a NASCAR race in Canada.

The 43-year-old Italian was confronted in the paddock by the woman, identified by some media as Kelly Heaphy, the partner of fellow driver Mike Skeen, after the two men had clashed on the final lap of the race at Bowmanville, Ontario.

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Angela Merkel's Flag Necklace Gets own Twitter Account

A necklace worn by Chancellor Angela Merkel sporting the colours of the German flag has acquired a dedicated Twitter account delivering satirical jibes following its much-commented upon appearance at a TV debate.

For many years Germans were uncomfortable flying their flag publicly because of its nationalistic associations and echoes of the country's Nazi past.

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Monster Crocodile Traps Tourist on Australian Island

A tourist has had a lucky escape after being trapped on a remote Australian island for two weeks by a monster six-metre (20-foot) crocodile, reports said Monday.

The New Zealander, identified only as Ryan, was dropped with his kayak on Governor Island off Western Australia's far north by boat and had been intending to paddle the four kilometers (2.5 miles) back to the mainland.

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Man Walks with Cross on Back to Gibraltar to End Dispute

A Spanish man arrived in Gibraltar Sunday after walking with a huge wooden cross on his back for four days to ask for God's help in ending a dispute between Madrid and London over the British outpost.

Justo Marquez crossed an airplane runway that serves as the border between Gibraltar and Spain with the cross -- which weighs ten kilos (22 pounds) and stands three metres high by two metres wide with a set of wheels at its base -- slung over his shoulder.

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Jumbo Clash at Thai Elephant Polo

A member of the Miss Tiffany's transsexual team gets ready before playing a match at the annual elephant polo tournament in the seaside resort of Hua Hin south of Bangkok on August 29, 2013. The tournament has come in for criticism from animal rights activists, who say elephants in captivity are often mistreatedView Photo

A member of the Miss Tiffany's transsexual team gets ready before playing a match …

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Hermes Creates $13,000 Basketball for U.S. Store

French luxury fashion group Hermes, famed for its exclusive handbags and scarves, said Friday it had created a $12,900 basketball to grace its renovated Los Angeles store.

The blue calf leather ball is handstitched and embossed with the house's trademark H sign along with the inscription Beverly Hills.

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Five Sets of Twins Run Amok on S.African Rugby Team

A South African junior rugby team has confounded its opponents, teammates and even its coach by having five sets of twins on the squad.

From afar an Oostelike Eagles training session looks much like any other rugby practise with seven-, eight- and nine-year-olds in Pretoria.

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Spanish 'Robin Hood' Band Nabs School Supplies from Shop

A Robin Hood-style band of Spanish left-wing activists openly stole cart-loads of school supplies from a supermarket on Friday, promising to distribute them to needy children.

After alerting media, more than 200 members of the Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (Andalusian Union of Workers) emerged from a Carrefour supermarket in the southern city of Seville pushing about 10 shopping carts brimming with exercise books, pens, felt-tips and dictionaries, said an Agence France Presse photographer at the scene.

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