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Brazil Lawmakers Red-Faced Over Mystery Underwear

Mystery underwear found during a parliamentary session earlier this month is causing a lot of red faces in the Brazilian Congress, a report said Thursday.

The red and white panties, described by O Globo daily as "rather large" and "not a G-string," were inadvertently dropped by one of five deputies who arrived late for a vote on cyber crimes on May 15.

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Indian-american Teen Wins U.S. Spelling Bee

A 14-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants clinched the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday by correctly spelling an obscure French word for ambush, snare or trap.

"G-U-E-T-A-P-E-N-S," said Snighda Nandipati, an eighth-grade student from San Diego, California, to become the fifth American youngster of south Asian origin to win the venerable competition in as many consecutive years.

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German Haute Cuisine Finds the Right Ingredients

Beyond the cliches of Bratwurst, beer festivals and discount supermarkets, Germany has built up a world class haute cuisine, even if many Germans still prefer to spend cash on their car rather than eating out.

Second only to France at the European level since 2007 in terms of distinctions in the prestigious Michelin guide, Germany boasted nine restaurants with three stars in this year's guide.

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Indian Guru Blames Rupee Symbol for Currency Woes

Businessmen may blame global troubles or inept governance, but a Hindu guru has an alternative theory for the historic weakness of India's rupee: the newly adopted symbol for the currency is inauspicious.

Rajkumar Jhanjhari, an expert in the ancient Hindu doctrine of vastu shastra, has called for a new design, arguing that a line on the symbol has "slit the throat" of the rupee and sparked the country's financial gloom.

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Dutch Prince 'Ashamed' Over Potty-Throwing Contest

Red-faced Crown Prince Willem-Alexander confessed to being ashamed of having taken part in a traditional Dutch potty-throwing contest, but organizers have pooh-poohed his objections.

The heir to the Dutch throne was in the small eastern village of Rhenen on Queen's Day, April 30, where he entered -- and won -- a traditional village game of toilet-bowl tossing.

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Romney App Misspells 'America', Arises Hilarity on Twitter

White House hopeful Mitt Romney has meticulously spelled out his vision for a better America while on the campaign trail this year. But in his new mobile app? Not so much.

The "With Mitt" application for the iPhone allows users to express support for the recently anointed Republican flag bearer by personalizing a photo with an overlaid Romney slogan. Trouble is, one of the slogans had a howler of a spelling mistake: "A Better Amercia."

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New York Nightlife Gets the French Kiss

France is cool -- and red hot -- when it comes to nightclubs these days and the keenly anticipated arrival of the Le Baron club in New York has sent temperatures soaring on the party scene.

"It's something hotter, more sexual. There's an atmosphere, a certain freedom," said impresario Andre Saraiva, whose Le Baron clubs in Paris, Tokyo and London have already reset coolness standards around the world.

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Experts: Women Warming to White Wines in China

Fruity reds are the kings of the Chinese wine market, but experts at Asia's biggest wine fair say women are leading a trend toward whites that will open new revenue streams for producers worldwide.

Chinese drinkers consume an average of 300 million bottles of wine a year, with a heavy preference for red, according to wine industry insiders gathered at Hong Kong's Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, the region's biggest wine trade fair.

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Women, Tie-Sellers Targeted in Iran Clothing Crackdown

Female booth attendants at an international trade fair and shops selling men's ties have become targets in a strict crackdown by Tehran police on clothing deemed un-Islamic, Iranian media reported on Wednesday.

Women "not properly observing the hijab," or the Islamic headscarf, as they staffed stands at an international food exhibition, prompted police to shut down 80 of the booths, Iranian deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan was quoted as saying in the Mardomsalari newspaper.

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Luxury Brands Fight Back Against Fakes

French luxury brands from Chanel to Vuitton on Wednesday launch a campaign with several European countries to fight back against the increasingly lucrative and damaging flood of counterfeit goods.

The global market for luxury fakes has exploded, fed by Asia where 85 percent of articles seized in Europe are produced and the increasing popularity of on-line shops that give the buyer a sense of anonymity and impunity.

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