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Kerry Seeks to Bridge U.S.-Russia Gap with Potatoes

After months of tension between the United States and Russia over issues ranging from Edward Snowden's intelligence leaks to the Syrian conflict, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought to bridge the diplomatic gap Monday by giving his Russian counterpart an unusual gift of potatoes.

Kerry, who was in Paris with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to hammer out details of a peace conference on Syria scheduled for January 22, surprised his counterpart by opening up a box and presenting him with two large Idaho potatoes.

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British Spies Getting 'Licence to Speed'

British spies are to be given a "licence to speed", allowing the likes of James Bond to drive fast with impunity in the name of national security.

Transport minister Robert Goodwill was to announce the motoring law changes on Monday, which will hand spooks the same exemption as the police, fire service and ambulance drivers.

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Liar for Hire? Fake CVs Flood Indian Job Market

Managers of an IT company in New Delhi were puzzled as they sifted through a pile of CVs -- as many as 30 job seekers claimed to have worked previously for the same employer.

Unwilling to take any chances, the managers approached a firm of professional sleuths who specialize in screening background information given by prospective employees.

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Djokovic Offers a Sweetener ahead of Aussie Open

It was a sweet deal.

After answering an assortment of questions about his coach and his prospects for winning a fourth consecutive Australian Open title, Novak Djokovic halted his pre-tournament news conference and walked around the auditorium offering chocolates to the assembled critics.

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Aussie Legs Bared for Annual No Pants Commute

Trains and trams in Australia's major cities were awash with bare legs and briefs Sunday as pranksters traveled trouser-less for the world's 13th annual "No Pants Subway Ride".

Since its first staging by U.S. group Improv Everywhere in New York in 2002 with just seven people, No Pants Subway Ride has gone global, with thousands of people now joining the stunt in major capital cities across the globe.

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French Police Stop Russian Sailing to U.S. on Homemade Raft

French police Saturday arrested a Russian journalist only a few hundred meters (yards) into a doomed bid to sail across the Atlantic on a rickety homemade raft.

Authorities picked up Andrei Novoselov in southwest France as he attempted to navigate his unseaworthy vessel up the Tet river to the Mediterranean Sea.

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Japan Academics Sorry for 'Robot' Cleaning Woman Cover

A Japanese academic society has apologized for the front cover of their journal, which used a drawing of a cleaning woman with a cable in her back to depict the idea of artificial intelligence.

The Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence (JSAI) was hoping to make "Jinkou Chinou (Artificial Intelligence)" more appealing to potential readers with a cover illustration on the first edition of the new year.

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Two Drunk Russians Cut off Own Ears for a Bet

Two inebriated Russians in a Siberian mining region both cut off their own left ears after betting on the result of an armwrestling contest, police said Friday.

The men were drinking to celebrate Orthodox Christmas and held an armwrestling contest, agreeing that the loser had to cut off his ear, police reported in the southern Siberian Kemerovo region.

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Smartphone Apps Multiply, But So Do Germs

It may be your best friend, but your smartphone is also probably teeming with germs.

As innovators descended on the Consumer Electronics Show, companies offering better sanitizing were also promoting the cause of cleanliness.

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Tech Gets in Your Head, Literally, to Ease Stress

Yes, technology can get into your head, says the maker of a new brain-sensing headband that promises to reduce stress.

The Muse headband from Canadian-based Interaxon presented at the Consumer Electronics Show uses seven sensors, including five on the forehead and two behind the ears, to monitor brain activity and help people with stress-reducing exercises.

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