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Nun Gives Birth in Italy, Names Baby Francis

A Salvadorean nun who said she had no idea she was pregnant gave birth in Italy this week after she felt stomach cramps in her convent and was rushed to hospital, Italian media reported on Friday.

The 31-year-old mother and her baby boy, who weighs 3.5 kilograms (nine pounds), are doing well and other new mothers in Rieti hospital have begun collecting clothes and donations for her, the reports said.

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Truck Dumps Huge Pile of Dung outside French Assembly

A truck dumped a huge pile of manure outside France's National Assembly on Thursday in a protest against the French political elite.

The driver of the truck -- which was marked with the slogan "Out with Hollande and the whole political class!" -- was apprehended by police shortly after releasing his smelly load outside the front gates of the grand Palais Bourbon that hosts the lower house Assembly.

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Radical Jewish Settlers Seek Image Makeover with Sushi

Radical Jewish settlers from a West Bank outpost with a reputation for violence have set up a sushi business in a bid to revamp their image, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The culinary venture is being run out of Esh Kodesh, a small unauthorized outpost in the northern West Bank populated by settlers who have frequently attacked local Palestinians.

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Weird and Wonderful World of British Royal Gifts Revealed

A garden gnome, a chocolate royal coach and a falconry glove were among the gifts presented to Britain's royal household last year, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Queen Elizabeth II was the lucky recipient of a gold jewelled photo frame set on a jeweled ostrich egg when Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, president of the United Arab Emirates, made a state visit last April, according to an official list released by officials at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.

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Drunk Arrested for Trying to Douse Arc de Triomphe Flame

A drunken man has been arrested for trying to douse the eternal flame at the landmark Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris, police said Wednesday.

The man parked his car on Tuesday evening near the famed monument on the Champs Elysees, the city's emblematic avenue, and rushed towards the flame with a fire extinguisher in hand.

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Report: China Farmers Build Wall of Cash with $2.2 mn Payout

Farmers in one of the poorest counties in a Chinese province built a wall of cash from more than $2 million paid out in year-end bonuses, a report said Wednesday.

The farmers, members of a co-operative in Liangshan county in the southwestern province of Sichuan, stacked bundles of 100-yuan banknotes into a wall two meters (seven feet) long and half a meter high before handing out the dividends, the semi-official China News Service reported.

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Nepal's Ex-Goddesses to Receive Monthly Allowance

Nepal's former Kumaris, girls worshiped as living goddesses in a centuries-old tradition, are to be awarded a pension to help them re-adjust to normal life, an official said Tuesday.

Ten former Kumaris will receive the monthly allowance of 10,000 Nepalese rupees ($101) from July for the next 10 years, Kathmandu Metropolitan City chief executive officer Laxman Aryal said.

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Valentine in the Vatican? Pope Invites Couples

Looking for that special place to celebrate Valentine's Day this year? Pope Francis on Tuesday set a date for engaged heterosexual couples at a special general audience with him in the Vatican on February 14.

"The Joy of Yes Forever" read a Vatican note announcing the unusual initiative, which was decorated with silhouettes of a man and a woman embracing and a white cross with pink borders against a blue sky backdrop.

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Chinese Firm to Build Replica of Titanic

A Chinese firm plans to spend $165 million building a full-scale replica of the Titanic -- the doomed luxury liner which sank more than a century ago -- as the main attraction for a theme park, reports said Tuesday.

The original and supposedly unsinkable luxury passenger liner struck an iceberg and went down in the North Atlantic in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people.

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Not-So Hell's Angel: Pope's Harley-Davidson for Sale

A Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was once given to Pope Francis by the manufacturer is to go on sale next month in Paris, a British auction house said Monday.

The 1,585cc Dyna Super Glide was given given to the pope in June to mark the 110th anniversary of the U.S. motorbike maker, London-based auctioneer Bonhams said.

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