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Saudi Princess Tries to Avoid Paying Luxury Hotel Bill

A Saudi princess was caught trying to leave the Shangri-La hotel in Paris without settling a six million euro ($7.4 million) bill for her rooms, police said Saturday, confirming a report in the daily Le Parisien.

Maha al-Sudani, the former wife of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Nayef ben Abdel Aziz, tried to walk out on 3:30 am Thursday without paying for her suite and those of her 60-strong entourage, prompting staff to call in police, Le Parisien reported.

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Celebrations for Queen's Diamond Jubilee Kick Off in Britain

Britain was Saturday set to begin four days of festivities for Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee, with organizers hoping a surge in enthusiasm for the royals would inspire crowds to defy drizzling rain.

Gun salutes around the country were due to kick off celebrations at 1200 GMT, marking the exact anniversary of the queen's coronation, while the sovereign herself was to indulge her love of horse racing at the Epsom Derby.

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Ukraine Tries Stray Dogs Sterilization Scheme

In a clinic in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, two vets lean over a sleeping puppy and deftly remove its ovaries and uterus.

After a storm sparked by the Euro 2012 co-host's alleged cull of the stray dogs that plague the country's streets, animal rights campaigners have stepped in to try to control the errant canines by sterilizing them.

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Police: Italian Dentist's Tax Returns Filled With Cavities

The tax returns of an elite Italian dentist were less than pearly white and he may have pulled in eight million euros of undeclared income in five years, police said Friday.

Italian police Colonel Gavino Putzu said the unnamed dentist worked in an upscale part of Rome crammed with plastic surgeons and high-end doctors who typically earn at least three million euros ($3.75 million) a year.

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Famous Big Ben Clock to be Renamed Elizabeth Tower

Britain's famed parliament clock tower Big Ben is set to be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honor of the queen's diamond jubilee, a report said Friday.

Prime Minister David Cameron is among 331 lawmakers who have signed up to a campaign to bestow the tribute to Queen Elizabeth to mark her 60th year on the throne, the Daily Mail reported.

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'Say Sorry!' Vienna Campaign Urges Residents

Repeatedly voted the world's best city to live in, Vienna is now trying to tackle the attitude of its residents amid growing grumbling over cyclists, pedestrians and other traffic problems.

With a new campaign launched Thursday and entitled "Tschuldigen ist nie verkehrt" ("Sorry is never amiss"), city authorities are hoping to encourage people to defuse situations and avoid clashes on the street before they escalate.

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Report: Richest Will Get Richer in Coming Years

The world's richest people got even wealthier last year despite the global economic crisis, thanks to the growth of emerging economies in Asia and Eastern Europe, according to a new report Thursday.

And the elite "ultra-high-net-worth" (UNHW) club is set to get richer still over next five years, the report predicted.

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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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