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Paris Seeks High Ground in Fight to Keep Rats Underground

Gazing upward to take in the majesty of the Eiffel Tower, visitors to Paris may be astonished to learn that a vicious war, pitting Man against Rat, is unfolding at their feet.

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Indian Scientists Name New Spider after Harry Potter Hat

Indian scientists have discovered a new species of spider that looks "uncannily" like the sorting hat in Harry Potter and have named it after its owner Godric Gryffindor, they said Thursday.

The ardent fans of the boy wizard came across the seven millimetre (around a quarter of an inch) spider in October last year during a survey of the lush Western Ghats mountain range in south-west India.

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Robbers Grab 70 Kilos of Gold in Dramatic French Van Heist

Thieves held up a van transporting 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of gold in a dramatic heist near the French city of Lyon on Monday, police sources said.

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Smoking Chimp from Iraq Finds Refuge in Kenya

Separated from his mother shortly after birth, Manno the chimpanzee was smuggled to Iraq and spent his days smoking cigarettes handed to him by amused zoo visitors and posing for pictures.

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Foreign Chefs on Turkish TV are Spies, Says Erdogan Adviser

A prominent adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cooked up a simmering controversy with the suggestion that foreign chefs on Turkish television shows are undercover spies.

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Paris Rat Catchers Deployed to Tackle Rodent Scourge

Paris officials have announced a crackdown on rats which blight parks and gardens around the City of Light and are thought to easily outnumber humans.

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Mammoth Battles at Nepal Elephant Polo Championship

The elephants lumber across the field on the edge of a Nepalese jungle in pursuit of a small white ball. It might be slightly slower-paced than its horseback equivalent, but there's nothing sedate these polo pachyderms.

Nepal has hosted the annual international elephant polo championships since 1982, attracting players, celebrities, adventure-seekers -- and the occasional first timer -- for a chance to take part in one of the most unusual sports around.

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German Couple in Dock for Rape-Murder of Chinese Student

A German couple went on trial Friday accused of brutally raping and killing a Chinese student in eastern Germany, in a crime that caused outrage in both countries.

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Gay Date-Rape Serial Killer Jailed for Life in UK

A serial killer who murdered four young men he met on gay networking sites in Britain was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without the possibility of release.

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Drink Soup, Don't Drive: Japan Police Tell Elderly

Japanese police are offering noodle discounts to elderly citizens who hand in their driving licences, promising them cheaper ramen soup in exchange for improved road safety. 

The edible offer comes after a series of deadly accidents caused by cars driven by the elderly -- a growing problem in a country where 4.8 million people aged 75 or older hold a licence.

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