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Scientists Name Puerto Rico Water Mite after JLo

Pop singer Jennifer Lopez may be thinking life is funny after a group of scientists named a water mite in her honor after discovering a new species near Puerto Rico.

The music of the Bronx, New York-born entertainer who has Puerto Rican roots was a hit with the group while they wrote about their findings, biologist Vladimir Pesic said in an email Wednesday.

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Man Starts Fire Using 'Blowtorch' to Kill Spider

A man who used a can of spray paint and a lighter as a makeshift blowtorch to kill a spider in his laundry room started a blaze that caused $60,000 worth of damage, Seattle fire officials said Wednesday.

The man and his mother got out of the house, and no injuries were reported in the fire that broke out in the West Seattle home Tuesday night, said Kyle Moore, a spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department.

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Now Leaving the Station in China: Luziyao Pickled Fish Express

China has started selling naming rights for its bullet trains to commercial sponsors, state media reported Wednesday, as it increasingly commercializes its state-controlled railway sector.

Passengers on a train in southern China recently found it had been named for "China Unicom", one of the country's three telecom service providers, the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post said.

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Hello Kitty Designer Defends Cute Character as Cat Turns 40

The flamboyant designer of Japanese cartoon and global mega-brand Hello Kitty defended the cute cat against new rivals Thursday as the character prepares to celebrate her 40th birthday.  

Speaking on the sidelines of the Hong Kong Book Fair, Yuko Yamaguchi took the concept of life imitating art to another level, wearing a Kitty-style strawberry dress with dyed auburn hair piled into two buns topped with a red ribbon -- the cat's signature accessory. 

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Scrawny Wrestler Lasts Under a Second on Painful Debut

A local councilor in Tokyo has quit after writing "Drop dead!" during an angry exchange on Twitter, in another gaffe by local Japanese politicians in recent weeks.

Hiromi Kaneko, 51, a communist member of the assembly in one of Tokyo's 23 districts, told Japanese media Wednesday he stepped down at the behest of colleagues and supporters because the expression was "not appropriate" to be used by anyone,let alone a legislator.

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Sumo: Scrawny Wrestler Lasts Under a Second on Painful Debut

A scrawny Japanese sumo wrestler who was launched from the ring in less than a second during a bruising debut tweeted photos of his battle scars Wednesday and promised to do better.

Seventeen-year-old Masato Tai, whose sumo name is 'Sodachizakari', tips the scales at just 65 kilos (143 pounds) and his plans to bulk up could be complicated by a problem which does not normally afflict his mountainous rivals -- a small appetite.

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British PM Reshuffles his Cabinet on Twitter

Getting the latest news on a British government reshuffle once meant waiting outside the prime minister's Downing Street office for ministers to emerge, and judging their fate by the look on their faces.

But in the age of social media, David Cameron unveiled a major shake-up of his cabinet on Tuesday through his two official Twitter accounts, which between them boast 3.4 million followers.

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'Take Your Clothes Off, Be Like Me!' Says Wise-Cracking Robot

A wise-cracking humanoid robot called Pepper whose makers claim can read people's emotions was unveiled in Tokyo last month.

Mobile carrier Softbank, which created the robot, says Pepper can understand 70 to 80 percent of spontaneous conversations -- although it also answers from a set number of pre-programmed responses.

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Man Claims Kingdom so Daughter Can be Princess

A Virginia man says he has claimed a kingdom in Africa so his daughter can be a princess.

Jeremiah Heaton told the Bristol Herald Courier ( that he recently trekked to a small, mountainous region between Egypt and Sudan called Bir Tawil. No country claims the land.

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U.S. Study: Your Friends May be Your Fourth Cousins

People tend to choose friends that are genetically similar to themselves, so much so that a person's social circle could be made up of their fourth cousins, scientists said Monday.

The research is based on the Framingham Heart Study in the northeastern US state of Massachusetts, which contains both extensive genetic detail -- 1.5 million markers -- and information about friends and connections.

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