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'Day of Honey': Memoir of Comfort, Food in Mideast

By her own admission, Annia Ciezadlo is "always, always hungry."

A journalist who spent years covering the Middle East, she once scuttled along the floor to stir a pot of pasta as bullets whizzed by her window in Beirut. She braved the streets of Baghdad for a taste of masquf, roasted fish she describes as "a giant, edible fishy halo."

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80 Filipinas Rescued from Traffickers who were Planning to Send Some to Lebanon

Philippine police have rescued 80 Filipino women from a suspected human trafficking syndicate that was planning to send them to be maids in Malaysia and the Middle East, including Lebanon.

Police Superintendent Celso Bael said they stopped the women, who pretended to be tourists, from boarding a chartered flight from the southern city of Zamboanga to Malaysia on Thursday.

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Ambiguity Over Kidnapping of 7 Estonians Amid Fears of Resumption of Civil War Abductions

The kidnapping of seven Estonians brought back fears about the resumption of abductions that were common during the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war amid reports that the men could have been snatched to be used as a bargaining chip for a Palestinian recently arrested in Ukraine.

The Estonian tourists cycling in the eastern Bekaa Valley were kidnapped on Wednesday by armed men.

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Film Legend Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79

Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed film goddess whose sultry screen life was often upstaged by her stormy personal life, died Wednesday at age 79.

She died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks, publicist Sally Morrison said.

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Newly rich S. African Targeted as Witches

Newly rich South Africans are increasingly accused of witchcraft and attacked by their neighbors, police in the northern province of Limpopo said Wednesday.

"Now you are a witch because you are driving a four-by-four. This is the mentality that people have," police spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi, told the Sapa news agency.

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Albania Seizes 200 Kilos of Colombian Cocaine

The Albanian authorities have seized 200 kilos of Colombian cocaine with an estimated value of over 15 million euros ($21 million) hidden in vats of palm oil, they said Wednesday in a statement.

At least five people, including two Macedonian nationals, were arrested in connection with the find, the police said.

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Indian Policeman Shoots Self to Win Bravery Award

A policeman in India was recovering in hospital on Wednesday after he shot himself in a misguided attempt to win a bravery award, media reports said.

Mahesh Rajguru claimed that six unidentified men opened fire when he was on personal protection duty at a house of a former politician in Jaipur, the capital of the eastern state of Rajasthan.

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Dutch Mom Gives Birth at 63

A 63-year-old Dutch woman gave birth to a daughter on Monday, becoming the oldest-ever new mother in the Netherlands, the hospital and news reports said.

"Baby Meagan was born at the Medical Centre Leeuwarden at 9:48 am (0848 GMT) on March 21," said a statement on the website of the hospital in the northern Dutch province of Friesland.

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Merkel's Helicopter' Almost Crashed

A helicopter used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel came close to crashing last week when both engines failed just after she had disembarked, a government spokesman said Sunday.

The Super Puma 332, which reportedly only entered service in December, suffered double engine failure at an altitude of 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) on Wednesday in southern Germany, the spokesman said.

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Italy Beats World Record With 600-Meter Sausage

Italy Sunday snatched from Romania the record for the production of the world's longest sausage when a team of pork butchers crafted a delicacy more than half a kilometer long, the ANSA news agency reported.

Alberto Della Pelle from Penne, a small town in central Italy, helped by nine colleagues, created a sausage 597.8 meters (1,961 feet) long in the main street.

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