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Taiwan's Teen Bone Collector Carries on Family Craft

Like many Taiwanese teenage girls, Lee You-fang likes to sing pop songs and play with her pet dog, but she has an unusual job: working with the bones of the dead.

For five years, 19-year-old Lee has honed her craft as a "bone collector," assisting her father in an ancient funerary rite that involves collecting, cleaning and arranging human skeletons for reburial.

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Russia's 'Flying Donkey' Dies of Heart Attack

A donkey that last summer shot to international fame after being forced to parasail above the beaches of southern Russia has died of a heart attack, her minders said on Saturday.

A veterinarian said the heart attack was likely the result of stress brought on by the experience, which sparked an international outcry from human-rights activists and a campaign by a British tabloid to rescue the beast.

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Nature Can Be Controlled: Malawi to Debate Public Farting Ban

Malawian lawmakers will next week debate a law change to criminalize public farting, which a cabinet minister said had been encouraged by democracy.

"The government has a right to ensure public decency. We are entitled to introduce order in the country," justice and constitutional affairs minister George Chaponda told independent radio station Capital Radio.

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Terrorists' Kidnap McDonald Statue

A group calling itself the Food Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for "kidnapping" a statue of the McDonald's food chain mascot Ronald McDonald and has threatened to "execute" the figure if their demands are not met.

The group posted a video on YouTube where balaclava-clad "terrorists", holding the clown statue with a bag over its head, demanded that the world's largest food chain answer questions about its corporate responsibility and food production.

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700,000 Ultrathin Condoms Disappear in Transit

More than 700,000 condoms have been stolen in transit between Malaysia and Japan, a major Japanese rubber manufacturer said Thursday.

About 726,000 polyurethane condoms were loaded into a container at a factory in Malaysia, said Sagami Rubber Industries, founded in 1934 as the first condom maker in Japan.

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Spanish Police Break up 'Voodoo' Prostitution Ring

Spain's police said Thursday they had broken up an international ring that forced women from Africa into street prostitution with constant beatings and voodoo rituals.

Police arrested 17 suspects in cities across Spain, taking the gang apart after one of the prostitutes gave evidence as a protected witness of her ordeal at the hands of the gang.

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Groundhog Defies Epic Snowstorm; Predicts Early Spring

Defying an epic snowstorm that has crippled an enormous swath of the United States, America's iconic groundhog Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow Wednesday and predicted that spring is right around the corner.

The weather-forecasting rodent failed to see his shadow upon emerging from his hibernation, which according to U.S. legend, augurs an early arrival of mild springtime weather.

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Frenchman Sues Glaxo For Drug that Made Him 'Gay Sex Addict'

A French father-of-two on Tuesday took GlaxoSmithKline to court, alleging that the British firm's drug to treat Parkinson's disease turned him into a gay sex and gambling addict.

The 51-year-old said his behavior changed radically after he was first administered the drug, Requip, in 2003 for the illness, which causes tremors, slows movement and disrupts speech.

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Britain Bans YSL Perfume Ad

British regulators on Wednesday banned a television advert for the Yves St Laurent perfume "Belle D'Opium", upholding complaints that the dancing female star looked as if she was taking drugs.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the ad, which shows "Belle" dancing seductively to a drum beat, then running her finger down her inner forearm and writhing on the floor, was "irresponsible and unacceptable for broadcast".

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Climber Survives 300 Meter Mountain Fall

A climber who fell around 1,000 feet (300 meters) from the summit of a Scottish mountain is lucky to be alive, his rescuers said Sunday.

The helicopter crew sent to search for the man were astonished to find him standing up and reading a map.

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