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German Grannies Take up New Calling as 'Mary Poppins'

In Germany the idea of a teenager spending a few months abroad looking after someone else's children while she studies or travels has given rise to a new concept -- the granny "au pair".

Newspapers now explicitly solicit applications from older women rather than students with ads such as: "Family living in Australia with two children aged 4 and 2 seeks German replacement granny for three to six months".

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Fabregas Suffering Over Barcelona Transfer

Cesc Fabregas is "suffering" from the drawn-out transfer saga that has kept the Arsenal playmaker from joining Barcelona, according to Xavi Hernandez.

Xavi left little doubt over his Spain teammate's desire to move to the Catalan capital following a recent conversation.

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German 14-Year-Old Takes Off in Dad's Ferrari

A 14-year-old German boy sparked a major police operation after taking his father's new Ferrari for a spin lasting several hours, authorities said Wednesday.

The teenager's parents bought the 200,000-euro ($280,000) sports car in Berlin and were on Tuesday returning to their home in Spain when police stopped them on a motorway near the German capital and detained them for questioning.

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Spanish Surgeons Perform First Double Leg Transplant

Spanish surgeons on Monday carried out the world's first-ever double leg transplant, authorities in the eastern city of Valencia said.

The operation lasted all night and was completed on Monday morning in the city's La Fe hospital, the regional health authority said in a statement.

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Hemingway Leaves Indelible Mark on Pamplona

Room 217 in the Gran Hotel La Perla, swankiest hotel in northern Spain's bull-running city Pamplona, has barely changed since Ernest Hemingway last slept here.

There are a few alterations the American writer might have abhorred -- a plasma television, air conditioning, and a price of up to 1,800 euros ($2,500) a night during the San Fermin festival, which runs to July 14.

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Back to Square One on Eurozone Debt Crisis

After a glimmer of hope in the Greek debt crisis, is it back to the drawing board for Eurozone leaders as they struggle to protect the single currency and its 17-nation economy?

"That's for sure ... that's why the ECB has probably always had the position that having talks about private sector involvement was not a particularly brilliant idea," UniCredit chief Eurozone economist Maro Valli told Agence France Presse.

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Spain Seize 2-0 Lead Over USA in Davis Cup

World No. 6 David Ferrer defeated 10th-ranked hometown hero Andy Roddick to give Spain a 2-0 lead on Friday after the opening day of their Davis Cup quarter-final tie.

The Spaniards, seeking their third trophy in four years, moved to the brink of victory in the best-of-five matchup when Ferrer downed Roddick 7-6 (11/9), 7-5, 6-3.

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Pamplona Bull Gores 'Reckless' Australian

A half-ton fighting bull skewered a "reckless" Australian thrill-seeker in the leg inflicting a grave injury Friday in Spain's San Fermin fiesta, organizers said.

The bull turned on the tourist after he taunted the beast, goring his right thigh and tossing him across the sand of the bull ring in the final stage of a daily bull-run in Pamplona, northern Spain.

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Merkel Defends Reported Multi-billion-euro Saudi Tank Deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday defended her government's silence on a reported secret deal to sell hundreds of tanks to Saudi Arabia, and said she was committed to democracy in the region.

"Deliberation and decisions by the federal security council are secret for good reason," she told the daily Mittelbayerische Zeitung, referring to the panel including the chancellor and top ministers that rules on arms exports.

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Priceless Medieval Spanish Pilgrim Guide Gone

A priceless 12th century guide to Spain's Way of Saint James pilgrimage, the Codex Calixtinus, has disappeared from the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, police said Thursday.

One of the Western world's first 'guidebooks', it is only shown to the public on special occasions such as Pope Benedict XVI's visit last November to the northeastern Spanish city.

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