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Empress Sisi's wardrobe goes on display in Vienna

By Derek Brooks VIENNA (Reuters) - The wardrobe of the Habsburg Empress Elizabeth is on display in Vienna at an exhibition commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the museum named for her, Vienna's Sisi Museum. Empress Elisabeth - called Sisi by family and friends - was the wife of Austro-Hungarian monarch Franz Joseph I, who married her when she was just 16. She eventually revolted against the strictures of 19th century court life and took refuge in a cult of her own beauty, dieting and exercising almost obsessively.

Empress Sisi's wardrobe goes on display in Vienna

By Derek Brooks VIENNA (Reuters) - The wardrobe of the Habsburg Empress Elizabeth is on display in Vienna at an exhibition commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the museum named for her, Vienna's Sisi Museum. Empress Elisabeth - called Sisi by family and friends - was the wife of Austro-Hungarian monarch Franz Joseph I, who married her when she was just 16. She eventually revolted against the strictures of 19th century court life and took refuge in a cult of her own beauty, dieting and exercising almost obsessively.

Spain's King Juan Carlos says Poniatowska gives "voice to the disadvantaged"

Alcala de Henares, Spain, Apr 23 (EFE).- Spain's King Juan Carlos said Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska, who received the Cervantes Prize, the highest literary honor in the Spanish-speaking world, on Wednesday, has always had a commitment to humanity, especially women, giving "a voice to the disadvantaged."

Vienna's Versailles offers imperial hideaway

Schoenbrunn Palace was Marie-Antoinette's summer childhood home and the beautiful and tragic Sissi's favoured residence. Mozart performed there as a child and Napoleon was so smitten he moved in -- twice. And from April 30, tourists too can sojourn in Vienna's top tourist site, in a converted suite of rooms with views over the palace gardens, even with butler, cook and horse-drawn conveyance. "This is unique in Europe," Birgit Reitbauer from the Verkehrsbuero Austrian hotel group behind the Schoenbrunn Palace Suite told AFP during a sneak preview.

Stars turn out for Peaches Geldof funeral

Supermodel Kate Moss was among a host of celebrities who attended the funeral on Monday of Bob Geldof's daughter Peaches, at an English village church filled with memories for the tragedy-hit family. The 25-year-old television presenter's body was carried into St Mary Magdalene and St Lawrence church in Davington in Kent, southern England, in a white coffin painted with a blue sky and clouds. The church, which is next to the Geldof family estate, was the venue for the funeral of Peaches' mother Paula Yates, who died from an accidental heroin overdose in 2000, aged 41.

Tennis: Germans toast Fed Cup win with mid-air slumber party

The Germany team will celebrate reaching their first Fed Cup final since 1992 with a high-flying slumber party as they jet home following their semi-final win over Australia on Sunday. Germany sealed a 3-1 win over hosts Australia at Brisbane's Pat Rafter Arena as world number seven Angelique Kerber fought back from dropping the opening set to beat former US Open champion Samantha Stosur 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 to give Germany an unassailable 3-0 lead. They will face the Czech Republic away in November, 22 years after their last Fed Cup final appearance.

Tennis: Monte Carlo Masters results - 3rd update

Results on the fifth day of the ATP Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday (x denotes seeding): 3rd rd Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt Pablo Carreno (ESP) 6-0, 6-1 Milos Raonic (CAN x8) bt Tommy Robredo (ESP x11) 6-4, 6-3 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x9) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x10) 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP x15) walkover, injured foot Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-1, 6-3 David Ferrer (ESP x6) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x12) 6-4, 6-2 Roger Federer (SUI x4) bt Lukas Rosol (CZE) 6-4, 6-1

Billionaire Usmanov remains Russia's richest tycoon: Forbes

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alisher Usmanov is Russia's richest tycoon for the third year in a row, with wealth of $18.6 billion, after selling his stake in the social media website Facebook, according to the latest report by the U.S. magazine Forbes. Usmanov is a co-owner of Russia's largest iron ore miner, Metalloinvest, and the country's number-two mobile operator, MegaFon. He also owns stakes in the Russian internet group Mail.Ru and the British Premier League football club Arsenal.

Valls under fire over France cuts programme, benefits freeze

France's new Prime Minister Manuel Valls came under fire Wednesday after unveiling a freeze in state benefits as part of a plan to cut state spending by 50 billion euros ($70 billion). The Socialist government has pledged to make the savings between 2015-17 to finance a package of payroll and income tax cuts designed to bolster demand, make companies more competitive and attract investment. Known as the Responsibility Pact, the plan is the centrepiece of President Francois Hollande strategy for reviving a flagging economy and cutting unemployment.

France freezes benefits in controversial cuts drive

France's new Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday unveiled a politically risky freeze in state benefits as part of a plan to cut government spending by 50 billion euros ($70 billion). The Socialist government has pledged to make the savings over the course of three years (2015-17) in order to fund a programme of tax cuts for individuals and companies aimed at reviving a flagging economy and reducing unemployment from record levels.
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