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I.Coast's elderly leader in France for 'sciatica operation'

The Ivory Coast's 72-year-old president, Alassane Ouattara, is recovering in France after an operation to alleviate pain from a spinal nerve, his office said Sunday. "The head of state is doing well" after the surgery "to do with a sciatica," it said in a statement. It added that Ouattara would return home "after a period of rest" but did not give a date. Outtara was elected president in December 2010 after a decade of unrest in his relatively well-off west African nation, which is the world's biggest cocoa exporter.

Top NYC designer laughs off streaker, showcases Nepal

One of New York's top designers has thrust Nepal onto the map of high fashion, unveiling one of the most exciting catwalk shows of the season, inspired by his Himalayan homeland. Award-winning designer Prabal Gurung unveiled his fall/winter 2014 season in the cavernous recesses of New York's Moynihan Station on Saturday, watched by a packed house led by style queen Anna Wintour. Within minutes, a male streaker wearing a raincoat, gold crown, red socks and leopard print thong dashed across the catwalk and dropped to his knees.

Olympics: Hubertus the skiing mariachi - oldest and boldest

Mexico's Hubertus de Hohenlohe is the oldest competitor at the Sochi Olympics, but the 55-year-old will likely have the boldest outfit -- a skin-tight mariachi-inspired ski racing suit. Having made his debut at the 1994 Sarajevo Games, Hubertus will take to the Rosa Khutor slopes resplendent in a shiny black polyester suit featuring inlaid silver embroidery, red neck bow and cummer band in line with the outfit donned by traditional Mexican folk groups.

Likely killer of missing Florida coed identified 25 years later

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Twenty-five years after a University of Florida co-ed vanished and was presumed dead, detectives have identified her likely murderer as a deceased serial killer who jotted down the date of her disappearance in papers he left behind. Tiffany Sessions, 20, an economics student in her junior year, went for a walk near the Gainesville campus of Florida's flagship university on February 9, 1989, and never returned.

Saskatoon man who blew off fingers making bomb given conditional discharge

SASKATOON - A Saskatoon man whose fingers were blown off when the pipe bomb he was making in his parents' garage exploded has been given a conditional discharge. Court heard Dylan Gibson, who is 22, and three of his friends were inspired by the TV show "Mythbusters" and wanted to try making a bomb. They stuffed a copper tube with hundreds of matches and when Gibson drilled into one of the caps, it exploded. When police arrived on Oct. 11, 2013, they found Gibson had severe injuries and his friend Aaron Stonehouse was also hurt.

Azerbaijan detains another youth activist on drug charges

Azerbaijan has remanded a prominent youth activist in pre-trial custody on drug charges dismissed on Monday as trumped up by opponents of veteran President Ilham Aliyev. Omar Mammadov, 19, director of the Current youth movement, was ordered to stay in pre-trial detention for three months at a court hearing Saturday, Samir Asadli, head of umbrella opposition group Civil Solidarity told AFP. Asadli said that Mammadov, who was arrested early last week, was well known for criticising the government of the strongman leader on Facebook.

Italian composer featured on Tarantino playlist dies aged 87

Riz Ortolani, an Italian composer whose music was used by US director Quentin Tarantino in several of his films, died in Rome Thursday aged 87 after a bout of bronchitis, Italian media reported. Ortolani's tunes -- often stagey guitar pieces in the Spaghetti Western mould -- featured in Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds", "Django Unchained" and "Kill Bill". The composer started out aged 20 as an orchestral arranger for Italy's state broadcaster RAI, and made the move into cinema music in the 1960s, which saw him gain entry into the Hollywood studios.

Red Sox offer Sizemore chance to complete recovery

(Reuters) - The Boston Red Sox agreed to sign Grady Sizemore to a one-year deal on Wednesday, providing a new location for the veteran outfielder to attempt to work his way back from injury. Sizemore will sign a contract for a base salary of $750,000, but could earn up to $6 million at the World Series champions based on incentives. The 31-year-old Sizemore has not played in the Majors since 2011, missing the past two seasons because of injuries to his knee and back.

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Swedish fashion giant H&M sees huge promise in Sub-Saharan Africa for the textile industry, chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said Wednesday. "I think there is great potential for production in Sub-Saharan Africa," Persson told Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri. "We have started with small-scale production in Ethiopia and will see how it goes. It looks interesting." After placing test orders in Ethiopia last autumn, H&M plans to explore other areas in the region in the spring.

Kerry seeks to bridge US-Russia gap with potatoes

After months of tension between the United States and Russia over issues ranging from Edward Snowden's intelligence leaks to the Syrian conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry sought to bridge the diplomatic gap Monday by giving his Russian counterpart an unusual gift of potatoes. Kerry, who was in Paris with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to hammer out details of a peace conference on Syria scheduled for January 22, surprised his counterpart by opening up a box and presenting him with two large Idaho potatoes.
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