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Thursday, September 27, 2007

EU gets reform shake, up

The European Union is going to get a dose of reform and restructuring after its leaders finally managed to push through reforms after more than two years of political deadlock. The agreement clinched in Lisbon overnight Thursday will arm the 27-nation bloc with a president and foreign affairs supremo, as well as a host of structural changes. Diplomats heralded the treaty as an end to the crisis that has gripped the EU since French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed constitution in mid-2005. A review of the approved reforms.

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More than 130 dead from bomb targeting Bhutto

At least 133 people have been killed in an attack on former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto's homecoming procession, according to an official toll on Friday. Bhutto, who had returned from eight years of self-imposed exile, was uninjured by the suicide bombing, which tore through the streets of Karachi thronged with hundreds of thousands of her supporters. It was the worst suicide attack in Pakistan's history, casting an immediate shadow over hopes that her return might bring an end to months of political turmoil. Images of the aftermath of the attack.

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Pakistan's Bhutto makes emotional journey home

Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's former prime minister, ended eight years of self-imposed exile on Thursday, making a tearful homecoming journey to be greeted by hundreds of thousands of supporters. Bhutto arrived in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city and her power base, from where she plans to stage a comeback bid in elections against President Pervez Musharraf. Images of Benazir's homecoming, courtesy of Geo TV.

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UN urges food aid for Myanmar

The United Nations has warned the policies of Myanmar's military regime are worsening widespread malnutrition, but its World Food Programme says it lacks the means to stave off the crisis. An AFPTV report from Bangkok.

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Billionaire's modern art collection gives special show

French billionaire and art collector Fran�ois Pinault has established one of the most talked-about collections of contemporary art at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice. "Passage of Time", a selection of the works at the Fran�ois Pinault Foundation, goes on display from Friday in Lille. A sneak preview of the show.

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Polish twins bank on economy for reelection

Days ahead of Poland's parliamentary vote, AFPTV looks at the economic record of the ruling conservative government. While the economy has made gains, with seven-percent annual growth and a steadily declining unemployment rate, experts say this is not thanks to the government but largely due to the country's membership in the European Union.

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France struggles with transport chaos

French commuters struggled to work Thursday as public sector workers put President Nicolas Sarkozy's reform agenda to the test with a 24-hour strike in defence of historic pensions privileges. With nearly three-quarters of railway staff joining the action, nationwide rail traffic was at a near standstill, and Paris metro and bus networks staffed with only a skeleton service.

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Sarkozy couple make split

France's first couple, President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Cecilia, have divorced. A brief statement announced the separation, following intense rumours in the press. The Sarkozys had a famously up-and-down marriage, and split for several months in 2005. Cecilia Sarkozy, a 49 year-old former model, has been seen only once at the president's side since July. A voiced report

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Turkey authorizes strikes inside Iraq against Kurds

The Turkish parliament's vote on Wednesday authorizing military strikes against Kurdish separatists inside Iraq has raised questions of how its neighbor, and the entire Middle East, will react. Its US ally and Iraqi leaders have cautioned against the move, warning it could destabilize the region. The parliamentary motion leaves it up to the government to determine the timing and scope of an attack. Some analysts suggest it is more a diplomatic tool than a military one, aimed at pressing for more Iraqi cooperation instead of an immediate cross-border strike.

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Politics is old school for Chinese youth

China's Communist Party Congress is being held this week in Beijing, a meeting to decide new leaders and the future direction of the country for the next five years. Once the Congress drew great interest from students, but now few young people follow it. Focused on work and their personal lives, they don't bother with politics, which they feel they have little influence over anyway.

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Texas woman raising son born after father's death in Iraq

REPEATING AFP STORY TRANSMITTED IN OCTOBER 2007.Kathleen Smith's husband, Lieutenant Brian Smith, died in Iraq in July 2004. Two years after her husband's death, Kathleen Smith gave birth to his son, using sperm Brian Smith had deposited in a sperm bank when the couple were attempting in vitro fertilization. Benton Smith is now a happy 15-month-old. Filmed in October 2007 in Austin, Texas.

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Wroclaw, Poland's 'Silicon Valley'

In the electoral battle being waged in Poland, the conservative ruling parties have written off Wroclaw as a lost cause -- a young, dynamic city turned toward Europe, and led by a progressive mayor. The city has big plans for expansion, and it is keeping its eye on the West.

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Working on the railway

A half-million workers -- and the unions who support them -- stand between Nicolas Sarkozy and his first major labor reform. They include Jean-Marc Paris, a signals operator for the SNCF state rail service who is preparing to drop tools during the general strike on Thursday. He and his colleagues are caught in the crosshairs of the conservative French government as it aims to eliminate a privileged, but dearly defended, pensions regime. AFPTV took a ride on the rails with him.

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France braces for transport chaos on 'Black Thursday'

France is bracing for a major transport strike on Thursday that will test President Nicolas Sarkozy's resolve to push through pension reform and confront unions. Train services, the Paris metro and power utilities EDF and GDF will all be hit by the one-day strike, called to protest plans to scrap pension privileges which allow some workers to retire as early as 50. A news report recapping the standoff, the biggest challenge thus far to Sarkozy's presidency.

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Mothers and children risk all in a Burkina quarry

The Pinga granite quarry is officially closed, abandoned by the authorities three decades ago. But it is the lifeblood of elderly women and children as young as eight who eke out a living from what remains within. They work in hazardous conditions, with no guarantee of pay or security, a desperate workforce invisible in the heart of Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Politics is old school for Chinese youth

China's Communist Party Congress is being held this week in Beijing, a meeting to decide new leaders and the future direction of the country for the next five years. Once the Congress drew great interest from students, but now few young people follow it. Focused on work and their personal lives, they don't bother with politics, which they feel they have little influence over anyway.

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Farming village backs Kaczynski twins

Poles will vote Sunday in a general election seen as a referendum on the right-wing Kaczynski twins who hold the posts of president and prime minister. Although they are controversial figures, they have a bedrock of support in some parts, especially the conservative east of the country. During their two years in power they have presented themselves as the defenders of those ordinary people who feel they've been left behind in the transition from communism to a market economy and EU membership.

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Child malnutrition in India

Despite sustained economic growth of around nine percent a year, child malnutrition levels in India are among the worst in the world. A recently released government report estimates that almost half of all Indian children under three are clinically underweight. The results have shocked a country that otherwise prides itself on its impressive economy and cosmopolitan cities.

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Sarkozy divorce- Who cares, French say

Media across Europe are abuzz with rumours that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to separate from his wife Cecilia, but ordinary French people, who have always respected their leaders' right to keep their private lives private, just give a Gallic shrug. Voiced report.

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Lebanese wine wins friends abroad

The Bekaa valley in Lebanon is one of the world's oldest wine-growing regions with a history going back some 50 centuries and with some world-famous producers. But making wine in Lebanon is a risky business, prey to civil war, the conflict with Israel and political turmoil. Still, for the winemakers it is a labour of love.

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Courbet retrospective in Paris

A major retrospective of the works of 19th-century painter Gustave Courbet has opened at the Grand Palais in Paris. A visit to the museum, which has put 200 works on display, including Courbet's famous nudes and the provocative Origin of the World. Voiced report.

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Cops vs drug dealers- Brazilian film depicts violent struggle

Violent clashes between police units and drug dealers in Rio de Janeiro have left hundreds dead since the beginning of the year. Now a new film on the topic, "Elite Squad", is arousing controversy - and beating box office records. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Finding a home in Hungary

Homeless families from Hungarian cities are being moved to the countryside as part of an innovative pilot program to help depopulated villages. The aim is to give homeless families a chance to make a fresh start and villages like Erk a chance to survive.

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Burkina's revolutionary remembered

Burkina Faso was divided on Monday as it marked two paradoxical events: some paid homage to a fallen hero and ex-leader Thomas Sankara while others celebrated the re-birth of democracy under his successor. Thomas Sankara, known as the African Che or the father of the revolution, was killed on October 15, 1987 in the coup that brought to power his former brother in arms and incumbent president Blaise Compaor�. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Airbus delivers first A380 superjumbo

Airbus on Monday delivered the first of its A380s, the world's biggest passenger jet, to Singapore Airlines, 18 months behind schedule but with both sides hailing the major advance in air travel. The 73-metre-long (239-feet) superjumbo, which can carry 850 passengers, was handed over in a ceremony at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse in southern France.

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Homeless chess champ rules 'Chess U.' square

Tom Murphy is one of the best African-American chess players in the country. He has won major tournaments and is just a few points away from earning "master" status. Today, the 49-year-old lives in a downtown Washington park where he teaches chess and hustles games from strangers.

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Behind closed doors, China to set political course

China's Party Congress opens on Monday, an event that takes place every five years and sets the nation's political agenda. The meeting could unveil the successor to take over from Hu Jintao in 2012, but is likely to see the president tighten his grip on power. But the dealings going on behind closed doors means little for most ordinary Chinese, who feel they have little say in politics anyway.

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France's enigmatic First Lady

French media has cited judicial sources that France's first couple, President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife C�cilia, have initiated divorce proceedings. Rumours of a separation had been rampant as the couple had hardly been seen together, both during this year's presidential election campaign and after Sarkozy took over the presidency. While Sarkozy is never far from the limelight, C�cilia is much more discreet and lets little slip about herself. An AFPTV report takes France's enigmatic First Lady.

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French president splits from wife

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife C�cilia have agreed to separate "by mutual consent" after an often tempestuous 11-year marriage. Confirmation of the separation have been rife for weeks but were confirmed by a brief statement from Sarkozy's office. The French president was at an EU summit in Lisbon but the whereabouts of his wife was unknown. A look at France's first couple.

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IPCC chairman hails Nobel Peace Prize

Al Gore, the former US vice president, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have jointly been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their contribution to raising awareness of the dangers of global warming. Gore won an Oscar for his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth", which has transformed the former presidential candidate into a champion for environmental activism. The IPCC, a UN body comprised of about 3,000 atmospheric scientists, oceanographers, ice specialists, economists and other experts, is the world's top scientific authority on global warming and its impact. Interview with IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri in New Delhi. Images and soundbites

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English residents in France torn by rugby clash

English citizens have been setting up home in France for years, making the most of good living and relatively cheaper housing. In the village of Eymet in the Dordogne region, one in three residents now comes from the other side of the Channel. Saturday's rugby World Cup semi-final between France and England is testing their loyalties. A report takes a look at who these newcomers will support -- their home nation or their adopted country.

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England stream into French capital

England fans are flooding the French capital ahead of the rugby World Cup semi-final showdown between France and England on Saturday. AFPTV goes out to meet a few of them to see what they thing the match will bring. Images and soundbites.

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England preps for semi, final showdown

England will face-off against host team France on Saturday in the first semi-final of the rugby World Cup. The two rivals will fight for a place in the final at the Stade de France. Extracts from a press conference by England coach Brian Ashton and captain Phil Vickery, and images from their training session.

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Airbus superjumbo A380 to take to skies... at last

After a long series of problems, delays and cancellations, the European aeronautics manufacturer is now ready to deliver its first A380, the biggest commercial passenger aircraft in the world. The superjumbo jet will roll off the assembly line and handed over to Singapore Airlines. A voiced report takes a look at the long and difficult journey the aeroplane has travelled to get to this point. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Powering up with the sun

Twenty universities from Canada, Germany, Spain and the United States are competing here in the 2007 Solar Decathlon to design and build the most livable, energy-efficient solar-powered house. An AFPTV voiced report.

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French Fashion cycle turns to re, cycled style

Coming hard on the heels of the Paris ready-to-wear collections, the Ethical Fashion Show opened on Thursday evening. The event brings together fashion designers who care as much about the social and environmental aspects of their craft as about the clothes themselves.Images of the catwalk show, and a soundbite from the organiser.

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French students off to join the circus

There are more than 150 schools in France that train youngsters for a life in the circus but only one which prepares its students not only for the life under the big tent -- but also a high-school diploma and higher education beyond.

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Turks turn to health, giving leeches

In Europe, as in the United States, the use of leeches for medical purposes is becoming more popular. The treatment is especially effective in cases of arthrosis of the knee and varicose veins. There's nothing new about the procedure which was used in olden days. These days most leeches come from Turkey. In Istanbul they are freely on sale in animal markets.

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India's ragpickers demand respect

Impoverished, harassed and unpaid by the state, garbage collectors in India's crowded capital Delhi, say they are fed up with their miserable circumstances. Up to 300,000 so-called "ragpickers" help to keep the city clean by collecting household waste. But after centuries of silently surviving on voluntary payments, they are demanding recognition from the government.

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Immigration debate rages on in France

Even as France inaugurated a museum devoted to showcasing immigration in France this week, the political row over deportations of illegal immigrants and DNA testing for would-be residents has continued to rumble on. Recent legislation approving DNA testing for foreigners wishing to join their family in France has even led to open disagreement within the right-wing government of President Nicolas Sarkozy -- and hints of resignation. A news report takes up recent immigration-related developments.

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Iraqi refugees seek safety in own country

Advocates for Iraq's refugees and internally-displaced populations have warned that international aid is inefficient and ill-funded: too little, too late for the more than four million people forced from their homes. Things are expected to get worse now that neighbouring Syria has put new restrictions on refugees. An AFPTV voiced report on Iraq's internal refugees.

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Turks rage at US 'genocide' vote

Turkey has condemned a vote in a US House of Representatives committee branding the World War I massacre of Armenians as genocide. The non-binding measure refers to the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire; and calls it a "genocide" -- which Turkey has always denied. Ankara had urged Washington not to take their bill to a full House vote. In Istanbul on Thursday, incensed Turks took to the streets to protest against the US measure. Images and soundbites.

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PKK Kurds train for battle

Turkey on Tuesday threatened a military incursion in northern Iraq as part of stepped up measures against Kurdish rebel bases there following the deaths of 15 soldiers in weekend attacks. Ankara says the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, enjoys free movement in northern Iraq and obtains weapons and explosives there for cross-border attacks. It has also accused Iraqi Kurds of tolerating and even supporting the rebels. This AFPTV report comes from a camp in northern Iraq where fighters of the HPB, the armed wing of the PKK, train.

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England keeps line, up for face, off against France

England has kept its rugby team unchanged for the World Cup semi-final against France on Saturday. Coach Brian Ashton said his 22 players were ready to take on the host country's team, despite having lost to them twice in warm-up matches ahead of the championships.

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Wife, carrying championships , , rewards in beer

His wife's weight in beer -- and a trophy, too. That's what Keith Cardoza took home as part of the winning team in the North American Wife-Carrying Championships. Forty contestants waded through a muddy river, bounded over obstacles and ran the 275-yard course with their wives slung over their shoulders during the weekend competition held in Maine. Cardoza and his wife, Julia Stoner, of Boston, Massachusetts earned a trophy, the equivalent of five times Julia's weight in cash (675 dollars) and her weight in beer. The winners will also represent the United States at the wife-carrying world championships to take place in Finland in July.

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France keeps winning rugby line, up to face off against England

France coach Bernard Laporte has kept faith with the team that scored an upset win over New Zealand in the quarter-final to play England in the World Cup last-four showdown at the Stade de France on Saturday. Laporte made no changes from the 22-strong squad that rebounded to shock the All Blacks 20-18 and keep on track their bid for a first-ever World Cup title. He described the strategy at a press conference in Paris on Wednesday.

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French Fashion cycle turns to re, cycled style

Coming hard on the heels of the Paris ready-to-wear collections, the Ethical Fashion Show opens on Thursday, bringing together fashion designers who care as much about the social and environmental aspects of their craft as about the clothes themselves. These designers are out to prove that cutting-edge fashion with a conscience is here to stay. A voiced report looks ahead at the show.

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Dead week in Cambodia

It's Cambodia's festival of the dead this week, when people go to temples to pray and make offerings to their ancestors. It's also usually a boom time for hundreds of fortune-tellers who are instead now struggling to keep a thousands-of-years-old tradition alive.

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Beirut prices boom despite fighting

In Lebanon, racked by a political crisis since the murder of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, political bombings and the war of summer 2006, against all the odds the property market is booming. Building sites are everywhere in the capital Beirut. A number of factors explain the phenomenon. A voiced report.

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France introduces new hybrid train

France's state rail company the SNCF has put into service a new regional train called the "Bibi hybrid" built by the Canadian firm Bombardier. It's a world first and designed to run both on conventional track and on electrified sections as well as rails receiving different electrical currents. Tuesday a train left Paris for the eastern city of Troyes. For the first part it was due to run on electrified track before later switching to diesel power. Images and soundbites.

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Designer breathes new life into Ethiopian cloth tradition

Ethiopia's finely-woven cotton cloth is the country's national dress and a testimony to its rich cultural heritage. The country's weaving tradition was once held in high regard, but today craftsmen are often underprivileged and exploited. Two years ago, an Ethiopian designer started a handicraft production company that aims to change that by supplying quality items to high-end markets in a socially and environmentally responsible way. An AFPTV report.

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Rare eight, million, year, old trees uncovered in Hungary

Archaeologists have unearthed the rare remains of an eight-million-year old forest of swamp cypresses at a mine in Hungary. The tree trunks have not fossilized or petrified and, amazingly, retain the wooden texture from their pre-historic past. The trees went on display this month at a Hungarian national park.

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Palestinian refugees return to camps

Palestinians who fled the recent fighting at the refugee camp at Nahr al-Bared in Lebanon have begun to return: but not everyone is glad to see them. Some local inhabitants do not want the camp rebuilt and would like to see the back of the 400,000 Palestinian refugees in their country. They fear militant Islamists could create more trouble. The people from the camps, by contrast, cannot wait to return. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Turkish contemporary art takes off

Istanbul's 10th Biennial exhibition of contemporary art opened its doors in mid-September, attracting thousands of connaisseurs and the plain curious. The contemporary art scene in Turkey has made giant strides in recent years, with the opening of galleries in major cities, many of which are doing very well. An AFPTV report.

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Diana inquest traces princess's fatal path

Jurors and judges involved in the inquest into the death of princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed visit the crash site where the lovers died on August 31, 1997.

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An Indian summer at Hermes

Hermes presented a spring-summer 2008 collection inspired by the princes and maharadjahs of India. Designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier, the models sashayed in supple clothes made from silk and draped like saris. Images.

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It'll be a silky summer with Galliano

Next summer will be silky and suggestive if John Galliano has anything to do with it. For his spring-summer 2008 collection, Galliano showed long floaty dresses or short skirts embroidered with silver. Images from the catwalk show in Paris.

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Quake brings health improvements to Pakistan

The earthquake that devastated part of Pakistan on October 8 2005 left one positive legacy: the improvement of health services in the remote and mountainous areas worst hit. The disaster focused the attention of humanitarian organisations on problems whose existence they had not suspected, including child malnutrition. An AFPTV report.

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The Che's disputed legacy

Forty years after the death of Ernest "Che" Guevara the revolutionary remains on of the most powerful symbols of left-wing revolt and of communist Cuba: and a figure of controversy. A report on the contested legacy of Che from Paris and Havana.

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Diana inquest jurors visit Paris crash site

Jurors in the British coroner's inquest into the death of Princess Diana retraced her final journey Monday, concluding with a visit on foot to the scene of her fatal crash in a central Paris underpass. Images of the trip, starting off at the Ritz hotel and ending at the Pont de l'Alma underpass.

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Priceless Monet painting damaged in Paris

A priceless Monet painting was severely damaged in Paris over the weekend after vandals broke into the Musee d'Orsay museum on the Left Bank. The drunken intruders ripped a 10-centimetre hole through the "Le pont d'Argenteuil" (The bridge at Argenteuil) in the early hours of Sunday. Images and soundbite.

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French supporters celebrate after France's victory

France and defending champions England will clash in the World Cup semi-finals after pulling off shock, epic wins over favourites New Zealand and Australia on Saturday. France defeated the All Blacks 20-18 in Cardiff while England's forwards, as well as the trusty boot of Jonny Wilkinson, over-powered the Wallabies 12-10 in Marseille. Images and soundbites in Marseille and Paris.

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An Indian view on Pakistan vote

Pakistan is set to hold its presidential election on Saturday but a Supreme Court ruling has forced the announcement of its results to be delayed by at least 11 days. Across the border in India, an analyst comments on who is likely to emerge as the Pakistani president and what the significance might be for its nuclear rival and neighbour. Images and soundbites.

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Pakistan rebuilding two years after earthquake

It's two years since an earthquake devastated Pakistani Kashmir, killing 73,000 people. The two towns worst hit were the capital Muzzaffarabad and Balakot to the west on the same fault line. Rebuilding is well under way. But buildings were not the only things wrecked by the quake. Families, too, were torn apart and widows and orphans are finding it hard to reconstruct their lives. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Sarkozy and Clark exchange rugby jerseys

Ahead of the rugby world cup match of the New Zealand All Blacks against hosts France on Saturday, New Zealand's prime minister, Helen Clark, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy exchanged jerseys in their respective teams' jcolours. Images and a soundbite from Clark, who said that as far as rugby was concerned, this was as friendly as it would get between both countries.

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Landmines add to Myanmar's misery

The crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Myanmar has led to at least 13 deaths. But human rights groups say the military regime's ongoing repression kills and maims hundreds of civilians each year through the use of landmines. Planted throughout ethnic territories, landmines are used to quell insurgent rebel groups, but more often kill civilians, especially children. An AFPTV report.

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Digging for gold in Burkina Faso

The Canadian mining company High River Gold is will extract its first grammes of gold from Burkina Faso's Taparko mine on October 8. The company's investment marks the return of mining companies eight years after the last site was closed following a slump in the gold market. But gold mining continued during the bleak years when foreign investment fled the west African state, with people heading down into the mines for some individual prospecting. It's a risky business. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Paris fashion week draws to a close

The spring-summer 2008 fashion shows are drawing to a close in Paris. A report sums up the week, featuring Karl Lagerfeld, Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Dior and Valentino, who celebrated his final ready-to-wear show.

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English team gears up for Australia clash

The English rugby team gives a press conference ahead of their World Cup quarter final clash on Saturday against Australia's Wallabies. Images and soundbites.

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Maoris perform Haka below Eiffel Tower

New Zealand's All Blacks are widely expected to beat France in their World Cup match on Saturday in Cardiff's Millenium Stadium but they don't want France to feel bad. So a New Zealand delegation, including Prime Minister Helen Clark, put on a bit of show in front of the Eiffel Tower, with an enormous rugby ball blessed in true Maori style and a Haka performance, and an explanation of what it all means.Images, and soundbites from Clark and a Maori Haka performer.

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Valentino fashion show

All the major fashion designers are showing their ready-to-wear collections for next year's spring-summer season. Images of the show by Italian designer Valentino.

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Diana's final moments caught on video

Video footage of princess Diana's final tender moments cuddling up to boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed was shown Thursday at the London inquest into their deaths in a Paris car crash 10 years ago. The couple were caught on closed circuit television cameras at the rear service exit of the city's Ritz Hotel moments before the fateful journey which claimed their lives on August 31 1997. Excerpts of the hotel's CCTV footage shown at the High Court in London on the third day of the long-awaited British judicial probe into Diana and Dodi's deaths.

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Remembering Sputnik

Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Union's launch, on October 4, 1957, of Sputnik 1, whose feeble beeb from a near-Earth orbit launched the Space Race and changed the way humans see their own planet. Archive images from the European Space Agency of Sputnik, and of subsequent manned space flights.

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France targets drinking mothers, to, be

Bottles of alcoholic drinks sold in France will have to carry a warning about the dangers of drinking in pregnancy in future: the first in Europe. Scientists say that even small quantities of alcohol can have effects on the foetus; including mental handicap, stunted growth and abnormalities in the facial features.

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Lacroix fashion in Paris

Fashion week is in full swing in Paris with all the major designers showing their ready-to-wear for next year's spring-summer season. Images of the show of French designer Christian Lacroix, who this year celebrates the 20th birthday of his fashion house.

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DNA testing for emigrants to France

The French upper house of parliament, the Senate, on Thursday agreed to an amended version of a controversial immigration bill which would authorise voluntary DNA testing on foreigners wishing to join their families in France. Opposition politicians and rights groups have strongly condemned the move. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Pakistan prepares for presidential vote amid political tension

Pakistan elects a new president this weekend, with the incumbent Pervez Musharraf seeking a new term. Lawyers and his opponents have said the constitution bans him from standing while he is still head of the armed forces. But Musharraf says he'll only give up that post of he is re-elected. An AFPTV voiced report

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Tsumori Chisato fashion show

Fashion week is in full swing in Paris with all the major designers showing their ready-to-wear for next year's spring-summer season. Images of Japan's Tsumori Chisato.

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Fears grow for fate of Myanmar's monks

With protests in Myanmar quashed and many monasteries empty, fears are growing for the fate of at least one thousand monks and civilians being held in a secret location. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Myanmar military officer defects to Thailand

A Myanmar military officer has fled to neighbouring Thailand saying he refused orders to attack Buddhist monks in last week's anti-junta protests and denouncing the regime. The army major's defection is the first known case of a military official fleeing the country formerly called Burma since the junta last week ordered a crackdown that left at least 13 people dead and more than 1,000 detained. In this video, the officer speaks about his experience.

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India muted about Myanmar crackdown

India has urged Myanmar's military regime to launch a probe into its violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests. The call comes amid mounting international criticism of New Delhi's muted reaction to the authoritarian regime's suppression of the month-long demonstrations. While some protestors in India have called on the government to step up diplomatic pressure, for most it's business as usual. An AFPTV voiced report.

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School's out for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

Most children are already scribbling away at their desks in Lebanon but not the young Palestinians who live in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp -- a site of violent clashes between the Lebanese army and Islamists. The UN Palestinian refugee agency is trying to organise a way for the youngsters to be able to resume their classes as soon as possible. This AFPTV report comes from the Beddawi camp.

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Pakistan picks up the pieces after earthquake

A huge earthquake hit northern Pakistan on October 8, 2005, killing 73,000 people. The tremors destroyed nearly 8,000 schools and left 17,000 children dead. The buildings have yet to be rebuilt but in the meantime UNICEF has sent up hundreds of 'tent-schools'. The initiative has been so successful that in quake-hit areas, 90 percent of children now go to school, compared with only 50 percent before the catastrophe. An AFPTV voiced report.

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French prosecutor told of 'massive' insider trading at EADS

Shareholders and executives at Airbus parent EADS engaged in "massive" insider trading, a press report said Wednesday, citing a document that also alleges the government had been aware of difficulties at the European aerospace defence group prior to the lucrative sale of shares. A voiced report looks at the scandal.

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Controversial immigration bill heads to French Senate

A controversial immigration bill is being debated in the French upper house, the Senate. The bill has created an uproar, mainly due to a clause that would authorise voluntary DNA testing on foreigners wishing to join their families in France. Left-wing opposition politicians, but also government supporters, religious leaders, campaign groups and public figures have joined a movement to scrap the measure.

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Chinese kept in the dark about Myanmar's troubles

The international community has appealed to China to use its influence on Myanmar's military generals to bring an end to the crackdown on anti-government protesters. The Chinese government has never been keen to get involved with the internal politics of its neighbours, particularly as it reacted in exactly the same manner to the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy rallies. Chinese news reports have played down the events in Myanmar, not wanting to give its people any ideas about public demonstrations and social unrest. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Celebrating Cuba's saints

Cubans Catholics celebrate their patron saint, the Virgin of Cubre, with a colourful ceremony in September. For the island's Afro-Cuban religions, which mix happily with Christianity, the equivalent feast is dedicated to Oshun, a goddess of love. The processions are a sign that the Communist regime is becoming more tolerant of religious faith. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Clash of the design titans in Paris exhibit

A new exhibition, "Design by design", has just opened at the Grand Palais in Paris. The show, which runs until January 7, brings together objects and household furniture from the Industrial Revolution to the present day, juxtaposing objects and drawing parallels across the ages. An AFPTV voiced report.

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PETA animal rights campaigners are staging an anti, fur protest d

Animal rights campaigners staged an anti-fur protest during Paris fashion week by baring all -- or nearly -- in front of the Louvre museum. Activists from the French chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), painted up as foxes and racoons, railed against the use of fur by the fashion industry. AFPTV took a look.

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Dior celebrates English dandyish

Paris fashion week got into full swing on Monday with a host of designers showing off their designs for next year's Spring-Summer ready-to-wear collection. Designing for Christian Dior, John Galliano set the tone with "An Englishman in New York," a big hit for Sting, who was guest of honour in the front row. The collection celebrated English dandyism, as personified by the song's famously gay exile, Quentin Crisp, and indeed the showman Galliano himself. Images of Christian Dior's runway show.

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India's 'Ambassador' is 50

India's most famous car, the Ambassador, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Almost as old as the nation itself, the pug-nosed car known affectionately as the "Amby", was once a symbol of prestige and glamour. But the icon has fallen on hard times amidst a booming economy, with Indians increasingly buying sleeker foreign cars. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Volcano kills four in Yemen

At least four Yemeni soldiers were burned to death when a volcano erupted on a Red Sea island, sparking a major rescue operation on Monday for the rest of its garrison. Images of eruption taken by Canadian Forces.

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Beijing's controversial national theatre opens at last

Beijing's controversial China National Grand Theatre has finally opened its doors. The building, designed by French architect Paul Andreu, has been dogged by controversy, running from its futuristic design to its high price tag and safety issues. The theatre is welcoming VIPs, but not ordinary Chinese music lovers, who have to wait till next year before they can visit the building. An AFPTV voiced report.

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French decoration for The Police

Rock group The Police, in Paris for two mega-concerts, were on Monday made Knights of the "Ordre des Arts et des Lettres", the Order of Arts and Literature, an honour bestowed by the French minister of culture in recognition of significant contributions to the arts. Frontman Sting accepted the decoration with a short statement in French, while guitarist Andy Summers said Paris would always be special because this is where the trio wrote "Roxanne", the song that brought their breakthrough. Images and soundbites.

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New IMF chief prepares to take, up job

New IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Monday the crisis in the US "subprime" loan sector should not have a dramatic impact on growth in the world economy. "The bases of world growth today are solid bases," he told a news conference, the first since being named on Friday as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. The IMF, created in 1944, is seeking to redefine its role in a globalising world reshaped by the rising economic clout of developing countries like China, India and Brazil. Images and soundbites of the press conference.

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Strauss, Kahn meets Sarkozy

After the International Monetary Fund appointed Dominique Strauss-Kahn its new chief, as the battered institution seeks to redefine itself in the face of increasing skepticism globally, Strauss-Kahn meets with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who backed Strauss-Kahn's candidacy. Images.

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Growing wine in Turkey

During the past 10 years there's been a boom in wine drinking in Turkey. production has risen and the quality has improved. But the wine business faces major problems not least the high cost of a bottle, the result of heavy taxes imposed by the state.

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UN fears for Burmese food supplies

Fears are growing that food aid to Myanmar could be disrupted by the current crackdown. Already overcrowded, officials in refugee camps along the Thai border fear that even if food gets in, a sharp rise in the number of those fleeing the country is likely. An AFPTV voiced report from the Mae La refugee camp.

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Crackdown in Myanmar on anti, government protests

UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, sent to Myanmar to express outrage over the crackdown on anti-government protests, has been forced to wait until Tuesday to meet junta leader Than Shwe, the regime said. Gambari made his second trip in two days to the country's new and remote capital Naypyidaw, hoping to see the reclusive general. Meanwhile in the main city of Yangon, which bore the brunt of the campaign to shut down two weeks of anti-government rallies, the military presence lifted slightly and shops and Buddhist pagodas reopened. Images of events in Myanmar over the last four days.

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Pro, West alliance comes out on top in Ukraine election

Ukraine's pro-Western parties appeared set for a tight victory Monday in parliamentary elections, but faced tough coalition talks and a warning from their Moscow-backed rival not to celebrate too soon. Preliminary results in the ex-Soviet republic's snap election Sunday indicated a win for the combined forces of President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc. Images of Yulia Tymoshenko celebrating.

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The Police playing in Paris this week, end

The Police, a three-piece British rock band led by 55-year-old Sting who has had a string of hits, are currently in the middle of an international reunion tour which started in Canada. They are playing in Paris Stadium this week-end. Pictures from last night concert.

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Pro, democracy demonstration in New Delhi

Myanmar refugees, including children and monks, staged a protest rally in the heart of the Indian capital on Saturday and asked for India's intervention. Carrying posters of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and banners reading "Down with military regime," the group of around 100 protestors shouted slogans against military rule.

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Myanmar protest turns bloody

Myanmar's military regime has come down hard on anti-government protestors. Security forces have smashed cameras and cellphones, beaten those people carrying them and warned the media about their reporting. At least 13 people have been killed. But the crackdown has failed to stamp out the protests, as an estimated 10,000 people still swarmed into the streets on Friday. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Lebanon refugee camp reopens

Almost a month after the end of the fighting in Lebanon between the army and Islamists the refugee camp at Nahr al-Bared in the north of the country has been reopened. The three months of conflict there cost the lives of 167 soldiers and 222 Islamists. Reporters were able to visit the camp under military and government surveillance. Palestinians have sought to reassure local people, who are not keen on the reconstruction of the camp, which is not due in any case to take place for at least six months. They fear fighting will flare up again. The first families should move back in about a week either to their own homes or prefabricated shelters.

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Deadly crackdown on Myanmar protests

Myanmar security forces fired warning shots and launched baton charges on protesters again Friday, trying to quell the biggest demonstrations against the junta in 20 years. With at least 13 people killed since the crackdown began Wednesday, the regime appeared to have cut the main Internet link to block the images and reports of the violence that have galvanised world opinion. Images of the crackdown on Thursday, including shots of a Japanese journalist being killed.

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Dreaming of riches , , Euromillions lottery draws millions

A massive 130 million euros are up for grabs in Friday's Euromillions lottery draw. Millions of people will be dreaming of holding that winning ticket when the balls plop out of the machine in France. A joint venture between Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, Euromillions is a huge industry. But how does the draw work? AFPTV takes a look at the system.

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Legendary aeroplane Concorde sold off in pieces

Items from the supersonic airliner Concorde go on sale Friday afternoon at Toulouse in southwest France where the legendary aircraft was built. The auction will last four days and 1,000 parts of the plane will be on offer, including navigation instruments. The stars of the sales are likely to be the instrument for measuring supersonic speed and the landing gear. The sale is expected to draw not only aero enthusiasts but also connaisseurs for whom the original decoration and design in parts of the plane are examples of authentic contemporary art. Images and soundbites.

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Argentina and Ireland face crucial World Cup match

Argentina and Ireland are bracing themselves for this weekend's do-or-die clash of the rugby World Cup. Ireland must win the Pool D clash against the table-topping Pumas at the Parc des Princes on Sunday and in the process score four tries - to get a bonus point - to have any hope of reaching the quarter-finals after they laboured to wins over Georgia and Namibia before losing to France. Argentina trained on Friday and their capitain said that Ireland's one of the world's top five teams and always dangerous. Images and soundbite.

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Sarkozy honours basketball star Tony Parker

French President Nicolas Sarkozy inducted NBA basketball superstar Tony Parker into the Legion of Honour, the nation's highest civilian distinction, during a formal ceremony at the Elysee palace on Friday. Images.

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Strauss, Kahn seeks to build consensus at IMF

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has built his reputation as a business-friendly socialist, is pledging to be a "consensus builder" at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if he becomes its new leader. The 58-year-old former economics professor and finance minister, who led a failed presidential bid earlier this year, is seen as virtually certain of being named managing director by the IMF executive board on Friday. A portrait of Strauss-Kahn.

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Myanmar junta intensifies protest crackdown

Security forces swept through Myanmar's main city Thursday, killing nine people including a Japanese journalist, and arresting hundreds more in a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests. At least 50,000 people, many of them youths and students, swarmed into Yangon undeterred by the deaths the day before of at least four protesters, including three Buddhist monks, and repeatedly defied orders to disperse. New footage from Democratic Voiced of Burma, with testimony of among 20 monks escaped a raid in their monastery in Rangoon last night.

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From Iraq to the Net

Americans wanting to know more about the war in Iraq than they're being told by traditional media are using the Web, where US soldiers serving in the country are providing their own perspective on the conflict.ATTENTION: STRONG LANGUAGE IN SECOND SOUNDBITE

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Dutch vie to ride wave of climate change

The Netherlands has struggled against the waters throughout its history. In the wake of disastrous flooding in 1916 and 1953, the country established a system of flood barriers that have held back the North Sea. The technological feat has allowed the Netherlands to reclaim vast swathes of land from the sea. Most of its economy is now based on land that lies below sea level, a situation which dangerously exposes the country to the effects of climate change and rising sea levels. Faced with another threat from the water, the Dutch have gone back to the drawing board to design houses that will be able to float. An AFPTV voiced report.

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In exile, Burmese dissident recalls junta's iron, fisted rule

For Htin Kyaw Lwin, the crackdown facing fellow Burmese has brought back memories of his own flight from the iron-fisted regime. He arrived in France in 2001, a refugee persecuted by the military junta for his participation in an opposition movement. An AFPTV voiced report.

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En garde at Africa's premiere fencing school

In Senegal, an international fencing school has trained more than 30 teachers in the art of riposte and parry, and the sport of the sword is slowly catching on. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Too Orthodox for Ethiopia's youth?

Ethiopia's Orthodox Church is one of the oldest and most religious institutions in the world. But many see its requirements, which include fasting, as too strict and out of sync with the modern world. The Ethiopian church is now facing a threat to its ages-old stranglehold over the country from a growing number of evangelical denominations which promise "light and knowledge" with fewer constraints. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Rugby fan priest backs French team

As the Rugby World Cup moves into its final stages some are hoping that prayer can lead the French team to triumph. And there's just the place for them. Forty years ago a rugby-loving priest in southwestern France restored a chapel now devoted to Our Lady of Rugby and dedicated to the game. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Clampdown in Myanmar

Security forces swept through Yangon's city centre Thursday, arresting hundreds of people and warning of "extreme" action in a crackdown on protesters who took to the streets in their thousands. Undeterred by the deaths a day earlier of at least four protesters, large crowds faced off against troops and police around the Buddhist Sule pagoda in downtown Yangon. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Across the border, Burmese refugees watch, and wait

For the estimated one million Myanmar refugees and migrant workers living in neighbouring Thailand, the past week's uprising has been a tense and frustrating wait that has slowly turned from a hope of return and democracy to a wish for an end to bloodshed and arrests. An AFPTV voiced report.

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At least four dead in crackdown on Burmese monks

At least 100 Buddhist monks were arrested in night raids on their monastery as the crackdown in Myanmar protests continued. At least four people have died so far in the violent suppression of the biggest protests the country has seen in nearly 20 years. The protests have been led by the revered monks who continue to defy the military regime's orders to stand down. Images of the crackdown on Wednesday, September 25. Images courtesy of Democratic Voice of Burma.

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World's most famous mime, Marcel Marceau, buried

Marcel Marceau, the world famous mime artist who died on Saturday, was buried on Wednesday at the Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Images from the ceremony, with prayers from a former chief Rabbi of France, and comments from well-wishers at the cemetery. Marceau died in the southern town of Cahors at the age of 84.

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France to get belt, tightening budget

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government unveiled its first budget, for 2008, amid calls from its European partners to discipline its public finances, and following the government's own admission that France was on the brink of bankruptcy. Both the current deficit and the French accumulated debt remained little changed as Sarkozy seeks to balance generous election promises with the need for savings. An AFPTV voiced report.

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NBA a slamdunk in China

There are as many basketball players in China as there are people in the United States. That's made basketball big business, and the US professional league is making good on a growing market. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Myanmar crackdown on defiant monks

Myanmar has moved to crush the mass rallies that have erupted nationwide against the military regime. Soldiers and police in Yangon fired warning shots, beat protesters and arrested people who were out to support around 1,000 Buddhist monks who had defied military orders to march. The protests are the biggest challenge to the junta which has ruled the Southeast Asian nation for decades. Images from the protest on Tuesday.

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'Green living' in the Netherlands

Energy-neutral houses, homes that put more electricity back into the grid than they take out... in the Netherlands, architects and towns are seriously looking at ways to build more ecological housing in an attempt to reduce man's impact on climate change. This report comes from Boxtel, in central Netherlands, where a whole environmentally-friendly neighbourhood has been built. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Saving Cambodia's dolphins

The Mekong River's iconic fresh water dolphin has been edged back from the brink of extinction over the past few years by innovative and well-armed river guard patrols. But now the dolphin faces a new threat. Booming Asian economies now threaten the world's second most bio-diverse river and its dolphins that currently number less than 80. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Fashion flare in Kenya

Milan, Paris and New York are no longer the center of the fashion world. That's at least what several women designers based in Kenya are out to prove. They draw inspiration from Africa's natural beauty and rich tribal cultures, and their authentic creations now fill high-end boutiques around the world. It's fashion with a conscience: everything is made locally and by hand, providing jobs to thousands and promoting traditional crafts.

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Fashion flare in Kenya

Milan, Paris and New York are no longer the center of the fashion world. That's at least what several women designers based in Kenya are out to prove. They draw inspiration from Africa's natural beauty and rich tribal cultures, and their authentic creations now fill high-end boutiques around the world. It's fashion with a conscience: everything is made locally and by hand, providing jobs to thousands and promoting traditional crafts.

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Losing India's islands

As Washington prepares to host an international climate change summit attended by the world's leading economic powers and polluters, environmentalists warn the world is already reeling from the effects of global warming. In India, the only South Asian country set to attend the conference, rising sea levels have already swallowed two islands in the famed Sunderbans mangrove region, with dozens more under threat.

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More than 100,000 in Burmese protests

More than 100,000 people flooded the streets of Myanmar's biggest city Monday, joining Buddhist monks in the strongest show of dissent against the ruling generals in nearly two decades. The enormous show of strength drew a swift rebuke from the military government which threatened to "take action" against the monks, even as world leaders and the UN secretary general urged the junta to show restraint. Images of the marches in Yangon, the nation's commercial capital, led by robed monks chanting prayers of peace.

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France to tighten belt

In the days leading up to the announcement of the draft budget for 2008, France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon has been issuing a host of warnings about the "critical" state of the nation's finances and calling for more belt-tightening. He even went so far as to say France was in a "situation of bankruptcy". But analysts see the remarks as an opener for the bruising political battle ahead, when the government's draft budget is expected to show a deficit of 41.5 billion euros (58.5 billion dollars) for the next year. An AFPTV voiced report.

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TURKISH GIRLS SEEK RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS

In Turkey it's back to school time. But girls who want to wear the headscarf can't attend state schools, because the wearing of it is banned in them. So the answer is to attend an Imam Hatip school, a religious education school. These were founded by Ataturk, the champion of Turkish secularism, and originally they were aimed at the training of imams and preachers. A report from an Imam Hatip high school at Maltepe in Istanbul.

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Protests grow in Myanmar

More than 100,000 people flooded the streets of Myanmar's biggest city Monday, joining Buddhist monks in the strongest show of dissent against the ruling generals in nearly two decades. In swelling tides of humanity, two major marches snaked their way through the nation's commercial capital led by robed monks chanting prayers of peace and compassion. The generals have normally been tough on dissent, and their 1988 crackdown left hundreds if not thousands dead. The rallies are gaining in strength and numbers ever since they began more than a month ago in protest at a massive fuel price hike. Images of the demonstration on Sunday, September 23. Images provided courtesy of the Democratic Voice of Burma.

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Ethnic minorities persecuted on Myanmar's borders

Rights groups warn a humanitarian crisis is growing along military-ruled Burma's border with Thailand, where an unprecedented Burmese army offensive against ethnic minorities continues to escalate. Karen people are being driven out of their farms and villages, fleeing to refugee camps near Thailand. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Lebanon politicians hold their breath for presidential election

Lebanon's parliament had been due to hold a special session on Tuesday to elect a new president. It is increasingly unlikely that the vote will go-ahead as scheduled following the assassination last week of anti-Syrian lawmaker Antoine Ghanem. A voiced report takes a look at Lebanon's troubled political situation.

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Cambodians left mentally scarred by Khmer Rouge regime

Some 30 percent of Cambodia's nearly 14 million people reportedly suffer from debilitating mental conditions, many of them linked to the brutal Khmer Rouge atrocities in the 1970s. The start of a tribunal to try surviving leaders of the regime is expected to aggravate many of those old psychological wounds. But the country has only 26 qualified psychiatrists. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Egyptian glued to television soaps during Ramadan

It's fun for the family during Ramadan -- television series conceived for the holy month and broadcast in the evening following iftar, the fast-breaking celebration. Egyptian television is showing 40 of them, including a big-budget production starring Omar Sharif. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Monks put pressure on Myanmar

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Thousands of people led by Buddhist monks continue to march along the flooded streets of Rangoon, piling pressure on Burma's ruling junta in the most sustained challenge to its rule in nearly 20 years. The major bloodshed of the 1988 demonstrations has so far been avoided. Analysts say the involvement of the Buddhist clergy this time around has now put the generals in a situation they cannot win.An AFPTV voiced report about the regional impact of the protests.

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Living with Alzheimer's

Friday is World Alzheimer's day. The illness affects over 24 million people worldwide, a number that is expected to grow to 80 million by 2040. This AFPTV voiced report shows the life of an 81-year old French woman afflicted by the illness and her husband, who looks after her around the clock.

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Outrage after Lebanese lawmaker slain

Antoine Ghanem, an anti-Syrian lawmaker, and four other people were killed in a car bombing in Beirut on Wednesday, plunging deeply divided Lebanon into further chaos days ahead of a crucial vote. He was the eighth member of the ruling anti-Syrian majority to be assassinated since the 2005 murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Many have pointed the finger at Lebanon's neighbor and former power broker Syria, and the international community has described the attack as an overt bid to destabilize Lebanon ahead of the parliamentary vote next week to choose a new president. A news report on latest developments.

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Organic and elite , , the new fruits of the vine

Faced with the onslaught of New World wines and the overproduction in Europe, French winemakers face some hard questions about what to do with their endless acres of vineyards. For one winemaker in Sancerre, the answer has been to make less, but better, wine. Over 20 years, he's decreased the volume of his former production six-fold, converted to organic and helped to put the Loire Valley back on the map for high-quality wines. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Irish storm Paris for World Cup match

The Irish are expected out in numbers in Paris on Friday to cheer their team in its clash against hosts France at the Rugby World Cup. If France loses against the Six Nations Triple Crown winners, it will watch the rest of the tournament from the sidelines. Images and soundbites from Irish fans.

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Stage set for French reform showdown

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has kicked off an array of ambitious pensions and labor reforms this week. He has argued that his plan to cut special benefits enjoyed in a few sectors, like public railways and power, is a question of principle and fairness. And he's pledged to undo laws imposing a mandatory retirement age and limiting working hours. But not everyone is pleased with the reforms, especially public sector unions which are planning to drive home their message with a general strike. A report recapping the week's developments.

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Lebanon buries slain lawmaker

Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of anti-Syrian lawmaker Antoine Ghanem, whose assassination has stirred fears of greater instability in Lebanon. Ghanem returned from self-imposed exile only on Sunday, and was killed in a car bombing along with four others on Wednesday. The Christian Phalange party member was the eighth anti-Syrian politician to be assassinated since the February 2005 murder of five-time prime minister and billionaire tycoon Hariri. A voiced AFPTV news report.

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Getting a kick out of Cambodia's martial art

Banned and eradicated during the cultural repression of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia's own indigenous martial art is finally making a comeback. The technique combines the grace of classical dance with the deadly blows of full contact kickboxing and is as old as the ancient Angkor Wat ruins. An AFPTV voiced report.

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In love and war, is all fair?

Love and war, but especially love during war, is the theme of a surprising exhibit in Paris. Through posters and artwork, curators dare to explore how war affects not relationships between men and women, but also sexuality and lovemaking. A sneak preview of the exhibit, which opens at the H�tel des Invalides on Saturday. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Chinese designers take to French catwalk

A former Miss World and dozens of designers are emissaries bringing the fashion world a message: China is not just a land of cheap knock-offs but a fount of creativity. At one of the world's largest textile trade fairs this week in Paris, dozens of Chinese participants have moved beyond fabrics to propose their own original apparel. But the West is a hard market to conquer for apparel entirely Made in China.

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Irish rugbymen check out French turf

Six Nations Triple Crown winners Ireland go into Friday's crunch World Cup clash with hosts France needing to overcome two major factors, the French and fear. To steel themselves for both, they are visiting the Stade de France, where the match will be held. Images and soundbites of the team's visit.

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Morocco gets a new PM

King Mohammed VI has named the head of Istiqlal, the surprise winner of parliamentary elections earlier this month, to be prime minister. Abbas El Fassi led his party, Morocco's oldest, to victory in the vote. The moderate Islamists of the Justice and Development Party took second. A brief portrait of the new prime minister.

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Top Khmer Rouge leader arrested

The arrest in Cambodia of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime's most senior surviving leader has surprised many in the kingdom and bolstered the image of the long-delayed tribunal. The man once known as "Brother Number Two" has been formally charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. Observers hailed his arrest as a step forward but many ordinary Cambodians still feel it is too little too late. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Healing Cambodia's war scars

Cambodia's Khmer Rouge court held its first public hearing on Tuesday, in what many see as a landmark moment for a country trying to overcome its brutal past. As the UN-backed court gets down to business, another tribunal of sorts is seeking to overcome the tragedy of the genocide. Former Khmer Rouge fighters and victims of the regime have been coming together for grassroots meetings, reminiscent of South Africa's truth and reconciliation drive, in a quest for mutual understanding. An AFPTV voiced report.

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Iraqis learn to live apart, separated by a security wall

In April, the US Army built a five-kilometer concrete wall between Baghdad's Sunni neighbourhood of Adhamiyah and the surrounding Shiite-dominated areas. Despite protests by unhappy residents, the policy of separating districts to stem sectarian violence has continued. The latest wall to go up is between the predominantly Shiite Shuala neighbourhood and the majority Sunni Ghazaliyah district, where residents say the result has not been to make life safer, but more difficult.

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