Berlinale film shows refugees’ lives at historic airport

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BERLIN (Reuters) – In 2015, with Germany facing turmoil after flinging its doors open to a million refugees, Berlin repurposed a defunct airport to house them, creating an ad hoc village that is the setting for a film to premier at the Berlinale film festival. Built by forced labor on the orders of Adolf Hitler’s
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Tea sets and Ascot inspire Mulberry’s instant-fashion launch

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Mulberry looked to the garden parties of old to inspire its most modern fashion collection to date, as the brand on Friday launched a new format allowing shoppers to buy its wares straight off the catwalk instead of months later. The label unveiled its latest designs – including dresses in floral
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Designer Westwood stages London fashion fracking protest

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LONDON (Reuters) – Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood brought models off the catwalk and onto the streets of London in an anti-fracking protest on Thursday. The punk icon was joined by her son Joe Corre outside the central London offices of British petrochemicals firm Ineos, which is seeking to develop shale gas projects in Britain. The
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Boarding now for a flight from Tokyo to Paris that never takes off

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Fasten your seatbelts for a flight departing to Paris, and never leave the ground. That’s exactly what 12 passengers did at First Airlines in central Tokyo this week, where they relaxed in first and business-class seats and were served four-course dinners, before immersing themselves in 360-degree virtual reality (VR) tours of the
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French farmer finds happiness in life before machines

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RIEC-SUR-BELON, France (Reuters) – When farm machinery revolutionized French agriculture in the years after World War Two, a young Jean-Bernard Huon turned his back on the new technology. Half a century later, in a corner of southern Brittany on France’s west coast, Huon still uses oxen to plow his fields, determined to preserve an ancestral,
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Female artists strike right note at NME Awards in London

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LONDON (Reuters) – Female musical acts took home a slew of prizes at the NME Awards in London on Wednesday, in a move that artists present welcomed as the entertainment industry reeled from allegations of sexual misconduct against women. New Zealand songstress Lorde was honored as the best international solo artist, while Haim, a trio
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A Valentine to New York as designers kiss Fashion Week goodbye

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(Reuters) – Designers Michael Kors and Calvin Klein showed their love for American icons as they presented visions for Fall 2018 in Valentine’s Day shows at the end of New York Fashion Week. Kors kicked off the last day of Fashion Week on Wednesday with a star-studded show at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln
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Traditional music returns in Syria’s war torn Aleppo

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ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – Traditional musicians in Syria’s Aleppo say their art is flourishing again 13 months after fighting in the city ended, as new students learn the techniques of “Qoudud” singing. At the National Choral Institute in Aleppo, singing coach Ahmed Kedah said he has between 30 and 50 pupils, including both school children
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Portugal tourist arrivals spike 12 percent to new record in 2017

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LISBON (Reuters) – The number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal rose nearly 12 percent last year to a record 12.7 million people, contributing to the once-bailed out country’s strongest economic growth since 2000, official data showed on Wednesday. Tourism and all travel-related revenues account for about 10 percent of Portugal’s gross domestic product, which expanded
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From Russia with love: OAR skier weds athlete not invited to Games

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YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia (Reuters) – Russian freestyle skier Semen Denshchikov on Wednesday married a skeleton racer who was not invited to compete in Pyeongchang in a Valentine’s Day ceremony meant to lighten the mood around Russian sport. Denshchikov, who finished 16th in ski cross at the world championships last year, was one of 169 Russians cleared
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A dog’s life: In Beijing’s Forbidden City, no holiday for canine patrol

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BEIJING (Reuters) – As China ushers in the Lunar Year of the Dog, hundreds of millions of Chinese are traveling to their hometowns to spend the week-long national holiday with their families. But for the 23-dog patrol that guards China’s famous Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing, there will be no break. “There is
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Thailand bets on ‘magic pills’ to boost declining birth rate

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BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand has tried cash bonuses and tax incentives to boost the country’s birth rate, but on Valentine’s Day today it adopted a new approach – handing out vitamin pills. Like several other Asian countries, Thailand is ageing rapidly. Birth rates have dropped sharply from more than 6 children per woman in 1960
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