Lifestyle Headlines

Pope wishes Rome luck on Olympic bid but jokes 'I won't be around'

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Friday wished Rome luck for its bid to host the 2024 Olympics, which may include some events in the Vatican, but then joked that he would not be around to enjoy them.

8:39am EST

Opera lovers fly long distance to hear Royal Opera sing

LONDON - Not everyone would fly 5,600 miles for an opera whose set consisted at times of two chairs and a cheap-looking table, but Johannesburg lawyer Emile Myburgh did it for Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" at London's Royal Opera House -- and he'll be back.

10:32am EST

Knock knock. Who's there? Amazon's best-selling holiday author

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NEW YORK - It sounds like the usual setup for a knock-knock joke: Who is the best-selling author on all of Amazon.com this holiday season? Rob Elliott. Rob Elliott who?

Tech, Money, Media 7:48am EST

Ten years on, tsunami survivors in Indonesia hope to move on

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BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - A decade after a 10-metre (32-foot) tsunami washed away two of her three children, her home and business, Salawati is finally getting her life back on track in Indonesia's western-most Banda Aceh province.

White House releases snapshot of plan to rate U.S. colleges

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WASHINGTON - The White House on Friday released a draft of its plan to rate U.S. colleges and tie federal aid to performance as a way to coax institutions to pull up their socks.

Politics, U.S. 12:06am EST

Merckx and Ickx feted as Belgium's speed demons

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BRUSSELS - Eddy Merckx did it on a bicycle, Jacky Ickx drove fast for Formula 1. Now that both are approaching 70, an exhibition is celebrating their feats as two of history's speediest Belgians.

Sports, Arts 12:34am EST

Britain could allow women in army close combat role from 2016

LONDON - Britain might allow women to fight in close combat roles for the first time from 2016, the defense secretary said on Friday, in a move that would bring the British army into line with some other Western forces.

3:17am EST

Thu, Dec 18 2014

Dalai Lama's star waning in the West, China official says

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BEIJING - Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is drawing less and less attention in the West and manages to win eyeballs only with pointless suggestions that his title will die out with him, a top Chinese official told state media.

18 Dec 2014

Apple's Cook makes 'substantial' donation for gay rights in U.S. South

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- Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook, the highest-profile U.S. business leader to publicly acknowledge being gay, has made a "substantial" donation to a gay rights effort in his native Alabama and two other southern U.S. states, activists said on Thursday.

U.S., Tech, Media 18 Dec 2014
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Key retirements mean a changing of the guard next year in U.S. Congress

Regardless what voters decide in the November elections, there will be a major changing of the guard next year in the U.S. Congress as result of a number of key retirements.