US-LIFE Summary

Sep 9, 2011, 3:25 a.m.

Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Hobart, Australia

HOBART, Australia (Reuters) - Flanked by mountains and the sea, Hobart is Australia's most southern city. In late December through early January each year it becomes a "maritime Mecca," with yachts sailing across the finish line in the grueling Sydney to Hobart race. The abundance of sailors converging on the city then resembles its early days of white settlement when Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, was a bustling whaling port and former penal colony.

Designers, celebrities woo shoppers around world

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Department stores, designers and celebrities wooed economically battered shoppers around the world on Thursday during the third annual "Fashion's Night Out" event to encourage spending and raise money for charity. "Fashion's Night Out," the brainchild of Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour, was designed to jump-start an industry battered by the global recession. Shops were staying open late and offering drinks and entertainment to shoppers in Australia, Asia, Europe and 100 U.S. cities from New York to Los Angeles.

Galliano gets $8,400 fine for anti-Semitic outburst

PARIS (Reuters) - A French court handed out a 6,000 euro ($8,421) suspended fine to John Galliano on Thursday after finding him guilty of anti-Semitic behavior , marking the end in a fall from grace for the former head designer of fashion house Dior. For Galliano, whose worth is estimated in the millions of dollars, the penalty -- suspended for several years -- avoids any financial burden and is unlikely to constrain his liberty.

Ben & Jerry's creates "Schweddy Balls" ice cream flavor

LITTLETON, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Vermont's Ben & Jerry's newest ice cream flavor sounds more likely to tickle funny bones than taste buds: "Schweddy Balls." The company known for provocative or progressive themed names for its frozen treats said the latest creation was a tribute to a 1998 skit on NBC's Saturday Night Live starring actor Alec Baldwin.

Two-million-year-old South Africa fossils show links to man

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A well-preserved set of 2-million-year-old fossils shows a part-human, part-ape species had hands similar to man, sophisticated ankles that helped in movement and a surprisingly tiny but advanced brain, a report released Thursday said. The fossils, discovered in a sunken cave north of Johannesburg, may change views of the origins of humans. They show a combination of anatomical features never seen before, demonstrating close links to the species and humans.

Weight Watchers works, scientific study finds

LONDON (Reuters) - Overweight patients told by their doctors to go to Weight Watchers lose around twice as much weight as people receiving standard weight loss care over 12 months, according to the findings of a study published on Thursday. In the first randomized controlled trial -- considered the gold standard of scientific analysis -- to directly compare a commercial weight-loss program with standard care by family doctors, Weight Watchers was found to be more than twice as effective.

9/11 anniversary casts shadow for Muslims: author

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The approaching tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks is casting a long shadow for U.S. Muslims, many of whom are dreading the approaching anniversary because they fear a resurgence of prejudice and hate, said author Mona Eltahawy. Egyptian-born but U.S.-based, Eltahawy said the attacks on New York and Washington were a shocking and negative introduction to Islam for many in the United States, compounding the difficulties for Muslims already struggling with their identities in the diverse, secular nation.

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