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Titanic taco

Monterrey (Mexico), Nov. 6 (Reuters): Eight Mexican restaurants, a cheesemaker and a butcher joined yesterday to build what they say is the world’s biggest taco and steal the record from the United States.

Assembled in the northern city of Monterrey, the nearly 10 metre-long version of the traditional Mexican street-corner snack weighing nearly 600 kg was made from 480 wheat tortillas stuck together and filled with meat and cheese.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the existing record was set in Houston, Texas in 2000 with a 519-kg taco.

Bold beauty

Hanoi (Reuters): Vietnam is to send an entrant to this year’s Miss World beauty pageant for the first time in the communist country’s history. Eighteen-year-old high school student Pham Thi Mai Phuong, crowned the first official Miss Vietnam in September, will represent her country at the contest in Nigeria on December 7, model agency Elite Vietnam said. Although a Vietnamese newspaper has staged an informal Miss Vietnam contest every year since 1988, the Communist authorities in this Southeast Asian country officially recognised the event only this year.

Monet magic

New York (AFP): A painting from the water-lily series of French impressionist painter Claude Monet sold for $18.7 million at Sotheby’s auction house in New York. The painting, sold on Tuesday, was titled Nympheas and was completed in 1906. It had been estimated at between $16 million and $20 million by Sotheby’s experts. Charles Moffet, co-chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art department worldwide, described the work as “one of the most beautiful and striking” of the water-lily series Monet painted in his garden at Giverny between 1903 and 1906.

Movie mob

Havana (AP): Hundreds of people were turned away as they mobbed the movie theatre where American director Steven Spielberg was attending the Cuban premiere of his film Minority Report. About 300 people crowded against the doors of the Charles Chaplin theatre hoping to get into the opening, or at least a glimpse of the American director. Several hundred more people inside, who had arrived early for the 8.30 pm screening, erupted into a standing ovation when Spielberg and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, entered the theatre through an alternate entrance. The Cuban people “are exploding with passion and talent and self-respect,” Spielberg told the audience. “I feel so much at home here.”


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