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Christmas jackpot

Los Angeles, Dec. 26 (Reuters): Somewhere in West Virginia, a lucky person is about to celebrate a green Christmas.

One winning ticket was sold there for the nearly-$315 million Powerball lottery last night, a spokesman for contest operator Multi-State Lottery Association said.

The winning ticket was sold at a convenience store in Hurricane, a small town about 25 miles west of Charleston. While the ticket-holder has not been identified, a local lottery official said a lawyer who claimed to represent the winner called his office this morning.

Python panic

Nairobi (Reuters): Kenyan bus passengers screamed in panic when a python purchased for use in a magic ceremony ahead of general elections on Friday slithered out of its box, the Daily Nation reported. The three-metre serpent emerged from the baggage compartment when the driver stopped to change a wheel, scaring passengers gathered round the bus and prompting its elderly woman owner to strip naked in distress. In some Kenyan tribes, women may strip naked as a form of protest or curse, especially if the woman is older than the onlookers.

Piranha ban

Beijing (Reuters): Beijing has slapped a ban on piranhas, the famed flesh-eating tropical fish, after some were believed to have been let loose in the Yellow River in southern China, the official China Daily said on Thursday. The Beijing Aquarium, which owned about 300 of the razor-toothed fish from the Amazon region, killed them all on Christmas Day after the government imposed the national ban.

Giant shoes

Manila (AFP): A shoe-making suburb of the Philippine capital has received official word that it has crafted the world’s biggest pair of shoes. The pair of shoes, each measuring 5.5 metres long, 2.25 metres wide and 1.83 metres high, have been certified as the world’s largest.

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