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Wedding bells

Madrid, Nov. 2: Spanish heir to the throne Prince Felipe has become engaged to a previously married television presenter, crowning years of gossip and speculation about the love life of the tall and handsome prince.

Felipe de Borbon y Grecia, 35, will marry Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, 31, in a ceremony next summer at a cathedral next to the royal palace in Madrid, the palace said in a statement. Felipe will formally ask for her hand on Thursday.

The eligible royal bachelor has been a hot topic in gossip and society magazines for many years as he is next in line to be king. His father, King Juan Carlos, is 68.

The elegant Ortiz, 31, is famous in her own right as a presenter for state television. Newspaper ABC, which closely follows the crown and once employed Ortiz as a reporter, said she married writer and teacher Alonso Guerrero in 1998 in a civil union that lasted one year. Her first marriage is sure to be a point of controversy in Roman Catholic Spain, especially among conservative commentators on royal matters.

Goat race

Dar Es Salaam (Reuters): Hundreds of Tanzanians flocked to the country’s annual goat races, a charity event pitting 60 of the beasts in a series of heats before they are slaughtered. Most of the goats end up in the abattoir after the competition to raise money for water and farming projects, but winners get the chance to decide their goat’s fate. “I am incredibly happy because my goat won the race,” owner Joerg Sonne said after the second race in the national stadium in the commercial capital Dar-es-Salaam. “We will try to enter this one on another race, or take it home.”

Marathon run

Cairo (Reuters): British explorer Ranulph Fiennes finished the penultimate leg of his latest challenge — running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents only months after suffering a near-fatal heart attack. He set off against the impressive backdrop of one of the ancient wonders of the world, the Pyramids, just two hours after flying into Cairo airport from London, where he completed the fifth marathon with his companion Mike Stroud.


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