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(SMOKING, PUBLIC, WORKPLACES, TOBACCO, SMOKE, VASSILIOU)


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union`s health chief proposed on Tuesday that uniform laws be drafted for all 27 countries in the bloc to regulate smoking more strictly in public areas and workplaces. Many EU countries have laws limiting exposure to second-hand, or passive, smoking. The rules are strictest in Britain and Ireland, where smoking is banned in enclosed public places, public transport and workplaces, including restaurants and bars. "Each and every European should be entitled to full protection from tobacco smoke," EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou told a news conference.... read more
 
 
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(POUNDS, BRITISH, PENCE, WHICH, BATCH, CIRCULATION)


LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A specialist coin dealing firm has offered to pay 50 pounds ($82.93) to finders of faulty British 20 pence coins, sending people scrambling. However, other coin dealers have advised people who find one of the approximately 50,000 undated coins to hold on, because they may be worth as much as 300 pounds in the next decade. Specialist coin company the London Mint Office made its offer for 20 pence pieces which had been cast with a new design that resulted in a batch of coins with no date on them. The letters "F.D." have been printed where the date "2008" should have been... read more
 
 
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01 July 2009 @ 02:41 am

(RESTAURANTS, PRICES, LOWER, PARTNERS, WHICH, WOULD)


By James Mackenzie PARIS (Reuters) - French restaurants prepared to cut prices on meals and soft drinks ahead of a new lower sales tax rate that comes into effect on Wednesday after years of lobbying European partners by successive governments. Value added tax on restaurants and cafes will fall to 5.5 percent from July 1 from 19.6 percent previously after a deal hammered out with European Union partners in March following a 7 year-long campaign by Paris. As part of the deal, restaurant trade bodies signed up to a so-called "contract for the future" under which they agreed to step up hiring and... read more
 
 
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(OVERTIME, SURVEY, SHOWED, ABOUT, PERCENT, EMPLOYEES)


TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Most newly hired Japanese would opt for overtime rather than a date, a survey showed, reflecting growing anxiety about employment in the country`s recession-hit economy. Japan`s jobless rate rose to 5.2 percent, the highest since September 2003, data released on Tuesday showed, while the jobs-to-applicants ratio slid to 0.44, meaning only about four jobs were available for every nine applicants. That ratio was the lowest since the data started in 1963. A survey by the Japan Productivity Center, a private think tank, showed that more than 80 per cent of newly recruited e... read more
 
 
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(SHAPE, THOSE, FRUIT, VEGETABLES, RULES, STANDARDS)


By Jeremy Smith BRUSSELS (Reuters Life!) - Bendy cucumbers, strangely shaped turnips and carrots. The stuff of EU myth and legend returns to real shops this week. All those wonky fruit and curiously sized vegetables will be back on supermarket shelves from July 1 after the European Union scrapped longstanding rules that control minimum size and shape standards for household fruit and vegetables. EU marketing standards are standard fodder for one of the most popular jibes about EU over-regulation, where desk-bound European Commission bureaucrats are portrayed as zealous to set permitted sizes, ... read more
 
 
 
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(CORSICAN, ISLAND, PRODUCTION, HECTOLITERS, PERCENT, THERE)


By Marcel Michelson BORDEAUX (Reuters Life!) - Corsican wine growers are seeking recognition beyond their faithful band of followers as European Union uprooting plans and high transport costs in crisis times threaten to sound a death knell for the sector. Corsica is the third wine producing island in the Mediterranean, behind Sicily and Sardinia of Italy and its production of some 350,000 hectoliters (9 million U.S. gallons) of wines make up just a few percentages of the total French production. But the sector is the biggest export activity in value and volume of the island and, together with ... read more
 
 
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(COMPOSER, MUSIC, OPERA, ABOUT, THERE, BECAUSE)


By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho`s music has taken the opera houses, concert halls and audiences of the world by storm. Just don`t ask her why. "I think music is really one of the big mysteries in our life and for me it`s in the same category as love," Saariaho, who is 56 and whose music has been described as "dreamlike" and haunting, told Reuters in an interview. "Music has enormous powers and it`s part of everybody`s life in some form -- so I cannot answer that question, really." The slender, bright-eyed, elfin Saariaho spoke on the eve of the London ... read more
 
 
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(RESTAURANT, ADRIA, BOOKING, BULLI, TABLE, WOULD)


By Tim Castle LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Reservations are so tight at the world`s best restaurant that even head chef Ferran Adria is unable to get a booking for friends at short notice. Only open for half the year, Spain`s El Bulli restaurant on the Barcelona coast is fully booked for months in advance, even at the 300 euros ($415) per person cost of its 30-40 course menu. Adria says that even if a Nobel Peace Prize winner called for a table he could only make room in the 50-head establishment if there was a cancellation. And those are few and far between. "If you had a booking and you couldn`t... read more
 
 
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30 June 2009 @ 10:00 pm

(INDIA, VILLAGE, BIRTH, CHILD, THERE, HEALTH)


By Sunil Kataria DADHKAI, India (Reuters Life!) - Silence reigns in the sleepy village of Dadhkai, nestled high up in the Himalayan mountains in northern India and where the majority of residents are either deaf or mute. Each of the 47 families in this village in Jammu and Kashmir state have a least one member who can neither hear nor speak. The first reported case dates back to 1931 and now the numbers have swelled to 82. "The birth of a child is a very happy occasion, meant to be celebrated. But here the birth of a child leads to harassment not only for the parents but for the entire village... read more
 
 
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(GREEN, SURVEY, PEOPLE, WOULD, RESPONDENTS, PERCENT)


By Miral Fahmy SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Is green becoming mainstream? A new global survey shows nearly six in 10 people would choose an environment-friendly car over a petrol-powered one, even if they had all the money in the world. The survey of 13,500 city dwellers in 18 countries, by market research firm Synovate, also showed that over a third of respondents said they would either use public transport, walk, or cycle more often this year, partly to save on fuel costs but also for the sake of the environment. "More and more, owning a car may not be viewed as that responsible," said Scott ... read more