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Hello Kitty, Japan's global icon of cute, marked her 40th anniversary on Saturday with a human-size version of the feline character regaling fans at an upscale Tokyo department store and a theme park. The moon-faced creation, who has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry, began her birthday by trying her hand as manager of the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo's glitzy Ginza district. Kitty, who adorns everything from pencil cases to pyjamas the world over, also celebrated her birthday with fans at her creators' theme park Sanrio Puroland in western Tokyo. The Keio Plaza Hotel chain, meanwhile, opened Hello Kitty hotel rooms in Tokyo on Saturday, decorated floor to ceiling with pictures of the cuddly character.
Rival military factions laid claim to power in Burkina Faso on Saturday after the west African nation's president fled following days of violent unrest over plans to extend his 27-year rule. The leader of a group of young army officers, Isaac Zida, declared himself in charge, dismissing as "obsolete" an earlier such bid by the army chief and close ally of the ousted president. The tussle for power comes after days of violent demonstrations against president Blaise Compaore's longtime rule that saw parliament stormed and set ablaze, in protests closely watched across the continent where other veteran heads of state are also aiming to extend their rule. A rival claim made hours earlier by army chief Navere Honore Traore was "obsolete", he said.
The explosion of Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket ship is stirring up mixed emotions as scientists and others involved in the space industry wait for more details on what happened over the Mojave Desert.