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Star Wars’ Studio Opens Singapore Production Facility

US entertainment giant Lucasfilm inaugurated its first overseas production complex on Thursday in Singapore, which will tap Asian talent to support future “Star Wars” movies and other projects. Founder George Lucas and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attended the opening of the seven-storey building — called “Sandcrawler” after a large treaded vehicle in the original “Star Wars” movie — in a high-tech industrial park. The new building will also house sports broadcaster ESPN Asia-Pacific as well as the Southeast Asian operations of Walt Disney, which acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. (AP)

1200 Star Wars Studio Opens Singapore Production Facility
An entertainer dressed as Darth Vader from “Star Wars” walks down the corridor to pose for the media during the opening of Lucasfilm’s new animation production facility, the Sandcrawler, in Singapore January 16, 2014. (REUTERS/Edgar Su)

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The Global ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ 2014

1158 The Global No Pants Subway Ride 2014
The annual ‘No Pants Subway Ride’, which involves wearing no trousers on the underground, has seen commuters around the globe stripping off on public transport. Pictures of people in their underwear have been streaming in from across the world, with cities such as London, Berlin, Brussels, Hong Kong and Sydney taking part. The event begun as a joke in 2002 when New York acting group Improv Everywhere decided to shock members of the public by taking off their trousers.

A statement on their website said: ‘The mission started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year.’

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Indian Teenager has the World’s Biggest Collection of Pencils

165 Indian Teenager has the Worlds Biggest Collection of Pencils
Many are happy to collect stamps, coins or key rings – but not this stationery-mad teenager. Tushar Lakhanpal, 15, from New Delhi, India, claims to own more than 14,000 pencils in different shapes and sizes from 40 countries around the world. Included in his collection, which he believes could be world record breaking, is a gold-plated implement and two pencils, stored in an ornate box, thought to have been owned and used by Queen Elizabeth II.

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Polar Bear Dips

134 Polar Bear Dips
Polar Bear club swimmers take their annual swim in the sea at Coney Island in New York City on January 1, 2014. (Photo by Curtis Means/ACE/

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New Year Celebrations Around the World

12 New Year Celebrations Around the World
A woman holds a champagne bottle during New Year’s celebrations in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Tens of thousands of Romanians took to the streets of the Romanian capital to join parties and watch fireworks. (Photo by Vadim Ghirda/AP Photo)

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Christmas Around the World

1083 Christmas Around the World
Employees dressed as Santa Claus perform as part of a shopping mall’s Christmas celebrations in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, December 24, 2013. (Photo by Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo)

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Mikhail Kalashnikov: The Man and Machine Gun

1387 Mikhail Kalashnikov: The Man and Machine Gun
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the father of the world’s most popular assault rifle, is handed an AK-74 November 23, 2002 in Izhevsk,1000 East km. from Moscow. November 23 marked the 55th anniversary of the release of the first Kalashnikov gun. According to the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategic and Technologies some 70 million to 100 million Kalashnikovs have been built worldwide since 1947, compared about 7 million to Kalashnikov’s Western rival the M-16 assault rifles. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

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Santa Sightings Around the World

1378 Santa Sightings Around the World
In this December 18, 2013 photo released by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, 32 men dressed as Santa Claus ride the 150-foot tall SkyScreamer tower swing ride at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif. (Photo by Jason Quintos/AP Photo/Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)

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China’s Bodyguard School

1302 Chinas Bodyguard School
A female student opens her cufflinks with her teeth, after crawling through mud at Tianjiao Special Guard/Security Consultant camp on the outskirts of Beijing December 12, 2013. Former Chinese soldier Chen Yongqing has big ambitions for his bodyguard training school Tianjiao, which he says is China’s first professional academy to train former soldiers and others as personal security guards. Chen charges 500,000 yuan ($82,400) a year for each protector as China’s rich and famous look to bolster their safety and sense of importance. (Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters)

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SantaCon 2013

SantaCon is an annual event in which people dressed in Santa Claus costumes engage in bar crawls. It is also known as Santarchy, Santa Rampage, the Red Menace and Santapalooza. It originated in San Francisco in 1994 and has since spread to cities around the world, and now takes place in 300 cities in 44 countries, including New York City. London, Belfast and Moscow. The New York SantaCon is the largest, with an estimated 30,000 people participating in 2012

1189 SantaCon 2013
Snow falls as revelers dressed as Santa Claus walk in Manhattan during the annual SantaCon bar crawl event on December 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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Christmas Lights Around the World

1177 Christmas Lights Around the World
Christmas trees are decorated in front of the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. (Photo by Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press)

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Associated Press Best News Pictures 2013

179 Associated Press Best News Pictures 2013
A Bahraini anti-government protester is engulfed in flames when a shot fired by riot police hit the petrol bomb in his hand that he was preparing to throw during clashes in Sanabis, Bahrain, Thursday, March 14, 2013. Protests and clashes erupted in opposition areas nationwide with government opponents observing a “Dignity Strike” blocking roads, closing shops, protesting and staying home from work and school called by the more radical February 14 youth group. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

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Fishing and Firearms on Lake Turkana

“When Simon Choko goes out fishing on Kenya’s lake Turkana, he brings a gun as well as a net. In the drought-stricken corner of northwestern Kenya, the native Turkana community to which Choko belongs is involved in deadly conflict with rivals from across the border in neighboring Ethiopia, as the poor populations compete for dwindling food.

The Turkana are traditionally nomadic pastoralists but they have seen the grass that they need to feed their herds wither in the face of recurring droughts. As conditions change, the Turkana have had to change too, and many have turned to fishing.

The trend began back in the 1960s, following a devastating drought, which wiped out entire herds. As a new source of survival, the government started to introduce communities to fishing in the plentiful waters of the vast and then mostly untouched Lake Turkana.

Authorities gave out fishing nets and resettled affected communities in villages along the shores of the lake. The change was a tough one for many Turkana, a society where a man’s status is traditionally linked to the size of his herd and “fish-eater” used to be an insult.

But people adapted and a new economy geared up, although for many it was a way to save money by selling fish in order to eventually restock their lost herds and go back to their pastoralists roots.

But things have changed again. Lake Turkana is overfished, and scarcity of food is fuelling long-standing tensions with Ethiopian indigenous Dhaasanac, who have seen their grazing grounds squeezed by large-scale government agricultural schemes in southern Ethiopia, and who now venture ever deeper into Kenyan territory in search of fish and grass.

The conflict is just one example of clashes that take place between different ethnic groups in various parts of Kenya over cattle-raiding, politics and limited resources.

Here, the Turkana community fishing near Todonyang, close to the Ethiopian border, have formed themselves into a well-organized armed group, as they fear attacks both on the lake and on the shores, where they have set up temporary fishing camps”. – Siegfried Modola via Reuters

160 Fishing and Firearms on Lake Turkana
A Turkana girl holds a lamb at the end of the day inside her family’s cattle kraal in the disputed area of the Ilemi triangle in northwestern Kenya near the borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan October 14, 2013The Turkana are traditionally nomadic pastoralists, but they have seen the pasture that they need to feed their herds suffer from recurring droughts and many have turned to fishing. However, Lake Turkana is overfished, and scarcity of food and pastureland is fuelling long-standing conflict with Ethiopian indigenous Dhaasanac, who have seen grazing grounds squeezed by large-scale government agricultural schemes in southern Ethiopia. The Dhaasanac now venture ever deeper into Kenyan territory in search of fish and grass, clashing with neighbours. Fighting between the communities has a long history, but the conflict has become ever more fatal as automatic weapons from other regional conflicts seep into the area. While the Turkana region is short of basics like grass and ground-water, it contains other resources including oil reserves and massive, newly discovered underground aquifers. (Photo by Siegfried Modola/Reuters)

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Kevin Silva has been Collecting Batman Memorabilia Since He was Five

150 Kevin Silva has been Collecting Batman Memorabilia Since He was Five
A Batman fan has spent over $100,000 building a shrine dedicated to his hero. Kevin Silva from Indiana, U.S, keeps his 2,500-item haul in his very own basement ‘Batcave’. After he was bought a Batman lunchbox in kindergarten, Mr Silva became hooked, and since then he just hasn’t been able to resist any kind of Batman merchandise.

The electrician, who says that his favourite Batman film is The Dark Knight, has even splashed out on a $3,600 replica of Adam West’s Batsuit. But luckily for Mr Silva, his wife Janet, 50 and two children fully support his adoration for the caped crusader and have even started their own memorabilia collections. Mr Silva’s daughter Kaylaigh, 25, now collects anything Marilyn Munroe while his son Dylan, 21, is building up an impressive collection of rock band Kiss memorabilia.

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83-Year-old Man Lives in Makeshift VW Beetle

135 83 Year old Man Lives in Makeshift VW Beetle
This 1967 VW Beetle may seem battered, but for 83-year-old Oscar Almaguer, it’s home.

The native of Monterrey, Mexico has lived in his car since he and his wife divorced 10 years ago. The couple had sold all of their belongings so they could divide their money in half when they split. Oscar’s wife, however, soon disappeared with everything, leaving him with only the car to his name.

The car has had only basic maintenance, and several layers of common oil-based paint cover the original colouring . Few of the car’s remaining parts are original. The engine, which Almaguer starts by short-circuiting two wires under the hood, comes from a more modern VW Sedan. The wheels and seats are from another Volkswagen model and instead of a gear-stick Almaguer uses a plastic bathroom pipe. (Daniel Becerril / Reuters)

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