While you were sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 8 edition

Celebrations begin for Berlin Wall's fall 25 years on

Germany kicked off celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the epochal fall of the Berlin Wall on Friday, set to culminate in rock stars and freedom icons joining millions at an open-air party.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, was leading three days of commemorations for those killed trying to flee the repressive state, ahead of a giant festival on Sunday marking the joyous breach of Europe's Cold War division on Nov 9, 1989.

Meanwhile, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev (above), whose "perestroika" and "glasnost" reforms helped pave the way for the Wall's fall, greeted crowds at the former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing.

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Tanzania denies ivory was smuggled out during a Chinese state visit 

Tanzania on Friday denied allegations by a campaign group that Chinese officials smuggled out large amounts of illegal ivory during a state visit by President Xi Jinping last year.

Foreign Minister Bernard Membe rejected as "lies" a report by the Environmental Investigation Agency, which said members of Xi's large delegation of businessmen and officials had sent the ivory home in diplomatic bags on the presidential plane.

China has called the allegations "baseless".

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Obama to meet Indonesia leader during Beijing summit 

President Barack Obama will meet his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo for the first time at next week's summit of Pacific leaders in Beijing, the White House said Friday.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Obama also will meet Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum, where leaders from the region seek to clinch a pan-Pacific trade deal.

The White House, however, downplayed hopes of much progress on the much-awaited Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would encompass 40 per cent of the global economy and include 12 nations. China is not a party to those negotiations.

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US comic Jerry Seinfeld thinks he's on the autism spectrum

Veteran US comedian Jerry Seinfeld says he thinks he is on the autism spectrum, describing it as an "alternate mindset."

"I think, on a very drawn-out scale, I think I'm on the spectrum," Seinfeld told NBC's "Nightly News" late Thursday.

The multi-millionaire actor - famous for his semi-autobiographical 1990s sitcom Seinfeld - said he was "never paying attention to the right things."

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Olympic officials name best London and Sochi athletes in inaugural Games 'Oscars' 

Kenyan middle distance runner David Rudisha was named as the best male athlete of the 2012 London Olympics at the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees awards ceremony on Friday.

Chinese table tennis player Li Xiaoxia won the women's award, while Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Dutch speed skater Irene Wust were recognised as the top male and female athletes at this year's Sochi Winter Olympics.

Olympic officials hope the awards, held for the first time as part of an initiative to modernise the Games, will become the "Oscars of Olympics sport."

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