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Louisiana Politics

EDINBURGH, Scotland (Reuters) - Scotland's lucrative whisky industry flagged its concerns over Scottish independence for the first time on Friday, saying a global network for promotion and sales was vital after reporting flat exports last year.

Figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) showed that exports in 2013 were steady at 4.3 billion pounds ($7.21 billion), representing around 85 percent of Scottish food and drink exports and nearly a quarter of the British total.

Since 2000, exports of whisky have increased more than 60 percent with whisky sold to about 200 markets worldwide, making it Scotland's second-largest export after oil and gas.

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Forbidden City, the former imperial palace in the heart of Beijing, will begin limiting how many tourists it admits, amid worries that its popularity is damaging the site, state media said on Wednesday.

The plans include not letting annual ticket holders visit during peak seasons, promoting afternoon visits at the height of the steamy summer in July and August, and selling tickets online during national holidays, the news agency Xinhua reported.

Built in the early 17th century, the Forbidden City and its fabled 9,999 rooms cover 74 hectares (183 acres) surrounded by a moat to the north of Tiananmen Square.

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TAIPEI (Reuters) - Cycling through the streets of Taiwan's capital, staff from a design company turn discarded plastic cups and bottles into pieces of art on the spot with Mobile Fab - an ordinary bike kitted out with a computer and 3D printer.

"We wanted to do something to bring both recycling and 3D printing closer to average people," said Kamm Kai-yu, a co-founder of the Taipei-based company Fabraft.

Festooned with pumps, wires, tubes and display panels, the Mobile Fab cuts the plastic into strips before grinding it into fine powder.

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Fancy a holiday in Yemen? What about Libya? Iraq, perhaps?

It's a tough sell, but tour operators from locations considered among the world's most dangerous have been trying to drum up interest at the world's biggest travel fair, the ITB Berlin in the German capital.

Their brochures offer tantalizing views of exotic souks, ancient ruins and breathtaking natural scenery, but curious visitors usually end up asking about the latest footage of violence and unrest they've seen on the television news.

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - "God is here, God is here," croons Singapore church official Sun Ho as she struts across a neon-lit stage and thousands of people in the congregation pump their hands and sing along.

Ho Kong Hee, the church's founding pastor and Sun Ho's husband, then takes the stage. In keeping with the electrifying mood, he invites his followers to speak "in tongues" and a pulsing murmur echoes through the auditorium of 8,000 people.

During the service, ushers hand out envelopes for donations, which consume at least a tenth of the salaries of most church members, going to fund different ministries, mission trips and special events.

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Modern fusion is the hallmark of Singaporean chef Justin Quek but tradition and technique are his unshakable foundation as he reinvents Asian favorites with French flavors and flair.

Quek, principal chef at the tony Sky on 57 restaurant atop the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore, fell into his career by accident. Wanting to travel as a young man, he took a job on a merchant ship and ended up as a steward in the galley.

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