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Across the world, people are increasingly embracing the subculture of “mermaiding.” At its simplest, these are humans of all genders, shapes and backgrounds who enjoy dressing up as mermaids. In recent years, a growing number have flocked to mermaid conventions and competitions, formed local groups called “pods,” and poured their savings into a multimillion-dollar mermaid tail industry. On a planet plagued by war, disease and social upheaval, many merfolk have found life in the water a refuge. Away from the critics and chaos of life on land, mer-world is the kinder, gentler and more joyful alternative to the real world. Merfolk say it's also a world where you can be whoever and whatever you want.

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What is art? Do awards make you a better artist? Are blockbuster movies only for pseudo-actors? These are some questions unleashed in “Official Competition,” a comedy by Argentine directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat starring Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez in a battle of egos and vanity. Cruz plays Lola Cuevas, a relentless woman with no filter, passionate about film down to the smallest detail, but with a rather unconventional approach. Banderas plays a star of international stature with many awards and blockbuster films, but who tends to be late for rehearsals. Banderas and Cruz talk to The Associated Press about this film, which opens Friday in the US.

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NICE, France (AP) — A Tunisian living in France drove a large truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day along Nice's beachfront, killing at least 84 people, many of them children, according to police and hospital officials. The slaughter ended only after police killed the armed attacker …

LONDON (AP) — David Cameron made his final appearance in Parliament as Britain's leader with dignity and humor Wednesday, turning the usually raucous prime minister's questions session into a time for praise, thanks, gentle ribbing, cheers — and a sprinkle of criticism.

BEIJING (AP) — China warned other countries Wednesday against threatening its security in the South China Sea after an international tribunal handed the Philippines a victory by saying Beijing had no legal basis for its expansive claims there.

AYNATA, Lebanon (AP) — In front-line villages of south Lebanon, the posters of Hezbollah members killed fighting Israel 10 years ago still stand, but have faded. Now rising up around them is a new generation of posters, bearing the faces of young fighters from the militant group killed in Syria.

DADAAB, Kenya (AP) — Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai was spending her 19th birthday on Tuesday visiting the world's largest refugee camp to draw attention to the global refugee crisis, especially as Dadaab camp faces pressure to close after a quarter-century.

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a farewell Cabinet meeting Tuesday as moving vans pulled up to his 10 Downing St. residence a day before he is replaced as leader following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.