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Airline staffer quits after leaks to paparazzi

LONDON (AP) -- A Virgin Atlantic employee has resigned following allegations she routinely fed information about the airline's celebrity clientele -- from Madonna to Sienna Miller -- to a paparazzi agency.

The employee was a junior member of the team that looks after high-profile clients, Virgin said Friday. She quit Thursday before reports published in the Guardian and the Press Gazette alleged that she had passed the booking information of more than 60 celebrities on to the Big Pictures photo agency.

Among those allegedly targeted: Britain's Princess Beatrice; singers Madonna and Rihanna; actors Charlize Theron, Kate Winslet, Daniel Radcliffe and Miller; comedians Sacha Baron Cohen and Russell Brand; and a slew of U.K. celebrities and sports figures.


Ex-Mubarak deputy to run for president

CAIRO (AP) -- A former deputy of ousted President Hosni Mubarak announced his presidential candidacy Friday, shaking up an already heated race that is emerging as a contest between two longtime rivals -- former regime officials and Islamists.

Omar Suleiman, one of the most powerful figures of Mubarak's regime, had said earlier this week that he would not run. But he said he changed his mind after hundreds of people rallied in Cairo to support a bid.

The announcement drew outrage from youth activists who spearheaded the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak last year and have since been disappointed by the continued influence of members of his ex-regime. Some have vowed to boycott the May 23-24 balloting altogether.

A win for Suleiman would largely keep control of Egypt in the hands of the military. Egypt's last four presidents have all been military men.

Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organized Islamist movement, named its chief strategist and financier Khairat el-Shater as a candidate.


Church leader's watch stirs anger, apology

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia is abuzz with talk of the Orthodox Church's wealth and its close links to the Kremlin after an expensive watch was seemingly airbrushed from the wrist of the church's patriarch in a website picture.

Bloggers earlier this week spotted the photo of Patriarch Kirill on the church's website, but by Thursday it appeared editors had doctored the image, erasing the watch but failing to get rid of its reflection.

Reacting to public indignation, the patriarch's office promptly apologized for "a mistake" of an employee and promised "severe punishment" for the culprit.

Prominent Orthodox followers have lambasted the church for the incident, including anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny who said it was "shameful." Many others have questioned if it was appropriate for a man of cloth to own such expensive things.

Rumors about Kirill's timepiece first surfaced in 2009 when a photo by a Ukrainian journalist clearly showed the watch and its make -- a Breguet, which retails for around $30,000.