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2 giant pandas land in Scotland

LONDON — Two giant pandas from China landed Sunday in Scotland, where they will become the first pandas to live in Britain in nearly two decades.

The 8-year-old pair, named Tian Tian and Yang Guang - or Sweetie and Sunshine - were welcomed by bagpipe players and a host of dignitaries as they touched down at Edinburgh Airport on a specially chartered Boeing 777 flight called the “Panda Express.”

The pandas, from the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, are to stay for 10 years at Edinburgh Zoo, where officials hope they will give birth to cubs.

The female, Tian Tian, has had twin cubs in the past, but not with Yang Guang. The male panda previously has fathered cubs as well.

The Scottish government has said the loan of the pandas symbolizes a “growing friendship” between Scotland and China.

Zoo officials have spent the past five years securing the loan of the animals, which are expected to boost Scottish tourism.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland will pay more than $935,000 a year to China for the loan of Sweetie and Sunshine, not including the expense of imported bamboo.

Britain’s last giant panda, Ming Ming, lived in the London Zoo until 1994, when she was returned to China.


Opus Dei told to delete ex-member’s data

MADRID — The conservative Catholic movement Opus Dei must remove the personal details of a former devotee from its records because she asked it to do so when she left, Spain’s Supreme Court said.

The court upheld a prior ruling by the National Court that had ordered the removal of the woman’s name, joining and leaving dates from the Vatican-supported movement’s database.

The ruling, released late Saturday, said storing the details “ceased being necessary for the purposes which had originally justified their keeping because she decided to stop belonging to Opus Dei.”

Opus Dei had based its appeal on a 1979 accord between Spain and the Holy See that it claimed guarantees the inviolability of its archives.

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