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LONDON: Oxford University students have lodged a protest about the “hugely unjust” sacking of a librarian who failed to stop about 30 students performing the Harlem Shake in a college library. They claim that Calypso Nash, a graduate student of St Hilda’s College, had nothing to do with the filming of the Internet dance craze on February 17 but just happened to be there at the time. “We feel the librarian has been treated unfairly, thus we call for her reinstatement,” student leader Ellen Gibson said. The video reportedly attracted more than 5,000 views on YouTube before being taken down. The video showed a man in a helmet dancing alone in a library full of students working quietly. Then it cut to a scene where everyone in the room is wearing fancy dress and dancing like crazy.
Two more self-immolations in Bulgaria
SOFIA: Two more people have set themselves on fire in Bulgaria, bringing to seven the number of self-immolations amid growing despair over poverty, state BNR radio reported yesterday. A 41-year-old unemployed father doused himself with fuel and set himself ablaze in the northeastern village of Sitovo yesterday. He was hospitalised with burns over 90 percent of his body but was conscious, telling doctors that he did it out of despair, BNR added. A 59-year-old miner was also fighting for his life with 30-percent burns after setting himself on fire in the small mining town of Bobov dol, in eastern Bulgaria. Five other people have set themselves ablaze in the past month. Four of them — three men and a woman — died of their injuries.
South African oppn leader bitten by rat
JOHANNESBURG: South African opposition leader Helen Zille said she has been bitten by a rat outside her home in Cape Town. “The weirdest thing just happened. I went to fetch the newspapers at the gate when a rat darted out, and bit me on my toe!” the head of the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition group, said on Twitter. She posted a photograph of her bloody toe after Tuesday’s incident. When a reader asked why she did not blame the ruling African National Congress for the incident, she replied: “Damn, why didn’t I think of that!!”.
UK horror writer James Herbert dies
LONDON: Best-selling British horror writer James Herbert, who penned novels such as The Rats and The Fog, has died suddenly at the age of 69, his publisher said. Herbert’s editor at publisher Pan Macmillan, Jeremy Trevathan, said the writer died yesterday morning in bed at his home in Sussex. Herbert wrote 23 novels, was published in 34 languages and sold more than 54 million copies worldwide during a writing career which spanned nearly 40 years. Four of his novels were made into films: The Survivor, Fluke, Haunted and The Rats, whose silver screen title was Deadly Eyes.
Diana dresses raise £862,000
LONDON: Ten dresses owned by Princess Diana, including the one worn when she danced with actor John Travolta at a White House dinner, sold for £862,800 at a London auction. The most iconic item — the strapless dark blue velvet gown worn at a 1985 dinner thrown by US president Ronald Reagan in honour of the Prince and Princess of Wales — raised £240,000 ($363.000). The dress was bought “by a British gentleman who said he wanted to buy it as a surprise to cheer up his wife”, explained auctioneer Kerry Taylor.