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IN BRIEF: 'My sister and mam are dead'

A nine-year-old boy arrived at a Las Vegas school and told teachers his mother and sister were dead at their home four streets away.

Minutes later, police found the bodies of a 10-year-old girl and her mother -- along with a blood-covered man and an unharmed four-year-old boy -- at the house.

The man was hospitalised in critical condition with a head injury. The five people belonged to a single family, police said yesterday.

There was no evidence of a break-in at the home.

Superman turns $130 into $160k

Decades after two young cartoonists from Cleveland sold the rights to Superman for $130, their 1938 pay cheque fetched $160,000 (¤122,000) in an auction.

The winning bid landed the cheque that Detective Comics, later known as DC Comics, wrote to Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster for the comic-book character with the 'S' emblazoned on his chest.

"The concept of the superhero was born with Superman," said Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of New York-based ComicConnect, which held the online auction.

"That $130 cheque essentially created a billion-dollar industry."

Hero dog back with owners

A loyal Labrador retriever named Maggie, who was videotaped as she guarded the body of a dog hit and killed by a car in California, has been reunited with her family.

A passer-by noticed the street scene last week, put traffic cones around the dogs and took the video that touched hearts across the US.

Maggie's family has claimed her. Dozens of people had called or visited the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control shelter offering to adopt the dog.

Firm lines up for space trip

A private US company is on track to become the first commercial visitor to the International Space Station.

Nasa said there is a good chance that Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX, will make its April 30 date to launch a cargo ship to the space station.