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In brief: Hotel Alcatraz is open for business

A hotel billed as one of the toughest in the UK has opened its doors to the public.

Hotel Alcatraz, in Field Street, King's Cross, London, has been created to mark the launch of JJ Abrams' new drama series of the same name, a spokesman for the hotel said. He said the four-room residence has been modelled on San Francisco's infamous prison.

'Magic mirror' for shopping centre

The way people shop for clothes is being transformed with a 'magic mirror'. The mirror is a TV screen that lets customers view a real-time image of themselves with digital outfits superimposed on their bodies.

Shoppers can switch their outfits at a wave of their hand. The new technology is being used at the Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester.

String quartet takes to the skies

A string quartet will take to the skies and perform in four helicopters as part of the premiere of a classic modern opera.

German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen's work 'Mittwoch aus Licht', which also includes two choirs and electronic and acoustic music, will be performed by the Birmingham Opera Company as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Tallest man has growth stopped

The world's tallest man may have reached his peak after treatment at a US hospital.

Measuring 8ft 3ins, Sultan Kosen of Turkey is listed in the 2011 Guinness World Records at the tallest living man. He was treated at the University of Virginia Medical Centre with a new drug designed to stop his continued growth.

One-man town to go up for auction

The smallest town in the United States goes up for auction next month.

The town of Buford in south-east Wyoming has just one inhabitant, Don Sammons. Now he plans to retire from managing his businesses there and move on.The assets for sale include a service station and convenience store, a garage and a three-bedroom home.

Girl (12) held after 'selling' her baby

A 12-year-old Greek girl has been arrested along with three of her relatives after selling her 10-week-old baby son for €12,000 to undercover officers posing as adoptive parents.

The girl, her 44-year-old aunt and her aunt's parents, aged 65 and 71, were all arrested on illegal adoption charges. The baby has been taken into care.

Police get tough on mosh pits

Police recently cited a US club for allowing violent mosh-pit dancing and vowed a crackdown on what they called "dangerous behaviour" and a "public safety hazard."

The 'Boston Herald' reports that police cited the House of Blues for a licence violation because of a mosh pit that broke out during a show by Flogging Molly. The club has agreed to put up signs saying mosh pits are banned.

iPads now among inflation markers

Tablet computers such as Apple's iPad and teen fiction such as the 'Twilight' series now form part of Britain's official inflation benchmark, the country's statistics agency said yesterday.

The Office for National Statistics said the new entrants replaced items that had fallen out of favour -- such as glass casserole dishes.

Irish Independent