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In Brief: Magician's head set on fire by TV host

A US magician is recovering in hospital after he was seriously injured when a TV host set his head on fire live on air.

Wayne Houchin was appearing on a show in the Dominican Republic when, in an unscripted prank, the host dropped flammable liquid on his head, setting him alight. He suffered burns to his head, face, neck and right hand and smoke inhalation.

Sneezing trucker wrecks 12 cars

A sneezing fit caused a lorry driver to crash into a dozen vehicles at a San Francisco car dealership.

Antonio Zamora (42) was driving at 30 to 35mph when he experienced the sneezing attack that caused the collision. Investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved.

Toilet paper thief makes amends

A COLLEGE graduate, feeling guilty over a student prank years ago, has sent a box of 80 toilet rolls to repay the school for loot taken from a dormitory.

Eastern New Mexico University says it received the gift box along with a Christmas card and a written apology. The box contained five packs of 16 rolls of two-ply, septic-safe tissue for a total of 80 rolls.

Slim pickings for would-be robbers

THREE masked men were foiled in their attempt to steal a cash box from a slimming class when a woman group leader turned on them.

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The raiders burst into a Slimming World meeting in Manchester and one of them ran across a hall to grab the evening's takings. But the group's leader picked up her chair and used it to knock him to the floor.

Lobsters finally give up their age

SCIENTISTS have finally worked out how to determine the age of a lobster.

Raouf Kilada of the University of New Brunswick discovered growth rings in a lobster's eye stalk and in teeth-like structures in their stomachs used to grind up food. It was thought that when lobsters, shrimp and crabs moult, they shed all parts of their bodies that might record annual growth bands.

Santa gives $100k to Sandy victims

A MISSOURI man posing as Secret Santa, who is giving away $100,000 (€77,000) this festive season, spent a day in New Jersey and New York giving money to people robbed of their belongings or homes by Superstorm Sandy.

The businessman, who walked up to surprised residents and thrust $100 bills into their hands, said he was setting an example and hoped others would follow.

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