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Jackson bitten

Santa Maria (California), Dec. 4 (Reuters): Superstar Michael Jackson hobbled into a central California courtroom on crutches yesterday to resume testifying in a $21-million lawsuit despite what he said was a painful spider bite to his foot.

Jackson arrived at court nattily dressed in a white satin vest and tie, black slacks and a blue jacket — but missing one shoe. Explaining the crutches and incongruous white athletic sock he wore, the self-styled King of Pop said he had been bitten by a spider and had woken to find his foot so badly swollen that it could no longer fit inside a shoe.

Jackson, wearing pink lipstick and heavily rouged cheeks, spent much of the day on the witness stand answering questions from attorneys for German promoter Marcel Avram, who is suing him over cancelled millennium concerts.

Liam marks

London (Reuters): British rock star Liam Gallagher returned home on Tuesday after a brawl in a Munich hotel — and he did not appear to have any obvious marks on him. The volatile lead singer of Oasis was reported to have broken two teeth in the punch-up. The 30-year old singer could face charges for causing grievous bodily harm, disturbing the peace, destroying property and resisting arrest after the Sunday morning brawl at a Munich hotel. Liam swaggered off his flight from Munich at London’s Heathrow Airport showing no obvious signs that he had been in a serious scrap. There were no cuts to his face, no bruises and no swelling around his mouth. He made no attempt to hide his face as he walked from his British Airways jet with his head held high.

Art notes

Oslo (Reuters): A Christmas tree decorated with banknotes worth about $2,000 has been stripped by thieves at Oslo’s main railway station. Magne Furuholmen, of Norwegian pop group a-ha, made flowers and stars out of banknotes when he was paid 14,000 Norwegian crowns ($1,930) to decorate a two-metre tree at the station. Furuholmen, who gained fame with the a-ha song Take on Me and is also an artist, used 50, 100, 200 and 500-crown notes as decorations to symbolise the commercialisation of Christmas. He also hung up chains made of five-crown coins. He shrugged off the widely predicted theft. “There was a distinct possibility that this was going to happen,” Furuholmen said. Asked if he would ask the police to track the thieves, he said: “I don’t see it in that way. I see it more that a person has completed the work and taken an incredibly good payment.”


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