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McCartney surprise

London, Feb. 23 (Reuters): Former Beatle Paul McCartney sang and danced at a surprise birthday party for a 50-year-old fan in California, raising $1 million for charity, his agent said today.

McCartney performed 19 songs, including classics such as “Let it Be”, “Yesterday” and “Back in the USSR”, for 150 people at the private party at a club in San Diego, California.

“Normally I don’t do this sort of gig, but I was chuffed to do it because it was a win-win show,” McCartney said in a statement. Financier Ralph Whitworth secretly hired McCartney for his wife’s party at the Ranch Blues Club last night.

Wendy Walker Whitworth, senior vice president of CNN, was stunned when McCartney took to the stage to perform in front of her family and friends. McCartney presented her with 50 roses and they danced together to the Beatles song “Birthday”. Among the guests were CNN’s Larry King and NBC’s Katie Couric.

War fears

Berlin (Reuters): American actor George Clooney stepped up his criticism of George W. Bush’s administration today, saying he feared a war against Iraq was inevitable but would ultimately only lead to more violence. “America’s policies frustrate me,” he said in a German television programme. “I think a war against Iraq is as unavoidable as it is senseless. I think it’s coming. But I also think the real danger is going to be what happens after it.” Clooney, who in interviews with European newspapers has accused Bush of war-mongering, is on a growing list of Hollywood celebrities to speak out against war.

Net reach

Kathmandu (Reuters): Grandson of a Nepali sherpa, who took part in the first expedition to scale Mount Everest 50 years ago, plans to set up the world’s highest Internet cafe at the mountain’s base camp. Tsering Gyaltsen, whose grandfather, Gyaltsen Sherpa, was in the 1953 team that helped Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reach the 29,040-ft summit, hopes to open the cafe next month to cash in on a flood of visitors for the anniversary.

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