The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Spirit of an idol

Los Angeles, March 4 (Reuters): Pop singer Anastacia recently underwent breast cancer and reconstructive surgery, and subsequent tests showed early detection of the tumour had saved her life, her surgeon said yesterday.

The recording artist, 29, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. “Although what Anastacia has is serious, she is very lucky,” a statement issued by her publicist said. “Due to the aggressive nature of her cancer, she was a month away from a more immediate life-threatening condition. However, her prognosis is good, as are her spirits, which figures into any patient’s successful recovery.”

Starting out as a dancer on “Club MTV” and in music videos of other artists, Anastacia landed a recording contract with Sony Music’s Epic Records label after she was a finalist on the MTV talent contest show The Cut in 1999. More recently, she appeared on the soundtrack to the Oscar-nominated musical Chicago, singing Love is a Crime.

Jumbo plan

n Bangkok (Reuters): The Thai government wants to buy more than 1,600 elephants as part of a $40-million effort to take them off Bangkok streets, where they cause about 20 accidents a month and often break legs falling into drains and ditches. The environment ministry has proposed offering between 50,000 and 100,000 baht ($1,165 and $2,330) to handlers, who earn money selling fruit to tourists who feed the elephants, to employ the tuskers in patrols against illegal logging.

Coded wine

Paris (Reuters): Conmen used fake barcode stickers to buy hundreds of bottles of vintage wine at rockbottom prices in Parisian supermarkets, police said on Tuesday. Police arrested three Romanians and found 900 bottles of wine and champagne in a shed in a Paris suburb. They said the wine was to be sold to restaurants at a comfortable profit. Police said the conmen donned suits to minimise suspicion, replacing shop barcodes with stickers of their own to fool supermarket machines.

Pizza blues

Frankfurt (Reuters): Unhappy with his pizza and not content with a refund, a man in Germany went after the chef with an axe. Frankfurt police said the 57-year-old man was restrained by customers after he drew the axe from his coat and started swinging it at the cook. “Apparently, the pizza didn’t agree with him,” said police spokesman Manfred Feist. “He wasn’t a regular customer.” The drunken man, who had been offered a refund or a fresh pizza after complaining his first one was revolting, was ejected from the restaurant after shouting abuse.

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