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USA: It’s kind of a big deal that Emerson College is changing the name of its school of communication.

The college in Boston will rename the school — for one day only — the Ron Burgundy School of Communication on Dec 4 to honour the fictitious TV anchorman.

Actor Will Ferrell, in character, is due to share his path to journalism greatness with students. His visit will include a news conference, the renaming ceremony and a screening of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Ferrell, as himself, will introduce the movie.

College president Lee Pelton says Burgundy “understands the power of media, as well as hairspray, firsthand”.

Burgundy, known for telling people he’s “kind of a big deal”, says he hopes to let students know how hard it is to make it to the top, in his words, “especially if you don’t have good hair”.

Neanderthal viruses in human DNA

ENGLAND: Ancient viruses inherited from neanderthals have been found in modern human DNA.

Scientists are investigating possible links between the “endogenous retroviruses”, which are hard-wired into DNA, and modern diseases such as Aids and cancer.

Researchers from Oxford University’s Department of Zoology compared DNA from neanderthals and another groups of ancient humans called denisovans with that obtained from cancer patients. They found evidence of neanderthal and denisovan viruses in the modern DNA, suggesting that they originated in a common ancestor more than half a million years ago.

Pizza punch-up

USA: The mayor of Chicago has become embroiled in a row with US comedian Jon Stewart over the city’s prized deep-dish pizzas.

Stewart denounced it on The Daily Show as “an above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats”.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel then sent an anchovy-covered “real pizza” to the show, but Stewart replied with an online video showing a dog sniffing the pizza before walking away.

ROMANIA: He plays the tough guy in movies but actor Steven Seagal showed his soft side when he “adopted” one of Bucharest’s street dogs.

The dogs have been in the news after a 4-year-old boy was fatally mauled by a stray in August and the parliament passed a law permitting Bucharest’s 64,000 street dogs to be euthanised.

Seagal visited a dog shelter south of Bucharest on Sunday and adopted a 7-month-old black and tan puppy in the long-distance adoption program, which costs 60 lei (€14) a month. The dog will remain at the shelter.

“I am doing the best I can to bring awareness so that we can make sure these accidents and tragedies don’t happen again,” said Seagal.

He is in Romania filming thriller A Good Man.

Out of ammo

RUSSIA: The 94-year-old designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, the world’s most popular gun, is seriously ill in hospital.

Russian Mikhail Kalashnikov is in an emergency unit in the province of Udmurtia, but no further details of his condition were released.

Around 100m AK-47s are spread globally. The name stands for ‘Avtomat Kalashnikova’ or Kalashnikov’s automatic, and the year it went into production.

Tough love

USA: An American social worker has been arrested after a foster child she was caring for was found cuffed by the ankle to her front porch with a dead chicken hanging around his neck.

Wanda Sue Larson and partner Dorian Lee Harper were arrested in Monroe, North Carolina, after a sheriff’s deputy found the shivering 11-year-old boy. The couple, both 57, adopted four children and were serving as foster parents to the fifth child.

They are charged with intentional child abuse, inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment, and cruelty to animals.

Stolen custom neon green wheelchair returned to Ohio boy

USA: A custom neon green wheelchair stolen from a 9-year-old Cleveland boy was returned anonymously to a police station but with serious damage.

The wheelchair with wheels that light up is owned by Stephen Gibson, who has cerebral palsy and scoliosis.

Stephen and his family realiSed thieves had broken into their garage and taken it along with $200 (€150) worth of groceries from a freezer.

When Stephen and his mother, Barbara Gibson, told their story to local media a citywide hunt for the wheelchair ensued.

Although the chair was returned, one of the wheels is bent, the emergency brakes have been removed, and the wheels no longer light up.


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