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Service dog in audience chases actress dressed as a cat off stage

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A service dog forgot he was at work and charged towards one of the characters during a recent performance of Cats.

The Broadway performance of the Andrew LLoyd Webber musical – which sees actors and actresses dress up as cats – was halted when the service dog leapt up from beside its owner and sprinted towards the stage.

Spies at the Neil Simon Theatre told Page Six the dog ‘got away from its owner and ran after [the character] Bombalurina, performed by actress Mackenzie Warren, during the opening number’ Jellicle Cat.

 Luckily a fast-moving user intervened and ‘returned the wayward canine to its mortified owner’.

Service dog in audience chases actress dressed as a cat off stage

A spokesperson confirmed that the incident took place but added: ‘In the storied history of Cats, this is the first time one of the actual cats was involved in an incident with a dog.

‘We’re pleased to report that no animals or humans were harmed in the dust-up, and the performance continued without a hitch.’

Webber – the man behind a string of hit musicals including The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar – is publishing his autobiography ‘Unmasked’ before his 70th birthday in March next year.

His record-breaking musical Cats will play its final Broadway show on December 30.

Service dog in audience chases actress dressed as a cat off stage

Cats – which won a Tony Award for Best Musical – is based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

A teenager with a heart condition opened up about her service dog back in October, saying the pet had ‘saved her life’. While a campaign to stop hero dogs belonging to the Army being put down after their service was launched recently.

 

 

24 Hours Across Africa

Cameroon crisis: Ambazonia separatists get life sentences

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A leader of Cameroon’s separatist movement, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, and nine of his followers have been given life sentences by a military court in the capital, Yaoundé.

They were convicted of rebellion, among other charges.

Their lawyers accused the judge of bias and withdrew from the proceedings.

The English-speaking separatists argue they are marginalised by the bureaucracy and school system in the majority French-speaking country.

The defendants had been arrested in Nigeria in January 2018 and deported back to Cameroon.

The court session on the verdicts, which started on Monday, went on until 05:30 (04:30 GMT) local time Tuesday morning, reports the BBC’s Leocadio Bongben.

By that time the defence lawyers had already withdrawn from the proceedings but continued to stay in the court as spectators.

Defence barrister Joseph Fru said there were irregularities in the proceedings, including the judge’s biases, but the military court rejected his evidence.

The long list of charges included rebellion, complicity in terrorism, financing terrorism, revolution, insurrection, hostility against the state, propagation of fake news and lack of identification.

The court also ordered the 10 to pay a fine of 250bn CFA francs ($422m; £359m) to the government for civil damages and 12bn CFA francs for court costs.

What’s happening in Cameroon?

Among the 10 who were convicted was Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, the leader of the so-called Governing Council of Ambazonia – the name separatists have given to Cameroon’s Anglophone North-West and South-West regions.

Cameroon’s English-speakers say they have been marginalised for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.

The current crisis started in 2016 when lawyers and teachers went on strike over the use of French in courts and schools.

In October 2017, activists declared autonomy over the two English-speaking regions – a move rejected by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya.

Some took up arms in 2017 and the crisis has forced more than 500,000 people from their homes.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Saudi Arabia implements end to travel restrictions for Saudi women: agency

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Reuters – Saudi Arabia has begun implementing previously announced changes that allow adult women to travel without permission and to exercise more control over family matters, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday.

“The passports and civil status departments and their branches in all regions of the kingdom have started to implement the amendments stipulated in the royal decree,” the report said, citing an interior ministry source.

Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Gareth Jones

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