- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 28, 2004

Airport’ author dies

Top-selling British author Arthur Hailey, whose novels sold 170 million copies around the world, died in his sleep at his Bahamas home, his wife said on Thursday. He was 84. The author of several bestsellers that became blockbuster movies, including “Airport” and “Hotel,” had been ailing since suffering a stroke two months ago. But he had enjoyed dinner with two of his six children just a few hours before he died.

Collection rejected

Charles Saatchi, a noted British art collector, says he offered his entire collection valued at $378 million to London’s Tate Modern Museum — but it was rejected.

Nicholas Serota, the museum’s director, refused the donation without consulting his trustees because he said the museum already had commitments, Mr. Saatchi told the Sunday Telegraph in an interview.

Mr. Saatchi said the Tate, which receives $56 million in government funding annually, missed crucial investment opportunities in the 1990s.

He praised the Tate as a museum of contemporary art, but finds the exhibits disappointing and its curators lacking in ambition.

Mr. Serota has denied Mr. Saatchi’s statement, telling The Art Newspaper that Mr. Saatchi had only offered to loan his 2,500-item collection.

Royalties due chorus

Twenty-five years after performing on Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall,” members of a British school choir have become eligible for royalties.

The chorus of the song that included the lines, “We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control,” was sung by 24 children aged 13 and 14 from Islington Green School, in London, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

They were not paid individually at the time, but the school received a donation of about $1,900.

However, under the 1996 Copyright Act, the former members of the chorus are due royalties from broadcasters every time the song is played on radio or television.

Each airplay accrues only pennies to be split between the record company, Pink Floyd and session musicians, but it is estimated each former chorus member has earned $568 each so far under the new rules.

Staplers of the stars

More than 120 U.S. celebrities, ranging from Bill Gates to Jennifer Love Hewitt. are participating in the “Staplers of the Stars” online charity auction.

Created by the office supply store, Staples, celebrities from film, music, sports and business have donated autographed staplers.

Each celebrity has identified his or her favorite charity that will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the auction.

Those who bid the highest will receive the stapler in a display case perfect to rest on a desk or bookshelf.

Other celebrities involved include: actors Meryl Streep and Benicio Del Toro, football great Tom Brady, network news anchor Katie Couric, and musicians Ringo Starr and Alice Cooper.

To view or bid on the staplers, visit the Staplers of the Stars auction Web site at staples.com through Dec. 6.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire service reports.

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