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Rare Harry Potter prequel stolen in British burglary

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A rare Harry Potter prequel handwritten by author J.K. Rowling on a postcard has been stolen during a burglary in central England, police said on Friday as they appealed for help from fans of the wizard across the world.

The 800­word story, set three years before Harry Potter is born and which sold for 25,000 pounds at a charity auction in 2008, was stolen from a property in Birmingham between April 13­24.

“Please don’t buy this if you’re offered it,” Rowling wrote on Twitter. “Originally auctioned for @englishpen, the owner supported writers’ freedoms by bidding for it.”

The proceeds of the auction were donated to English PEN, an organisation which champions freedom of expression, and to Dyslexia Action.

“The only people who will buy this unique piece are true Harry Potter fans. We are appealing to anyone who sees, or is offered this item for sale, to contact police,” said Constable Paul Jauncey from West Midlands Police.

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Handwritten over two sides of an A5 postcard, the untitled prequel features the characters Sirius Black and Harry’s father James. It opens with a youthful Sirius and James cornered by two irate policemen at the end of a high­speed motorcycle chase.

After an exchange of words with the policemen, the two teenagers make their escape using a touch of magic. The card concludes with the words “From the prequel I am not working on ­­ but that was fun!”

More than 450 million copies of the seven original Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide in 79 languages. The movie franchise has grossed more than $7 billion worldwide.

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Salman Khan to perform in Kathmandu on March 10

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KATHMANDU — Bollywood star Salman Khan and over 60 actors will be performing in Kathmandu on March 10 for the musical tour, ‘Da-Bangg: The Tour’ event, which will take place at Tundikhel ground, and expected to attract around 50, 000 viewers, including 10,000 foreigners.

The two main organisers of the tour, Sohail Khan Entertainments and JA Events, and the partner organiser from Nepal, ODC Entertainment, for the event’s confirmation, have organised a press meet here at the Capital’s Soaltee Crowne Plaza on Friday.

‘Da-Bangg: The Tour Nepal’ will feature live performances by Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Prabhu Deva, Meet Bros, Daisy Shah, Kriti Sanon and Maniesh Paul.

Sohail Khan, the founder of Sohail Khan Entertainments — also an actor and the younger brother of Salman, briefed the media about the extravaganza that is to come.

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“We are extremely delighted to bring Da-Bangg: The Tour in Kathmandu for the first time. There should be more of these cultural shows and vice-versa, where Nepali artists and Indian artists get together; we should get together and make ties between our cultures into a very beautiful world,” Sohail said.

“I am sure the entire team is more than excited than the Nepali people, because Nepal is like our extended home, our neighbours, where we are always showered with immense love and support.”

Likwise, Deepak Joshi, CEO of the Nepal Tourism Board, said, “This event will also be one of the instrumental to promote Nepal to recover our tourism as events are very important to promote destinations. For many Indian visitors it is very popular as a party and pilgrimage segment, very popular for adventure enthusiasts and weekend breakers and an equally important destination for film makers too.”

Apart from the event, Salman Khan is scheduled to visit the Chandragiri Hills. He is also scheduled to undertake a Heli flight to see Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nupche, Makalu and other high Himalayan peaks.

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