London

Violin played on Titanic goes on the auction block

It’s a poignant scene familiar to anyone who has watched “Titanic” – as the ship slides into the icy waters, musicians perform for the passengers, playing with stoic resolve until the final hour.

None of the musicians survived in the 1912 disaster in the North Atlantic, but a violin believed to be the one played by bandmaster Wallace Hartley will now go on auction.

“It is just a remarkable piece of history,” said Andrew Aldridge, of auctioneer Henry Aldridge and Son.

The auction house, which specializes in Titanic memorabilia, expects the violin to fetch more than 200,000 pounds (US$323,300) when it goes on sale Saturday.

Red-haired pupils attacked at school in north of England

British police say they were called after a string of attacks on red-haired pupils at a school in northern England.

South Yorkshire Police said in a statement Friday the force had been alerted to last week’s assaults at Wingfield Academy in the town of Rotherham, about 160 miles north of London.

It said a small number of pupils had sustained minor injuries after being attacked by fellow students. No arrests were made, but police said they had given some of the students involved a talking to, while the school said it condemned the attacks.

The issue of bullying of red-haired children periodically arises in Britain, and some commentators have attributed the phenomenon to lingering anti-Celtic prejudice.

Sydney

Wildfires destroy 193 homes in New South Wales state

The destruction toll continued to rise on Saturday from some of the most costly wildfires to ever strike Australia’s most populous state as firefighters prepared for worsening conditions.

In the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, one of the worst hit regions in fire-ravaged New South Wales state, 193 homes have been destroyed and another 109 damaged by the firestorm that peaked Thursday, the Rural Fire Service announced Saturday.