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In brief: UC protesters arrested, released

Berkeley, Calif. – The occupation of a campus building at the University of California, Berkeley, in a protest over fee hikes and budget cuts ended peacefully Friday.

UC Berkeley spokeswoman Claire Holmes said 41 demonstrators who had barricaded themselves inside Wheeler Hall were arrested on suspicion of trespassing around 5 p.m. Friday. The group was cited and released a little more than two hours later.

The demonstrators had occupied the building on Friday morning to protest a 32 percent increase in student fees and job and program cuts.

Boy saves sister, mother dies in fire

Phoenix – A 3-year-old Arizona boy helped his 1-year-old sister escape Friday from a house fire that killed their mother and injured two other adults, authorities said.

Fire crews responding to the fire in the Pinal County community of Maricopa south of Phoenix found the mother, 22-year-old Michelle Mariano, lying just a couple of feet from the mobile home’s doorway.

Authorities said Mariano’s sister, 28-year-old Marion Mariano, was severely burned. She and the little girl, named Eden, were airlifted to Maricopa Medical Center’s burn unit in Phoenix.

15 lizards found strapped to man

Los Angeles – Federal officials said they arrested a man who strapped 15 live lizards to his chest to get through Customs at Los Angeles International Airport.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday that 40-year-old Michael Plank of Lomita, Calif., was returning from Australia when U.S. Customs agents found two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks – another type of lizard – fastened to his body Tuesday.

Authorities say the lizards’ value totals more than $8,500.


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