Lana Del Rey ‘super happy’ but jittery after stalker arrested

Singer Lana Del Rey broke down in tears at a concert and acknowledged feeling jitters after police arrested a stalker who allegedly wanted to kidnap her.(AFP)
Updated 07 February 2018
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Lana Del Rey ‘super happy’ but jittery after stalker arrested

NEW YORK: Singer Lana Del Rey broke down in tears at a concert and acknowledged feeling jitters after police arrested a stalker who allegedly wanted to kidnap her.
The 32-year-old artist, known for her melancholic baroque pop and tales of ill-fated love, said she was feeling “a little more emotional than I thought” as she opened a concert Monday night in Atlanta.
“I was feeling totally fine and then I just got a little bit nervous right when I got on stage,” Del Rey said as she wiped her cheeks with her hands and paced the stage, the crowd hollering its support.
“I just want to say that I’m super happy to be with you guys and if I’m a little bit feathery, just bear with me.”
She was referring to an incident shortly before her previous concert Friday in Orlando where police said they arrested 43-year-old Michael Hunt after being tipped off to threatening social media posts.
Hunt was arrested a block away from the concert venue with a knife and a ticket to the concert, police said.
He was being held without bond on charges of attempted kidnapping with a weapon and aggravated stalking with a credible threat, court documents showed. He did not immediately enter a plea.
Hunt’s Facebook page, which remained up Tuesday, showed a round-the-clock obsession with Del Rey interspersed with apocalyptic warnings about the world as well as more obscure bugbears, such as outrage over a group of naked bicyclists.
Hunt, who lives some 135 kilometers (85 miles) away in the western Florida city of Riverview, posted Del Rey’s “I Still Love Him” and appeared to portray himself as the song’s subject.
“I love you so much Lana(.) I can’t wait to be back in your arms in a few days,” he posted, declaring that everyone at the concert “will know who I am when I get there.”


Iraq says goodbye to its beloved archaeologist Al-Gailani

Updated 21 January 2019
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Iraq says goodbye to its beloved archaeologist Al-Gailani

  • Al-Gailani was one of Iraq’s first women to excavate the country’s archaeological heritage
  • After the US-led invasion, Al-Gailani continued to travel to Iraq, determined to rescue its heritage even as the country convulsed with war

BAGHDAD: Iraq on Monday mourned the loss of Lamia Al-Gailani, a beloved archaeologist who helped rebuild the Baghdad museum after it was looted following the 2003 US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.
Al-Gailani, who died in Amman, Jordan, on Friday at the age of 80, was one of Iraq’s first women to excavate the country’s archaeological heritage.
Relatives, colleagues, and cultural officials on Monday gathered at Baghdad’s National Museum, the country’s leading museum, to pay their respects before moving her remains to the Qadiriyyah mosque for prayers and later interment.
A devotee of her country’s heritage, Al-Gailani lent her expertise to restore relics stolen from the museum for its reopening in 2015. She also championed a new antiquities museum for the city of Basra, which opened in 2016.
“She was very keen to communicate on the popular level and make archaeology accessible to ordinary people,” said her daughter, Noorah Al-Gailani, who curates the Islamic civilizations collection at the Glasgow Museum in Scotland.
“It is a big loss, the passing of Dr. Lamia Al-Gailaini, who played a great role in the field of archaeology, even before 2003,” said the deputy minister of culture, Qais Hussein Rashid.
The restored collection at the National Museum included hundreds of cylinder seals, the subject of Al-Gailani’s 1977 dissertation at the University of London. These were engraved surfaces used to print cuneiform impressions and pictographic lore onto documents and surfaces in ancient Mesopotamia, now present-day Iraq.
Still, thousands of artefacts remain missing from the museum’s collection, and Al-Gailani bore the grief of watching her country’s rich heritage suffer unfathomable levels of looting and destruction in the years after Saddam’s ouster.
“I wish it was a nightmare and I could wake up,” she told the BBC in 2015, when Daesh militants bulldozed relics at the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud near present-day Mosul.
Born in Baghdad in 1938, Al-Gailani studied at the University of Cambridge in Britain before finding work as a curator at the National Museum in 1960. It was her first job in archaeology, her daughter said.
She returned to Britain in 1970 to pursue advanced studies, and she made her home there. Still, she kept returning to her native country, connecting foreign academics with an Iraqi archaeological community that was struggling under the isolation of Saddam Hussein’s autocratic rule and the UN sanctions against him.
In 1999, she published “The First Arabs,” in Arabic, with the Iraqi archaeologist Salim Al-Alusi, on the earliest traces of Arab culture in Mesopotamia, in the 6th through 9th centuries.
She would bring copies of the book with her to Baghdad and sell them through a vendor on Mutanabbi Street, the literary heart of the capital, according to her daughter.
After the US-led invasion, Al-Gailani continued to travel to Iraq, determined to rescue its heritage even as the country convulsed with war.
At the time of her death, she was working with the Basra Museum to curate a new exhibit set to open in March, said Qahtan Al-Abeed, the museum director.
“She hand-picked the cylinder seals to display at the museum,” said Al-Abeed.