Feature

Superman's heirs, Ballet in Baghdad

In 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, sold the rights to their now iconic character for a measly $130, but a judge's new ruling might entitle the heirs to a share of Time Warner's profits.

In 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, sold the rights to their now iconic character for a measly $130. Now a federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that Siegel’s heirs are entitled to a share of the profits that Superman’s proprietor, Time Warner, has made off the Man of Steel since 1999. If the ruling stands, it could also lead to restitution for Shuster’s heirs. Marc Toberoff, the Siegel family’s lawyer, estimates that compensation could be as much as $50 million. “We were just stubborn,” said Siegel’s widow, Joanne. “It was a dream of Jerry’s, and we just took up the task.”

Amid the chaos in Iraq, Baghdad’s only performing-arts school has remained open. Though enrollment has declined since the U.S. invasion five years ago, the Baghdad School of Music and Ballet continues to instill a love of music and dance in its young charges, and it stands as one of the few places in the capital where children of different religious and ethnic backgrounds learn together. Nadja Hamadi, who has served as the school’s principal for 20 years, says its endurance is a sign of hope. “Iraq is the cradle of culture,” she said. “These wars are only temporary things.”

David Murphy, an 11-year-old from Cleveland, prevented a major tragedy when he steered a runaway school bus to safety this week. The driver had left the bus running at a service station while he went to the restroom. The vehicle began rolling down a side street, and appeared headed for a collision with a semi-trailer. With many of the 27 kids onboard screaming and crying, David grabbed the wheel and guided the bus to a soft crash with a bridge’s concrete support pillar. No one was seriously injured. “This kid did some quick thinking,” said Cleveland Fire Department spokesman Larry Gray.

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