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Nov. 6, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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Australian man lands 13.7-foot marlin

EXMOUTH, Australia, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- An Australian fisherman said it took more than 7 hours to reel in a blue marlin that may go down in the record books.

Rowan Smith said he was fishing with three friends Tuesday when he hooked the 13.7-foot marlin off Exmouth and he struggled with the fish for hours before pulling it into his boat, The West Australian reported Monday.

Smith said he submitted his catch to break the Western Australian record, set at the Rottnest Trench in 1983.

"It's huge. It's twice the size of me. I've always loved fishing and this is a dream come true," Smith said. "With all the adrenaline, I couldn't sleep that night. We're all still pumped."

John Webber, president of the Western Australia Game Fishing Association, said the catch was "quite an achievement."

British artwork damaged at museums

LONDON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- British officials said 199 art exhibits have been lost or stolen from Britain's national galleries and museums during the last three years.

The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed many of the artworks, including pieces by Poussin to Roy Lichtenstein, were damaged by the very staff members who are supposed to protect and preserve them, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

One of the incidents detailed in the Freedom of Information Act release revealed a James Francis Mauber portrait of 17th century poet John Dryden had an ornament knocked off its frame when a member of a tour group was knocked off balance by a security guard at the National Portrait Gallery.

Another incident involved a 17th century Edward East night clock at the British Museum being broken when a visitor tripped and a Japanese clock was damaged when a cleaner fell into it during a power outage.

The glass covering a photograph of Margaret Thatcher, taken by Helmut Newton, was cracked when a staff member fell as the frame was being lifted to be packed for loan and the artwork hit the ground.

"Britain's museums and galleries are rightly renowned around the world for the quality of their collections and for their curatorial and conservation standards," said a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

"Inevitably, however, with so many items being transported, conserved, catalogued and displayed at any one time, a small number will from time to time get damaged," the spokesman said. "We are confident though that the highest standards are maintained and that accidental damage to items is not a significant cause for concern."

Brit code-breakers almost exposed in media

LONDON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The existence of a British code-breaking operation not revealed until the 1970s was nearly revealed in 1951 when a journalist left his notebook in a pub.

Warwick University historian Christopher Moran told Radio 4's "Today Program" the existence of Cold War code-breaking site Eastcote, which later became the Government Communications Headquarters, was revealed to Sunday Express journalist Eric Tullett by Arthur Askew, the Foreign Office's former head of physical security, in July 1951, 23 years before the code-breaking operation was revealed to the public, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

However, Tullett left his notebook on the floor of the Old Bell pub in London and police handed the book over to the MI5 intelligence agency.

The Foreign Office returned the notebook and allowed Tullett to go forward with portions of his story, but redacted the information about the code-breaking operation, Moran said.

"It is only today in 2012 that we can actually discover just how close Tullett and Askew got to revealing what was without question the greatest British post-war secret," Moran said.

Police: Man bragged about attack

NAPLES, Fla., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a man accused of punching his neighbor allegedly bragged about the incident on Twitter.

Naples police said a neighbor of Brandon Michael Perry said he argued with Perry and some of Perry's family members Oct. 25 and Perry allegedly punched the neighbor later in the day while the other man was riding his bicycle, the Naples Daily News reported Monday.

Police said they looked at Perry's Twitter account and discovered Perry, who described himself on the website as a "pill popping animal," had posted to his account about his intention to attack the other man and later bragged about having harmed the alleged victim.

Perry was charged with battery and released after posting $2,000 bond.

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