Thursday 23 March 2017

In brief: Chirac corruption trial set to begin

After years of claiming presidential immunity to avoid legal proceedings, former French president Jacques Chirac is finally to stand trial on corruption charges today.

The 78-year-old faces charges that he was behind a scheme to have Paris city hall pay for work that benefited his party when he was mayor -- before he became president in 1995. A prison term is seen as highly unlikely, but if convicted, Mr Chirac could be jailed for up to 10 years.

Germany most popular country

Germany is the most popular country in the world, according to a new poll.

A total of 63pc of those surveyed for the annual BBC World Service Country Rating Poll rated Germany's influence as positive, with Britain coming in second.

Che Guevara's trip companion dies

Alberto Granado, who accompanied Ernesto 'Che' Guevara on a 1952 journey of discovery across Latin America that was immortalised in Guevara's memoir, has died in Cuba.

Mr Granado (88), an Argentine who had lived in Cuba since 1961, died of natural causes on Saturday, according to Cuban state-run television.

Nine die in fire at Taiwanese pub

Nine people died and 12 others were injured in a fire at a pub in the central Taiwanese city of Taichung yesterday.

The fire broke out after a performance involving the use of LED lighting went awry.

Sophie Dahl gives birth to baby girl

Model Sophie Dahl has given birth to her first child, a daughter named Lyra.

Dahl, granddaughter of children's author Roald Dahl, and her husband, musician Jamie Cullum, said in a brief statement that they were "over the moon" after the birth.

Professor sorry over sex-toy row

A professor at Northwestern University, Chicago, has apologised for letting a couple demonstrate the use of a sex toy after one of his classes.

Psychology professor Michael Bailey said he regretted "upsetting so many people in this particular manner".

Irish Independent

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