In brief: Firefighter denies arson charges
A US FIREFIGHTER allegedly set his home ablaze twice in two days because he wanted insurance money to pay for his wife's fertility treatment, a court has heard.
Ralph Brown (41), from Bennington, Vermont, denies arson and other charges.
Rome airport tries body scans
ROME'S main airport is trying out Italy's first body scanner at a terminal that serves US airlines.
Authorities said the scanner went into use yesterday at Leonardo da Vinci Airport's Terminal 5 on an experimental basis. If there are no problems after a few weeks, more machines will be added.
Cagey monkey is still at large
A MONKEY that has eluded capture for more than a year has again escaped from US wildlife officials.
Authorities were called to a Tampa Bay, Florida, neighbourhood on Wednesday when the 'rhesus macaque' monkey was spotted. It was twice hit with tranquiliser darts, but still got away by ducking behind a drug store and a church.
Naomi won't face assault probe
BRITISH supermodel Naomi Campbell will not face charges related to assault accusations by her driver, New York police said.
The 39-year-old supermodel was accused of striking her driver from behind and causing his head to hit the steering wheel of the car on Tuesday afternoon. By the time police arrived at the scene in midtown Manhattan, Campbell had left on foot.
Son in plea for detained director
THE son of the Iranian film director Jafar Panahi, arrested this week with his wife and daughter, said he did not know where his father is being detained.
"I do not have any information about his whereabouts," Panah Panahi said. The film-maker is an opposition supporter who has won many awards. His wife and daughter were released yesterday.
Bowie: the rock and roll recluse
DAVID Bowie is spending his golden years in anonymity.
The 63-year-old rock icon last released a new album in 2003 and stopped touring in 2004 after suffering a heart attack during a European trek. Bowie has not even updated his official blog since October 2006, when he revealed he would voice a character for the cartoon 'SpongeBob SquarePants'.