In brief: Truffle farmer shoots intruder
A French farmer has been accused of shooting dead a man he thought was trying to steal valuable truffles on his land.
The 32-year-old told police he was guarding his truffle patch when he took fright after seeing an intruder and shot him in the legs and head with a hunting rifle. Police said the farmer believed the man was armed. The 43-year-old victim died shortly after the shooting on the edge of France's Provence region.
Chess whiz kid (9) becomes master
A nine-year-old boy has become the youngest chess master in the United States.
Samuel Sevian, of Santa Clara, California, earned the title after a match in San Francisco. The US Chess Federation gave him a rating of 2,201 after the December 11 match. A rating of 2,200 qualifies a player as a national master.
Man tips cabbie after knife threat
Police in California are hunting for a taxi passenger who pulled a knife on the driver, but still made sure to pay his fare -- plus tip.
The man pulled out a folding-blade knife during an argument about his desired destination, prompting the cabbie to run away on foot. The passenger also fled -- after leaving his cab fare and a tip.
Radiohead top best album poll
Radiohead's 'OK Computer' has been named the greatest album of the past quarter century by music fans.
The 1997 release fended off albums by Nirvana and Oasis to top the list of greats. The album was chosen by readers of 'Q' magazine, who were asked to name the best album released in the past 25 years.
No charges in MP sex assault probe
British MP Mike Hancock will not face charges over allegations he sexually assaulted a female constituent.
The Liberal Democrat (64) who represents Portsmouth South, was arrested over the allegations in October. But police said there was insufficient evidence on which to charge Mr Hancock.
Executions fall as costs are too high
The US executed fewer people this year, in part because there is a shortage of the drug used in lethal injections and also because executions are too expensive in tough economic times.
Executions decreased 12pc with Texas leading the nation with 17 of the 46 executions carried out this year across the United States.