In brief: Volcano causes renewed panic
TWO massive explosions beneath Mount Merapi sparked panic in Indonesia yesterday, as the volcano spewed molten rock. They were the largest in a series of eruptions over the past eight days.
Almost 80,000 people have been forced from their homes by the recent blasts and into emergency shelters outside a six-mile (10km) exclusion zone around the volcano. Yesterday, authorities extended the radius of the zone to more than nine miles, ordering evacuations that could affect at least 100,000.
BBC apologises for Live Aid slur
THE BBC yesterday apologised "unreservedly" for a series of radio reports last March, claiming that money raised by Live Aid to fight famine in Ethiopia had been spent on weapons. In an on-air apology, it admitted that it had "no evidence" for the claims, which had prompted a complaint from Band Aid trustees, including Bob Geldof.
The corporation also apologised to Bob Geldof, who welcomed the move but warned that the BBC's "misleading and unfair" coverage could damage public faith in charity campaigns.
10-year-old mum is normal: gypsy
A ROMANIAN gypsy woman, whose 10-year-old daughter has given birth in Spain, has said she doesn't understand why the birth has become an international sensation.
The girl's mother told reporters the baby's father was a 13-year-old boy who is still in Romania. She also said she and her daughter were Roma and their custom was to allow girls to marry young.
Dutch reverse smoking ban
THE new Dutch government has scrapped a smoking ban for small bars and cafes that had been introduced two years ago by the previous administration.
Small cafe owners complained bitterly after the ban became official in July 2008, saying it had sent their profits plummeting.
Same-sex couple in TV dance show
ISRAEL is the first country to feature a same-sex duo on its version of the popular television competition "Dancing With The Stars" -- and the two women have already resolved the toughest question: who will lead?
One, a gay television presenter, and the other, a straight professional dancer, will take turns. Dorit Milman, the professional dance partner of TV sportscaster Gili Shem-Tov, said: "One time I lead her, one time she leads me. But we continue to court."