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Saturday 21 October 2017

World in brief: Italian expense shock

Italian officials spent e2bn of taxpayers' money on dubious expenses such as lap dances, truffle tastings, hair dye, video games and, intriguingly, sheep, an official report has disclosed.

The report by Italy's tax police shows that 5,000 regional and national public officials have been linked to accusations of corruption this year.

'ANCHORMAN' RETURNS

Television viewers in Bismarck, North Dakota, were treated to some real class this weekend when none other than the great Ron Burgundy read them the news.

Actor and comedian Will Ferrell reprised his 'Anchorman' role for KXMB's Saturday night news broadcast. The former 'Saturday Night Live' star is promoting its upcoming sequel, 'Anchorman 2.' Ferrell read stories while engaging in banter with the news team.

SPONGE BEATS MRSA

MOPPING up MRSA toxin with a sponge may be a new way to defeat the antibiotic-resistant superbug, research has shown.

Scientists at the University of California have developed microscopic "nanosponges" that soak up a dangerous chemical released by the bacteria and prime the immune system.

In tests on mice, the nanosponge vaccine proved safe and effective, helping the animal's immune systems block the harmful effects of MRSA toxin.

CROATS BAN GAY UNIONS

A majority of Croatians voted in a referendum Sunday to ban gay marriages in what is a major victory for the Catholic Church-backed conservatives in the European Union's newest nation.

The state electoral commission, citing initial results, said 65pc of those who voted answered Yes to the referendum question: "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?" About 34pc voted against.

LEBANON CLASH KILLS 9

Gun battles and rocket fire in the Lebanese city of Tripoli killed at least nine people over the weekend, the latest clash between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Sectarian clashes linked to the war in neighbouring Syria often flare between two impoverished rival gangs.

Irish Independent

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