3,000 jugglers having a ball

THE 37th European Juggling Convention is making its second ever appearance in Ireland.

Organisers expect the event, featuring 3,000 of the world's best jugglers in Millstreet, Co Cork, to be one of the tourism highlights of the summer.

The convention, which runs until next Sunday, will also feature a variety of specialist circus skills.

Millstreet's Green Glens Arena will feature four big tops with performers from almost 40 countries.

England suffers heavy flooding

Torrential downpours brought heavy flooding to parts of England yesterday as firefighters admitted they were "stretched" amid a strike by union members.

Homes and roads were flooded in the south-east after the Met Office issued a "yellow" warning.

The Environment Agency issued two flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected, while more than 20 flood alerts were in place across the Midlands, Anglia and the south of England.

Christians flee ancient Iraq city

The ancient Christian community of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul has all but fled, ending a presence stretching back nearly two millennia after radical Islamists set them a deadline to submit to Islamic rule or leave.

The ultimatum by the Islamic State drove out the few hundred Christians who had stayed on when the group's hardline Sunni Muslim fighters over-ran Mosul a month ago.

Last week the Islamic State gave any remaining Christians a final choice: convert to Islam, pay a religious tax or face the sword.

US wildfire hits 280,000 acres

A massive wildfire raging east of Washington state's Cascade Mountains showed some sign of calming yesterday, with fire crews saying they had slowed the expansion of a wind-whipped blaze that destroyed about 100 homes.

The fire did not grow overnight, the first time since it was triggered by lightning strikes seven days ago.

By early yesterday the fire was still burning over 280,000 acres in the Methow Valley.