Ex-minister hits the books

Former Fianna Fail Justice Minister John O'Donoghue has joined 100-odd trainee barristers this week for their version of fresher's week.

The former Ceann Comhairle, who has a law degree from University College Cork and a Barrister-at-Law degree, started his first year training. The 58-year-old Kerry man returned to education after resigning from his role as Ceann Comhairle in 2009 and losing his seat in the 2011 General Election.

Brazil vote set to be close

Voters across Brazil were casting ballots yesterday in the most unpredictable presidential election in decades and the first since the end of an economic boom during the leftist Workers' Party's 12-year rule.

As President Dilma Rousseff seeks a second term, voters are weighing whether the socioeconomic gains of the last decade are enough to reject the candidacies of a popular environmentalist and a pro-business social democrat, who both promise to jump-start the economy after four years of lacklustre growth.

US airman dies in typhoon

A powerful typhoon was heading toward Tokyo yesterday after lashing southern Japan, where it killed at least one US airman on Okinawa island and left two others missing, officials said.

Typhoon Phanfone was off the coast of Shikoku in southwestern Japan last night, packing winds of up to 144km per hour. Three US Air Force members were washed away by high waves, with one found dead and the other two still missing, Japan's coast guard said.

'Acrobats' fall from Acropolis

Greek police said two Russians, both aged 23, were arrested yesterday for scaling a wall on the Acropolis and damaging it while doing acrobatics.

The two were observed by a guard preparing to scale the wall and were warned against it. They ignored the warnings, police said. As they scaled the wall and were doing acrobatic moves, several stones fell off. The Acropolis, set on a rocky hill above Athens, is considered one of Europe's top cultural monuments.