In Brief: Car thief foiled by automatic

A man who tried to hijack a car with an automatic transmission -- but fled when he realised he couldn't drive it -- was jailed for three years, with 20 months suspended.

Gavin O'Leary (20) of Downpatrick Road, Crumlin, and another man dragged Hugh O'Neill from his black BMW just after he had parked on Dublin's Fitzwilliam Square.

The men got into the car and were trying to drive away but couldn't move it because it was an automatic.

O'Leary pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawfully seizing a vehicle on December 28, 2010. He has nine previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan said the crime was "too violent not to impose a custodial sentence".

Trayvon trial man in hiding

The neighbourhood watch volunteer who killed an unarmed black teenager has posted bail and has gone into hiding, although cops can track him at all times.

The case in Florida has drawn wide attention across the US because of the delay between the shooting of Trayvon Martin (17) and the charging of the volunteer, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, who left jail on $150,000 (¤114,700) bail, immediately went into hiding and has probably fled to another state.

Chavez on TV after treatment

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez reappeared on television after an eight-day silence, dismissing rumours that his health had taken a turn for the worse.

He said he planned to be back home by Thursday after his latest round of cancer treatment in Cuba.

Mr Chavez said in a live phone call on state television that radiation therapy took a physical toll and that he would need to recover. But the left-winger shrugged off rumours of complications.

Cholera kills six in village

Six people have died after contracting cholera in a northern village in the Dominican Republic.

The outbreak in the Caribbean nation began after rains damaged sewer pipes. Hundreds of people sought medical attention.

An outbreak in neighbouring Haiti killed more than 7,000 people.