Man faces trial on sex assault

THE trial of a man accused of orally raping a female in Dublin county two years ago was expected to begin today before a jury at the Central Criminal Court.

The man, who can not be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the woman on December 11, 2008.

Mr Justice Barry White told the jury of five women and seven men that the trial was not in a position to proceed before them immediately as there was a preliminary issue that had to be determined.

He asked the jurors to return this morning.

Call to tackle Somali pirates

Piracy off the coast of Somalia is outpacing efforts to combat it and the root of the problem must be attacked by creating economic alternatives for young Somalis, a top United Nations official said.

Lynn Pascoe, UN under-secretary general for political affairs, said more than 438 crew and passengers and 20 ships were currently being held at sea off Somalia as pirates employed larger vessels and attacked further off the coast to avoid beefed-up patrols.

9/11 waterfalls spring to life

The new waterfalls of the September 11 memorial at New York's ground zero are showing signs of life.

Engineers are testing the largest manmade waterfalls in North America, which empty into pools that mark spots where the World Trade Centre towers once stood.

The 176ft perimeter pools are the centrepieces of Michael Arad's Reflecting Absence memorial plaza, which will be surrounded by thousands of trees.

City bans toys with fast food

San Francisco has become the first major American city to ban fast-food restaurants from including toys with children's meals that do not meet nutritional guidelines.

The ban, from December next year, forbids toy giveaways in fast-food meals that have more than 640mg of sodium, 600 calories or 35pc of their calories from fat. The law would also require fruit or vegetables to be served with each meal with a toy.