| 5.8°C Dublin

Addict jailed for robberies

a chronic drug addict has been given a ten-year sentence with 18 months suspended for a robbery and two attempted robberies earlier this year.

Thomas McGuinness (34), who has 127 previous convictions, began using heroin as a teenager with a group of friends most of whom are now dead.

The court heard he was trying to fund his drug habit when he targeted a car stopped at traffic lights and two local shops where he was recognised. McGuinness, of Harelawn Drive, Clondalkin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

US-Russian tensions high

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has called for a US-Russia summit to be convened to prevent a deep freeze in Moscow's relations with the West over the Ukraine.

Gorbachev warned of potentially dire consequences if tensions were not reduced. "This is extremely dangerous, with tensions as high as they are now," he said. "We may not live through these days: someone could lose their nerve."

Mugabe sacks eight ministers

President Robert Mugabe carried out the biggest purge of Zimbabwe's government for decades yesterday, sacking eight cabinet ministers and his deputy, Joice Spill-Blood Mujuru.

After allowing Mrs Mujuru to be hounded and vilified publicly for months, Mr Mugabe finally dismissed her as vice-president. Her ignominious downfall, which follows the unexplained death of her husband in a house fire, makes Mrs Mujuru the biggest casualty of a vicious struggle for power.

Widow suspect in six deaths

Japanese prosecutors have charged a 68-year-old woman with murder, weeks after she was arrested on suspicion of poisoning her husband, one of at least six men who have died while in a relationship with her over the past 20 years.

Chisako Kakehi has denied responsibility for the deaths. Her 75-year-old husband, Isao, died in December 2013, a month after they married. Police found cyanide in his body. Other cases are still under investigation.