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Arrest warrant lifted on farmer

A warrant for the arrest of Co Tipperary farmer John Burke has been stayed by the Supreme Court.

Mr Burke told the court that the warrant had been issued by the Circuit Court in Portumna, Co Galway, after he had inadvertently failed to attend to prosecute an appeal.

He said he had been fined €500 in Portumna District Court for drunken driving and had appealed it to the Circuit Court.

He had never been informed of the date of his appeal and the conviction and fine had been affirmed in his absence.

Non-payment of the fine had resulted in the issue of the warrant for his arrest.

He was granted leave to make a further legal challenge before the High Court on October 18.

Private firms head for space

Experimental unmanned rockets being developed by California and Texas firms will make tests flights to the edge of space this autumn and winter under a Nasa funding plan.

The two companies are among an elite group of private spaceflight entrepreneurs not as well-known as the programmes being developed for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space tourism company at Mojave, and SpaceX, the Hawthorne, California company seeking to become Nasa's choice for space station supply missions.

Mobile snares violent teacher

Secretly recorded mobile phone footage captured a teacher at a Catholic boarding school in Thailand beating dozens of pupils with a cane wrapped with electrical wire.

Art teacher Somchai Limthanmaporn was sacked after he was seen hitting at least 40 students for failing to clean their living quarters.

Silvio hosts Gaddafi party

Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi threw a gala evening for his "friend" Muammar Gaddafi, dismissing as behind the times those criticising the Libyan leader for trying to convert Italians to Islam during the visit.

Mr Berlusconi hailed the North African leader for signing a friendship treaty exactly two years ago that the Italian called a "model of diplomacy".