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Avalanche kills 47 in village

Rescuers shovelled through deep snow searching for victims of an avalanche that destroyed a village of 200 people in northeastern Afghanistan.

At least 47 people have been confirmed dead.

"We hope that some people were inside their homes and are still alive," said Shams Ul Rahman, the deputy governor of Badakhshan province, where the avalanche occurred on Sunday night. "But if the snow was too heavy, they may all be dead."

Girl (14) settles ¤700k claim

A 14-YEAR-OLD girl who allegedly suffered a shoulder injury at birth has settled her action for damages for €700,000.

Aoife James, the High Court heard, has difficulty washing her hair and her shoulder is impaired to a significant degree.

Aoife, of Douglas, Cork had sued consultant obstetrician Patrick Kieran, of Cork Clinic Western Road. The settlement was without admission of liability.

It was claimed that Aoife suffered personal injury as a result of the alleged negligence at the time of her birth on April 3, 1998.

Antarctica in seeds warning

In the pristine frozen continent of Antarctica scientists fear an alien invasion -- not from outer space, but carried in people's pockets and bags.

Seeds and plants accidentally brought to Antarctica by tourists and scientists may introduce alien plant species which could threaten the survival of native plants in the finely balanced ecosystem.

Campaigners are demanding more checks.

Cheetah robot runs at 18mph

A four-legged robot known as the Cheetah lived up to its name, setting a new land speed record for legged robots by running at 18mph on a treadmill at a laboratory in Massachusetts.

The Cheetah, being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is part of a programme aimed at achieving theoretical and experimental advances in the science of robotics.