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Backpackers left penniless

FOUR Irish backpackers have been left with no money in Australian after a co-worker cleaned out their accounts.

Paul Gibney, Shane Ainsworth and Richie Corrigan, all from Swords, Dublin, and Carina Laverty from Dunwiley, Co Donegal, have been working in a remote farming area called Gnaraloo Station, Western Australia.

Last Wednesday, one of their Australian co-workers left with the bank cards and pin numbers of six employees. Within a few hours had withdrawn nearly $3,000 (€2,360) from the accounts.

Police arrested a man in Albany and he will appear in court at the end of the month.


Kidnapped migrants freed

MEXICAN marines have freed 104 kidnapped Central American migrants who were being held in a house in the city of Nuevo Laredo.

The 102 Hondurans and two Salvadorans, including 13 women, had been held captive for four days. The rescue operation was launched after authorities received a tip that armed men were seen violently unloading people from vehicles at the house.

According to Mexico's National Human Rights Commission, about 150,000 migrants cross Mexico trying to reach the US every year.


Papua New Guinea quake

A STRONG magnitude-6.7 earthquake has struck Papua New Guinea but there are no immediate reports of damage and no regional tsunami alert.

Chris McKee, the assistant director of the Geophysical Observatory in Port Moresby, said the quake's epicentre was relatively deep and offshore.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck today about 198 miles north of the capital Port Moresby and was centred about 52 miles below sea level.


Seven escape from new jail

SEVEN prisoners have escaped from a newly-built prison in Greece, near the Turkish border, by climbing out of a window and jumping over a fence.

Three are from Iraq and one each from Algeria, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. Six had been jailed for trafficking in illegal migrants and one for a drug-related offence.