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Boy refused bail over mugging

A 13-YEAR-OLD charged with taking part in the gang mugging of a 20-year-old man in Dublin has been refused bail after a judge refused a plea from the teen's father to place him under house arrest.

The small boy was initially remanded in custody last week after he was charged at the Children's Court with robbery of the man on Rutland Street, on the night of January 24 last. It was alleged the boy, who is from west Dublin, was part of a group of four. The teenager was remanded in custody to appear again next week.

North Korea to free detainee

North Korea says it will free a detained American missionary who crossed its border to raise human rights issues.

Robert Park, of Tuscon, Arizona, slipped across the frozen Tumen River into North Korea from China on Christmas Day, carrying letters calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to shut the country's camps for political prisoners and step down from power.

Rock star wants name off lawsuit

Rock star Bruce Springsteen wants his name taken off a lawsuit demanding licensing fees from a Manhattan bar where a band played his songs.

A statement on Springsteen's website said he did not know about the lawsuit that was filed in federal court and would not have agreed to be a plaintiff if he had been asked. The lawsuit was filed by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. ASCAP did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Obama prays for 'civility'

US president Barack Obama told the annual National Prayer breakfast that he prayed politicians could restore a "spirit of civility" to the capital.

Mr Obama said divisions in Washington were nothing new, but "there is a sense that something is different now, that something is broken, that those of us in Washington aren't serving people as well as we should".

He said America's leaders were quick to unite in times of crisis, but when it came to long-term problems, they could become absorbed by ideology and power contests.