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Bruton unveils exports boost

More companies will have the opportunity to trade abroad following the launch of a Government initiative on exports.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton announced the scheme which is expected to benefit 1,800 companies this year and boost exports by e3bn by 2015.

The initiative sees a new exports division within Government agency Enterprise Ireland.

It will provide practical support to local companies looking to branch into foreign markets and aims to increase the number of firms who receive a special exporter grant by 60pc this year.

Militants killed

by US missile

An American missile attack killed 12 militants on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border yesterday, one of only a handful of such strikes this year.

The missile struck in the Mandao district of South Waziristan, a rugged militant stronghold where the Pakistani army has staged offensives in the past.

It took place hours after al-Qa'ida confirmed that a strike last month in North Waziristan killed one of its commanders.

Tragic liner to

be salvaged

The Italian owners of the Costa Concordia ship that capsized off the Tuscan coast are considering six bids to salvage the vessel in a year-long operation.

Costa Crociere said yesterday that each plan focuses on ensuring the least environmental impact around the island of Giglio, which is in a marine sanctuary.

The Concordia ran aground January 13 after the captain veered off course in an apparent stunt. Twenty-five people were killed and seven others are missing.

Ancient coin

sells for ¤838k

An ancient Judean coin has sold for $1.1 m (e838,000) at a New York City auction.

The Year 1 prototype silver shekel from AD 66 was bought by a private East Coast collector.

It's one of only two known such shekels. The other one is in the collection of the Israel Museum.

It was sold by a private collector who bought it at a 1991 auction for more than $240,000 (¤182,000).