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Chemical arms claim in Syria

HEAVY fighting raged around the strategic Syrian border town of Qusair and the capital Damascus and further reports surfaced of chemical weapons attacks by President Bashar al-Assad's forces on rebel areas.

France's foreign minister says more signs have emerged of chemical weapons being used in Syria.

Minister Laurent Fabius said outside a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that there "are stronger and better substantiated indications of the local use of chemical arms. We have to check this and (we) are doing this with our partners."

AFFLECK PICKS UP DOCTORATE

OSCAR-winning actor and director Ben Affleck has received one of six honorary doctorate degrees from Brown University in Rhode Island.

Affleck was among artists, writers, scientists and teachers to receive the degrees from the Ivy League school at commencement exercises. He received a doctor of fine arts degree.

The actor directed, produced and starred in Argo, which won this year's Best Picture Oscar.

SMOKE SHUTS EUROTUNNEL

EUROTUNNEL passengers experienced bank holiday disruption after smoke was spotted on a works train in the Channel Tunnel.

The tunnel was closed for about 45 minutes following the incident at 5.30am but there remained "residual delays" which were being cleared.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said there was smoke on a works train yesterday but denied reports there was a fire, adding that the tunnel was closed briefly to air the tunnel.

NEW DARCY IN PRIDE SPIN-OFF

MATTHEW RHYS has been cast as Mr Darcy in a new BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice murder mystery spin-off, Death Comes To Pemberley.

The Brothers And Sisters actor will star with Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Goode, as Elizabeth Bennett and George Wickham, in the drama based on PD James's novel.

Death Comes To Pemberley – set six years after the events of Jane Austen's novel – was adapted by Calendar Girls writer Juliette Towhidi.


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