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Costello to see mine aid work

The impact of Ireland's role in clearing landmines from parts of Vietnam scarred from the war is being seen first-hand by junior minister Joe Costello.

Officials from Irish Aid are meeting disabled people who are still suffering from the legacy of conflict 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War.

Mr Costello said Vietnam has reduced poverty from almost 60pc in the early 1990s to fewer than 15pc, but warned some 15m people continue to live in poverty.

Ireland's development aid programme also funds schools and irrigation schemes which support poor farmers living in remote and mountainous regions of the country.

Fats 'not linked to blood sugar'

Although much-criticised -- trans fats raise levels of 'bad' cholesterol, they don't appear to have a lasting impact on blood sugar levels.

Researchers, writing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found both blood sugar and insulin, the hormone that keeps blood sugar levels in check, were similar regardless of how much trans fat people ate.

Vote puts party in doghouse

An official with a Canadian political party raised questions about the integrity of the opposition's leadership race in his province after he was able to vote using his dog's name.

Jean-Paul Soucy said he registered his dog Pitou, or puppy in English, to vote online for one of the three candidates vying for the top Liberal job at its leadership convention in New Brunswick. The executive director of the province's Conservative party said he wanted to test the Liberal voting system but could not use his own name because he is a member of another party.

Arrest threats over Texas poll

Threats of arrests made by the top prosecutor in Texas have puzzled international voting monitors, who say the state did not make any fuss while they were there for the 2008 elections.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is warning the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe its poll watchers face criminal charges if they come too close to voting sites.