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Court decides fate of 11 firms

ELEVEN companies employing 95 people in the McSweeney Pharmacy Group will learn tomorrow whether their application for continuing court protection is to be granted.

Allied Irish Bank, the group's largest secured creditor, has opposed the application and is arguing that the companies should be placed in receivership. Mr Justice Frank Clarke will deliver his ruling on the matter tomorrow afternoon.

Grazer signs up to Oscar show

Veteran film and TV producer Brian Grazer has stepped on to the Academy Awards merry-go-round.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Grazer has signed on to produce next year's Oscar show after Brett Ratner abruptly resigned.

Ratner departed the show on Tuesday following uproar over a gay slur, and the host he chose, Eddie Murphy, resigned later.

Mars flight may crash to Earth

A Russian spacecraft on its way to Mars with 12 tons of toxic fuel is stuck circling the wrong planet -- ours -- and it could come crashing back to Earth in a couple of weeks if engineers cannot coax it back on track.

If they cannot get it back on track, most US space debris experts think the fuel on board would explode harmlessly in the upper atmosphere.