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Crime-spree teen detained

A Dublin teenager who went on a crime spree after he was granted temporary release has been detained for 18 months and banned from driving for 10 years for a litany of motor thefts.

The 17-year-old boy's father told the Dublin Children's Court that he wants nothing more to do with his son.

The boy has already been banned from driving for six years and had 32 criminal convictions when he got an eight-month suspended sentence in March for crashing a stolen car at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin following a high-speed pursuit.

Senator checks into hospital

Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas has checked himself into Walter Reed Army Medical Centre for what his spokeswoman described as a routine procedure.

Spokeswoman Marion Watkins said the 89-year-old Mr Dole is "doing very well" and is expected to leave the hospital today.

Mr Dole's name drew mention as the Senate debated a UN treaty promoting equal rights for the disabled.

Elmo man sued over sex claims

A man has sued a former Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid sex abuse allegations, saying the voice actor met him in New York a dozen years ago after trolling gay telephone chat lines seeking underage boys for sex.

The lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed in US District Court in Manhattan by a Florida man, making him the third person to make claims against Kevin Clash. Clash's lawyer, Michael Berger, said in a statement that the federal cases filed against Clash are without merit.

Japan opens Santa school

Magic tricks and straight answers are all part of being Santa in Japan -- at least according to Tokyo's Santa Claus Academy, which trains St Nicks in a country with little Christian tradition and a Christmas that's far more retail than religion.

On a recent weekend, 88 Santa wannabes packed the school in Tokyo's fashionable Roppongi

district for a crash course in how to behave as 'Santa-san', as the man in red is known in Japan.