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Ear-biter pays out to victims

A man who absconded to Britain in 1998 after he severed one man's ear and bit another man in the face over 10 years ago has been given a four-year suspended sentence.

William Nolan (36) started a new life as a bar manager and estate agent after taking flight before his original sentence date in 1998 but returned home in 2003 and suffered a number of accidents resulting in a civil settlement from which he can offer his victims compensation.

Nolan, of Joseph Plunkett Tower, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Brian Keegan and James Murray in the city centre on October 16, 1995.

Rapper arrested while on stage

A US rap artist was arrested during a concert on 12-year-old charges that he attacked his mother with a gun.

Stanley Howse -- a rapper with the group Bone Thugs 'n' Harmony, whose stage name is Flesh 'n' Bone -- was taken into custody in the middle of a show in the group's home town of Cleveland, Ohio.

The rapper is accused of striking his mother with a gun in 1998, leaving a one-inch gash on her head.

Execution-free year in Europe

Europe had its first year without executions in 2009, human rights group Amnesty International has said.

But the London-based organisation said the spell was recently broken by the execution of two men in Belarus -- an indication of the challenges the group faces as it fights to abolish capital punishment.

Amnesty International has been tracking executions internationally since 1980, although their figures do not include extra-judicial killings or the casualties of war.

Killer tornado crushes three

A tornado touched down during a fierce thunderstorm in the Bahamas and toppled a port crane, killing three people and injuring at least four.

The crane collapsed at the Freeport Container Port on Grand Bahama, where trees were uprooted and windows blasted out of hotels as at least one tornado hit the island, about 60 miles east of Florida.