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Fire death trial is set to begin

A MAN accused of setting fire to a house and killing a 50-year-old woman who lived there has gone on trial.

Jason Murphy (40), of Elm Park, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, denies the manslaughter of Ann-Marie O'Neill who died in a fire at her home at 202 Elm Park on April 27, 2007.

Murphy has also pleaded not guilty to two charges of arson, allegedly committed on a car and Mrs O'Neill's house.

The trial is expected to last two weeks and evidence was due to begin this morning.

TRIO ADMITS ART MUSEUM RAID

THREE Romanians have pleaded guilty to stealing seven paintings, including works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse, from a Dutch museum in a daytime raid that shocked the art world.

Radu Dogaru, Alexandru Bitu and Eugen Darie, told a Bucharest court that they took the paintings, from Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam in October last year.

The works, which are valued at £15m (€17.6m) have never been found.

US GIVES TEN VEHICLES TO UN

The US has given ten armoured vehicles to the United Nations to help support efforts to verify and destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

So far, the US has provided nearly $6m (€4.35m) in financial contributions to help rid Syria of chemical arms.

Car bombs and mortar shells have recently exploded close to a Damascus hotel where inspectors with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are staying, underscoring the risky nature of their work.

COURT BOOST FOR BERLUSCONI

SILVIO Berlusconi finally got some good news from Italian judges when a court halved the amount of money he will have to pay his estranged wife Veronica Lario.

The media tycoon must pay €1.4m per month, the court in Monza ruled, slashing the €3m previously stipulated, it was reported.

Earlier this year Berlusconi, 77, criticised the panel of female judges responsible for the original settlement and launched an appeal.


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