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Four appeal on Omagh ruling

Four dissident republicans were due to begin a court appeal today after they were successfully sued by families bereaved in the Omagh bombing.

Michael McKevitt, Seamus Daly, Liam Campbell and Colm Murphy are challenging the judgment which found them liable for the 1998 car bombing.

The bombing on August 15 killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins. More than 200 were injured.

The latest legal challenge over the case is set to begin in the Court of Appeal in Belfast's Royal Courts of Justice.

Jack & Jill want your old phone

The Jack & Jill Foundation is appealing to the public to donate all old phones.

Newspread, Ireland's leading newspaper and magazine distributor aims to collect 250,000 old mobiles.

The public can drop them into a participating news-agent and Newspread, a subsidiary of the Indepen-dent News & Media Group, will collect them.

For every 250 phones, the Jack & Jill Foundation can provide home nursing for a sick child with brain damage who requires intensive home care for one month.

Autism risk for

'close' babies

Close birth spacing may put a second-born child at higher risk for autism, a study based on more than a half-million California children suggests.

Children born less than two years after their siblings were considerably more likely to have an autism diagnosis compared to those born after at least three years.

The effect was found for parents of all ages, decreasing the chance that it was older parents and not the spacing behind the higher risk.

Jet crash pilots

raised alarm

The crew of an IranAir jet which crashed in a snowstorm, killing 71 people, reported a technical failure before the disaster.

The Boeing 727 operated by Iran's national airline was carrying 106 people when it crashed and broke into pieces as it was making an emergency landing in the city of Orumiyeh yesterday.

The pilots had reported a technical failure to the control tower, officials said.