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Golfer Christy fights planners

GOLFER Christy O'Connor junior has brought a High Court challenge over a dispute about planning permission he obtained for three houses on family land in his native Galway.

Galway City Council has refused to extend the normal five-year duration on the permission he obtained in 2008 for the one-acre site at Knocknacarra, Salthill, the court heard. An extension would allow him to build after the current permission, granted by An Bord Pleanala in 2008, which runs out next January.

Yesterday, Mr O'Connor, of Derrycastle House, Ballina, Co Tipperary -- who is a World Cup and Ryder Cup golfer -- was given leave by the High Court to challenge the council's decision.

Protest over oil royalty dispute

Thousands of people marched in Rio de Janeiro to protest against legislation that officials insist would strip the oil-producing state of much of its income from Brazil's vital energy sector.

Protesters are calling on President Dilma Rousseff to veto a measure that would divide oil royalties more evenly between all Brazil's 26 states instead of favouring top oil producers like Rio and Espirito Santo.

Argentina in NY debt battle

Argentina is refusing to budge in its billion-dollar debt showdown in New York federal court, preparing an appeal that it hopes will stave off another devastating default.

Judge Thomas Griesa left Argentina without any wiggle room, ordering the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to pay $1.3bn (?1bn) into an account for the so-called "vulture funds" by December 15, even as it pursues its final appeals.