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Haas rules out North return

US peace envoy Richard Haas has ruled out returning to Northern Ireland to broker a deal on parades, flags and the legacy of the Troubles.

A visit by the former 
diplomat to meet Foreign 
Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore in Dublin provoked speculation that he could chair a fresh round of talks between party chiefs at Stormont after the local and European elections.

But after his meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr Haas said his formal role has ended.

Mr Gilmore said Mr Haas had made enormous progress toward an agreement on the outstanding issues in December and urged party leaders to complete the process.

Mortar attack on Assad rally

A mortar shell struck an election rally in southern Syria for President Bashar Assad, killing a number of people, state media and opposition activists reported.

Assad did not attend the rally in the southern city of Daraa, where the uprising against his rule began.

More than 160,000 people have been killed since the revolt morphed into civil war that’s also sent millions fleeing. The state-run news agency said the strike killed an unspecific number of people.

Elvis fan dies on pilgrimage

An Elvis Presley fan has died following a road accident while on a pilgrimage to her idol’s American homeland.

Andrea Baker had attended a concert by her favourite Elvis impersonator just minutes before being knocked down by a hit-and-run driver in Memphis, Tennessee.

The 54-year-old, from Pembrokeshire, West Wales, died two days later in hospital.

Julie Andrews brings hills alive

Julie Andrews has revealed she once cheekily re-enacted a scene from The Sound Of Music without realising a group of tourists was watching.

The actress - who starred as Maria, the governess to the Von Trapp family - thought she was alone when she burst into song on what she believed was a deserted Swiss hillside. But in an interview for The Graham Norton Show, she said that moments later she realised she had an audience.