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I didn't speed in estate -- driver

A man has denied doing dangerous handbrake turns in a Dublin estate while children were playing football nearby.

Christopher Connors (20) is also alleged to have been speeding up and down roads in the Suncroft estate, Tallaght, on January 2 last year.

He has denied the charges and the matter was adjourned for six weeks for hearing.

The defendant, of Glenshane Lawns in Tallaght, appeared before Tallaght District Court charged with dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

Boy 'forced to sleep in coffin'

A north-eastern Pennsylvania couple accused of making a seven-year-old boy sleep in a coffin have been arraigned on endangerment and unlawful restraint charges.

The nappy-clad boy was found crying in the basement of a home. He said he was bound with tape.

His mother (26) and stepfather (31) were ordered to be taken to Lackawanna County Prison in lieu of $60,000 (¤45,000) bail.

17 killed in coal mine explosion

The death toll from a coal mine explosion in southwestern China has risen to 17.

The official Xinhua News Agency says 28 miners were in the shaft when the blast occurred yesterday in Guizhou province. Eleven were rescued and being treated in a hospital.

Initial reports said 13 miners had died, but three rescued workers later died in a hospital and another body was recovered from the shafts this morning. Xinhua did not give a cause for the blast.

Lennon letter up for auction

An online auction house is selling a 1967 letter that John Lennon wrote to a fan who had inquired about transcendental meditation.

Nate D Sanders Auctions of Santa Monica says the handwritten letter is expected to fetch $25,000 (¤18,700) to $30,000 (¤22,500).

In the letter, Lennon tells Jean Harrison she is "searching for something (truth) the same as everyone else".

He says the Beatles were lucky to have met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, but that other teachers could instruct her.