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In Brief: Dr Death was a 'one-off' batch

GARDAI believe a lethal Ecstasy drug that is feared responsible for the deaths of two lifelong Waterford friends was a 'once-off' batch.

The revelation came as preliminary tests on the brown-coloured powder -- nicknamed 'Dr Death' or 'Mandy' -- believed to be responsible for the deaths of Michael Coleman (22) and Liam Coffey (22) have been unable to directly link the specific drug batch with other deaths in Ireland or the EU.

Initial indications are that the drug was part of a 'special' batch.

Coronor slams home help cuts

A CORONER has hit out at any cuts to home help services in the country, warning they could lead to deaths.

Dr Eleanor Fitzgerald, coroner for North Mayo, said she feared future cutbacks would lead to early deaths for those suffering from chronic illnesses.

She made the comments after the inquest into the suicide of an elderly man who suffered from Parkinson's Disease and depression.

Councillor hit by bullet dies

A governing party councillor shot by police firing rubber bullets at the scene of a mine strike has died, the Congress of South African Trade Unions said.

Cosatu condemned the brutality of police, who have been harshly criticised for the August 16 shootings of striking miners that left 34 dead.

African National Congress councillor Paulina Masuhlo was shopping near the Never Die Tavern, at the shantytown of Lonmin platinum mine, when police firing from a speeding armoured car hit her.

Big wave drags man to death

Authorities in Mexico say a wave dragged off a US couple walking on a Baja California beach, drowning the husband and injuring his 66-year-old wife.

Prosecutors say a navy boat found Ted Park's (72) body two hours later in the ocean 800 yards from the spot where the wave hit the couple.

The statement says Park's wife Shinae suffered respiratory problems after the accident in Los Cabos.