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In Brief: EU warns on Budget risks

THE cost of liquidating the former Anglo Irish Bank and the rejection of Croke Park II are among the risks to this year's Budget, the European Commission has warned.

In its spring forecast, the commission said Ireland's fiscal performance so far this year is on track.

It said unemployment is set to be lower than in earlier projections, but this is mainly on account of stronger than expected emigration.

"While unemployment fell to 14pc in February, the trend continues to be driven more by a shrinking labour force than by major employment creation," the EC said.

 

Rat 'sold as lamb' in China

Chinese police have broken up a criminal ring accused of taking meat from rats and foxes and selling it as lamb in the country's latest food safety scandal.

The Ministry of Public Security released results of a three-month crackdown on food safety violators.

Among those arrested were 63 people who allegedly ran an operation in Shanghai and Wuxi that bought fox, mink, rat and other meat, processed it with additives like gelatin and passed it off as lamb.

 

Belgians pocket €1m stolen loot

Residents of the Belgian town of Zedelgem, disturbed by the sound of a high-speed car chase, rushed outside to find it was raining euros and started helping themselves.

About €1m had flown out of a safe that burst open when fleeing robbers panicked and threw it out of the car window.

That was two weeks ago and, with just half the cash so far handed back, police have written to residents asking for the rest of the money back and warning that anyone keeping it could face two years in jail.

 

In doghouse after blaze

A dog's water bowl is being blamed for a fire at his owners' home in California.

Officials said the sun's rays refracted off the bowl and sparked a blaze at Terry and Shay Weisbrich's Santa Rosa home.

Fire department engineer Rene Torres found that the bowl concentrated light right on the part of the home that was charred, the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported.


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