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In brief: Ex-lover jailed for text threats

A man has been sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting and threatening his ex-partner in text messages.

Robert Keeley (23), of Glenfield Grove, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Nicola Donnan at the Green Isle Hotel, Clondalkin, between December 31, 2008, and January 1, 2009, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. He also pleaded guilty to making threats to kill or cause serious harm by means of text message.

Judge Desmond Hogan suspended the last six months of the sentence and backdated it to November 2009 for time already served.

NZ cathedral clear of bodies

Searchers declared that no one had died in the rubble of Christchurch's well-known cathedral -- a rare piece of good news in the final days of a grim recovery operation following an earthquake that devastated New Zealand's second-largest city and killed at least 165 people.

Authorities had feared that as many as 22 people were inside the Christchurch Cathedral's stone bell tower when it was toppled by the quake on February 22.

Nicole Smith verdict appeal

Los Angeles County prosecutors plan to appeal against a judge's decision to throw out drug conspiracy convictions against Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend-lawyer and psychiatrist.

In January, Judge Robert Perry threw out convictions against Kristine Eroshevich and Howard Stern, describing the prosecution's case as overly complicated and not supported by sufficient evidence. Former Playboy centrefold Smith died of an accidental drug overdose in February 2007.

Spector settles legal fee fight

Imprisoned music producer Phil Spector has settled his lawsuit against lawyer Robert Shapiro over a million-dollar retainer. Court records in Los Angeles show lawyers reported the settlement to a judge on Thursday, who ordered all discussions and the settlement's terms sealed. Spector had been seeking a refund of the retainer he paid Shapiro after his arrest in 2003, claiming Shapiro took advantage of him.