| 14.2°C Dublin

In Brief: Hobbit premiere takes over city

NEW Zealand's capital Wellington will rename itself The Middle of Middle-Earth when it hosts the world premiere of The Hobbit movie trilogy next month.

Middle-Earth is the fictional setting for the movies.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the city will spend 1.1m New Zealand dollars (¤629,000) on a red-carpet celebration for the November 28 premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the Embassy Theatre.

Wives get carried away

A Finnish couple added to their victories by taking first place in the North American Wife Carrying Championship.

Taisto Miettinen and Kristina Haapanen travelled from Helsinki, Finland -- where they won the World Wife Carrying Championship -- for Saturday's contest at Maine's Sunday River ski resort.

The couple finished with a time of 52.58 seconds on a course that includes hurdles, sand traps and a water hole.

The winners receive the woman's weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.

Car chats put brake on love

Car conversations can accelerate relationships but also put a brake on them, according to a survey.

As many as 5pc of motorists have been proposed to behind the wheel, the poll of 1,000 drivers by Allianz Your Cover Insurance found.

But 6pc have seen their relationship ended during an in-car conversation, while many motorists are happy to talk about their love life on journeys, with 45pc of those polled saying that the lack of eye contact made such conversations easier.

Muslim rebels in peace deal

The Philippine government and the country's largest Muslim rebel group have reached a preliminary peace deal -- a major breakthrough toward ending a decades-long insurgency that killed tens of thousands and held back development in the south.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said the "framework agreement" was an assurance the Moro Islamic Liberation Front insurgents will no longer aim to secede.