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In Brief: Hoteliers face fight to survive

MORE than eight in 10 hoteliers have no plans to take on any more staff this year despite a recovery in tourism, a survey shows.

Around the same number said they were worried about whether their business would survive, while more than nine in 10 reported being under "significant stress" coping with the economic downturn.

The Irish Hotels Federation poll, ahead of its annual conference in Kilkenny today, showed most were unhappy about wage costs, local authority rates and utility costs.

Weapon depot blast kills 206

Homes and buildings collapsed in the Congolese capital after an arms depot exploded yesterday, killing at least 206 people and entombing countless others in crushed structures including inside two churches that buckled while parishioners were celebrating Mass.

The shock waves shattered windows in a 5km radius surrounding the barracks storing the munitions, including across the river that separates Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, from Kinshasa, the capital of the larger Central African nation of Congo.

Colvin's body to be flown home

The body of a Sunday Times journalist killed in Syria is to be repatriated after arriving in Paris.

The French Foreign Ministry said the body of American-born Marie Colvin, along with that of French photographer Remi Ochlik, reached the capital yesterday after being flown from Damascus on a French plane. Some reports have suggested Ms Colvin's body will be repatriated to the US as early as today or tomorrow. Mr Ochlik's body will remain in France.

Lava destroys Hawaii village

A flow of lava has destroyed the last home in a sparsely-populated neighbourhood in Hawaii's Puna district.

The neighbourhood's last resident Jack Thompson left his home near Hilo about an hour before the lava flow came down the hill and burned the house to the ground. The volcano has been continuously erupting since 1983.