| 8.2°C Dublin

In brief: McAleese talks at suicide event

PRESIDENT Mary McAleese urged communities to help prevent suicide as she remembered hundreds of people who took their own lives.

The president lit a candle of hope at Console's annual suicide prevention conference in Dublin, where she called on the public to recognise the signs of distress before serious damage is done.

An estimated 486 people -- 386 men and 100 women -- took their own lives last year.

Mrs McAleese said communities have to rid themselves of homophobia, racism, cyber and school bullying, and alcohol or drug abuse to stop victims feeling isolated.

Austin Powers actor life in jail

A BIT actor who appeared in the first Austin Powers film has been sentenced to life in prison for taking part in the violent 1990 gang rape of a Southern California woman.

Joseph Son (40) was found guilty of one count of torture on August 25.

In 1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Son played one of Dr Evil's henchmen, named Random Task.

Authorities said Son and a co-defendant abducted the then-19-year-old victim as she was walking her dog near her apartment on Christmas Eve.

Libya's new US ambassador

PRESIDENT Barack Obama has formally received Libya's ambassador to the US.

The ambassador, Ali Aujali, also was the envoy under Muammar Gaddafi until he broke with the regime.

The White House said Mr Obama accepted Mr Aujali's credentials in the Oval Office.

The traditional ceremony marks the formal beginning of an ambassador's service in Washington.

Boy suckles milk like a calf

A CAMBODIAN man says his grandson has lived partly on milk he suckles directly from a cow since the boy's parents left their rural village in search of work.

Um Oeung says 20-month-old Tha Sophat started suckling the cow in July after he saw a calf do it.

Tha Sophat has lived with his grandparents in Siem Reap province in northwest Cambodia since his parents moved to Thailand in search of work.