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In Brief: Pensioner tied up at gunpoint

AN elderly woman was tied up at gunpoint in her rural home by armed raiders who demanded cash from her.

The pensioner, who is aged in her 70s, was at her home in Murroe, Co Limerick, on Saturday night when two men forced their way into the house.

The gang -- one of whom was armed with a handgun -- tied her hands together and demanded cash from her before leaving empty handed.

Gardai are continuing to investigate the incident.

Santorum quits president race

Rick Santorum dropped out of the race for the US Republican presidential nomination, leaving the field clear for Mitt Romney as the party's likely choice to challenge President Barack Obama.

The former Pennsylvania senator made the announcement in his home state, two weeks before the Republican primary vote there. Mr Santorum was trailing Mr Romney in polls in Pennsylvania and had said the state was a must-win to keep his candidacy alive.

Apprentice team struggles

One team of would-be entrepreneurs see their stock fall even further in tonight's episode of The Apprentice when they are left with bare shelves before they even open their shop.

The teams on the BBC1 show are sent to scour car-boot sales and auction rooms in search of second-hand goods they can sell for a profit. But Team Phoenix get off to a bad start when project manager Tom restricts spending on stock to £200 (¤242) out of the £1,000 (€1,200) they were given.

Fears over nude cleaning service

Police in the staunchly conservative West Texas city of Lubbock are keeping close tabs on a young entrepreneur's recently opened cleaning service that offers nude maids.

Sgt Jonathan Stewart said the owner of Fantasy Maid Service of Lubbock did not have a permit to operate a sexually oriented business and officers were watching for any violation, which would bring a $2,000 (¤1,500) fine.

But owner Melissa Borrett (26) insists she's not operating such a business.