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In Brief: Taxi driver not guilty of rape

A TAXI driver has been acquitted of orally raping a female passenger after giving her a lift home from a nightclub.

The 51-year-old married man had pleaded not guilty to oral rape and sexual assault of the woman in a Waterford town, on July 19, 2010.

The jury of four men and eight women took just under two hours to return its not guilty verdict on both charges. It was day five of the trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Nine killed by blasts in Syria

In fresh attacks on symbols of state power, twin suicide bombs have exploded near a government security compound in northern Syria and rockets struck the central bank in Damascus, killing nine people and wounding 100.

The regime and the opposition traded blame, accusing each other of dooming a United Nations plan to calm violence that has largely failed so far.

The head of the UN observer mission acknowledged that his force cannot solve the country's crisis alone and urged both sides to stop fighting.

Oz's Labour plunges in poll

Support for Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Labour party fell to a near-record low in an opinion poll today as lawmaker scandals overshadow government plans to deliver the federal budget next week.

Public backing for Labour dropped two percentage points to 27pc, while support for Tony Abbott's Liberal National coalition rose three points to an 11-year high of 51pc, according to a poll published in the Australian newspaper.

Latino stars to tour together

Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Wisin Y Yandel are touring together this summer.

Lopez and Iglesias announced that the 20-city MEGA concert tour will begin on July 14 in Montreal.

"We are going to give you everything we got," Lopez said.

"I think it's going to be one of the most historic tours ever. Because I don't know that there has ever been something ... where these Latinos have come together like this as family."