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In Brief: Teen spared jail term after theft

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who threatened to stab and "slice" a secondary school pupil when he mugged him during a spate of burglary and theft offences, has been sentenced to 12-months' probation.

The boy had once been described as "committing crime to get money for food" but in recent months has been given accommodation by the HSE because his family could not care for him.

The teen had pleaded guilty at Dublin Children's Court to a litany of charges, but Judge Ann Ryan said that "he has made significant changes in his life," as she imposed the probation bond.


Bowers denies resort assault

FORMER Celebrity Big Brother star Dane Bowers has pleaded not guilty to two charges of assault following an alleged brawl.

The former Another Level singer was the headline act at a 1990s night at Butlin's resort in Bognor Regis, England, when the incident occurred on April 20.

The 33-year-old DJ appeared at Worthing Magistrates' Court and the case was adjourned for trial.

He was released on unconditional bail until the trial on October 29.


France mulls smartphone tax

FRANCE is considering creating a new tax on smartphones and tablets in a bid to raise millions to support the creation of digital cultural content.

The proposal outlines a 1pc tax on the sale of internet-compatible devices, targeting companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon. The tax would yield about €86m a year. The revenue would help cultural industries create French content such as music, images and videos.


Priests decline across Europe

THE number of Catholic priests in Africa and Asia has shot up over the past decade but has decreased sharply in Europe.

The Vatican stats showed a 39.5pc increase in Africa and a 32pc hike in Asia from 2001-2011. The number of priests in Europe fell by 9pc. Worldwide, the number of priests was up 2.1pc.

While the number of nuns also rose in Africa and Asia over the decade, there was a 10pc global drop.