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In brief: TV mum faces abuse charges

An Alaskan mother seeking sensational footage to get on the Dr Phil self-help TV show punished her seven-year-old adopted son by putting hot sauce in his mouth, it has been claimed.

Prosecutor Cynthia Franklin said that Jessica Beagley (33) recorded the punishment for a show segment titled Mommy Confessions. The Anchorage woman faces child abuse charges.

But Beagley's lawyer said she made the video and went on the show because she was desperate to find help for her son, who was adopted from a Russian orphanage and has psychological and emotional problems. The case has sparked outrage in Russia.

Sumatra is hit

by earthquake

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, according to the US Geological Survey.

No tsunami alert was immediately issued and there were no reports of damage or casualties.

The quake, which hit at 3:12am local time, was centred about 110 miles south west of Tanjungkarang-Telukbetung on the island of Sumatra.

Fair death toll reaches seven

A seventh person has died from injuries sustained when a stage collapsed earlier this month at the Indiana State Fair.

She was named as cheerleading coach Meagan Toothman from Cincinnati.

The 24-year-old, who had been on a life support machine, was scheduled to undergo organ donation surgery yesterday. It is not yet known if the surgery was performed.

Four accused of beheadings

four members of the Clansman gang have been charged with murder over the beheadings of a mother and daughter during a home invasion in Jamaica last month.

The suspects, all men in their twenties, were detained earlier this month.

The beheadings of the 44-year-old woman and her 19-year-old daughter during a home invasion at night on the outskirts of troubled Spanish Town sent a shock wave through much of the island's society.