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In brief: US government sues big banks

THE US government has begun legal action against the nation's largest banks over the sale of home mortgage-backed securities.

Among the 17 institutions targeted were Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

Home mortgage-backed securities were risky investments whose collapse helped fuel the financial crisis that erupted in late 2008.

The lawsuits were filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Teens on 'slice' threat charge

TWO teenage brothers who allegedly threatened to "slice" a youth during a mugging, have been given time to consider their pleas.

The brothers (aged 17 and 18) had been charged at the Children's Court with robbery of a mobile phone, €20 and an MP3 player at Sandymount, in south Dublin, on August 27.

Yesterday Aoife Corridon, defending, told Judge Gerard Haughton that disclosure of the prosecution's evidence was still awaited.

Judge Haughton adjourned the case until a date in October.

21 missing as plane crashes

A CHILEAN air force plane with 21 people aboard, including a popular TV presenter, has crashed in the Pacific near the Juan Fernandez islands.

The CASA military plane tried twice to land on the remote island but strong wind gusts buffeted the aircraft and it was later lost from sight.

Rescuers in boats were searching for the plane, but Juan Fernandez mayor Leopoldo Gonzalez said luggage was found in the water.

US sends aid to North Korea

THE US has sent a cargo plane of emergency supplies to North Korea to help with the flood relief effort.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says the plane is carrying blankets, soap and hygiene kits. It will arrive in Pyongyang this weekend.

The US has said it will give $900,000 (¤633,000) in emergency aid.

North Korean media said last month that flooding killed about 30 people and left thousands homeless.