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Irish arts to get US exposure

The Government has announced it will present 400 Irish arts events all across the US this year.

Actor and cultural ambassador Gabriel Byrne formally announced details of the €5.3m programme at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

A spokesman said the events would cover every art form: theatre, dance, literature, music, film and visual arts.

More than 2,000 artists will participate in the year-long, 40-state Imagine Ireland project.

Multiple killer jailed for life

A man who broke into a home to commit "a random burglary" admitted killing three people who confronted him, stuffing their remains in a hollow tree, and kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old girl who was with them.

Unemployed tree-cutter Matthew Hoffman (30) pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, burglary, kidnapping, rape and other charges.

He was sentenced in Ohio to life in prison without parole for the deaths of Tina Herrmann, whose home he burgled on November 10, her 11-year-old son Kody Maynard, and neighbour Stephanie Sprang.

Oprah to open Morgan's show

Piers Morgan will open his new prime-time US TV show with an hour-long Oprah Winfrey interview.

Morgan's new show on news channel CNN makes its first appearance on January 17, filling the slot once held by Larry King.

The former Daily Mirror editor said he interviewed Winfrey in California this week to give her the debut slot.

Minibus attack kills children

Gunmen killed four women and four children, including an 18-month boy, and wounded three others in an attack on a minibus in Honduras, officials said.

The attack in the rural eastern province of Olancho appears to have been aimed at one of the passengers on the minibus, said Security Ministry spokesman Leonel Sauceda.

"The attack was directed at one or two people who were aboard the vehicle," Sauceda said.