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Judge slams courts backlog

THE President of the High Court has said he is "hard-pressed" trying to manage the court list and get cases heard because he is still awaiting the appointment of seven new judges.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns told lawyers seeking hearing dates that an indication of just how hard-pressed he is was evident from the fact he was experiencing considerable difficulty in finding a judge to take the High Court bail list in Cloverhill this week.

It was expected that seven new judges would be approved at this week's Cabinet meeting, but it is understood the matter was not reached.

Man dials 999 from ice truck

A motorway was closed off by traffic police after a suspected illegal immigrant in the back of a refrigerated lorry made a distressed emergency call.

Staffordshire Police in England said the call requesting "urgent assistance" was received shortly before 9am yesterday.

Ambulance crews and police then located 12 people travelling inside the lorry, which was heading north on the M6.

Rise in cases of witchcraft

London police are reporting a rising number of child abuse cases linked to witchcraft and ritual beliefs.

Police said 27 cases have been reported this year, an increase on the 24 last year and 19 in 2012. They include the case of a child being swung around and smacked in the head as part of an exorcism and other youths being dunked in water to rid them of evil spirits.

Det Supt Terry Sharpe called it "a hidden crime" which happens when a family or care-givers genuinely believe a child has been taken over by evil spirits.

Vegas all set for gay weddings

The marriage licences are already gender-neutral. Chapel photographers have been practising shooting two brides wearing white gowns. And an ordained Elvis impersonator will be waiting at the end of the aisle.

Las Vegas, the land of wedding chapels, is ready for gay weddings. Nevada this week became the 30th US state to allow same-sex marriages.