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Luan Parle to open Sailfest

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Wicklow next month for the Round Ireland Sailfest due to be officially opened by songstress Luan Parle.

Parle, from Wicklow Town, will be part of a line-up of national and international acts due to play at the Sailfest, which takes place between June 18 and 20.

She will be performing a live outdoor concert on June 20 following the noon start of the Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow Bay, now in its 30th year.

Singer Lena Horne (92) dies

Lena Horne, who broke racial barriers as a Hollywood and Broadway star and was famous for her velvety rendition of Stormy Weather, has died aged 92.

Hospital spokeswoman Gloria Chin said Horne died at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. In the 1940s, Horne was one of the first black performers hired to sing with a major white band and among a handful with a Hollywood contract.

In 1943, she won the role of Selina Rogers in the all-black movie musical Stormy Weather. Her rendition of the title song became a major hit.

Merkel alliance voted out

Voters in Germany's most populous state dealt Chancellor Angela Merkel a painful setback, erasing her government's majority in the upper house of parliament and curbing its power after a stumbling start and criticism over the Greek debt crisis.

Ms Merkel's centre-right alliance was voted out of power in a state election in North Rhine-Westphalia, a region of some 18 million people.

Patrol seizes suspect boat

Yemen's coast guard commander said authorities seized a fishing boat carrying some automatic weapons, night-vision goggles and ammunition.

The state-run Radio San'a quoted Brigadier Yahia Rassi as saying the boat was seized on Saturday evening near the port of Aden. He said the 14 Indian and Somali crew members were arrested. Brig Rassi said the boat was carrying a "limited quantity" of automatic weapons.