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Martin launches security forum

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin arrived in Vienna today to launch Ireland's chairmanship of an international assembly on security.

For the next four months, Mr Martin will head the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC), which will discuss aspects of security in 56 countries across Europe, Central Asia and Northern America. Arms control and confidence and security-building measures are top of the agenda.

Top honour for McCartney

Paul McCartney is to be honoured with a major US award -- for his contribution to American culture.

The Beatles legend joins chat-show host and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey among the five recipients of the annual Kennedy Center Honours.

Previous recipients include Robert De Niro, Brian Wilson, Steven Spielberg and Bob Dylan.

18 killed in factory attack

Men armed with assault rifles burst into a shoe factory and opened fire, killing at least 18 workers and wounding five, Honduran police said.

National police spokesman Leonel Sauceda called yesterday's attack in the northern city of San Pedro Sula "a massacre".

San Pedro Sula was a hotbed of gun battles between drug traffickers and among the country's Mara street gangs.

Mr Sauceda said at least four men using assault rifles were involved in the attack at the small shoe factory.

He said 23 employees were present and all were either killed or wounded.