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Messy mutts in battle for prize

Barking mad festival organisers are calling on the country's messiest mutts and boldest pups to compete in a dog show with a difference.

The Connacht Sheep Shearing Championships is hosting its annual contest to find the country's top four-legged friends -- with a brand new prize for King Tramp.

Event planner Paddy Rock warned pampered pooches need not apply.

"He could be scruffy or undone, his manner could be impish, he could be a mongrel with a bit of a glint in his eye - an unsung hero. Maybe he's ugly but what about it? He's a lovable character."

88pc unsure of asthma action

Almost nine out of 10 people would not feel comfortable helping a child who was suffering an asthma attack, a poll suggested today.

Some 88pc would not feel completely confident in knowing what to do, according to the survey of more than 2,200 people to mark World Asthma Day.

If somebody is suspected of having an attack, they should be encouraged to take their reliever inhaler immediately. If there is no immediate improvement, one puff should be taken every minute for five minutes or until symptoms improve.

One third hold own account

Nearly a third of people in a relationship continue to keep their own bank account, a survey showed today.

Tesco found that it took people an average of two years before they were happy to combine their finances with their partner's.

But people are more likely to share their savings with their partner, at 47pc, than they are their credit card, something just 34pc of people do.

Attack threat in terrorist film

The Pakistani Taliban released a video -- apparently dated early April -- of their leader promising an attack on major US cities "in some days or a month," a monitoring group said today.

The video is the second message purportedly from the network that has been discovered following the attempted car bombing in New York City. It does not specifically mention that attack.