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Mushrooms to create 150 jobs

A mushroom growing facility opened today with the creation of 150 jobs.

Monaghan Mushrooms is said to be one of the most modern plants of its kind in Europe, growing up to 6,000 tonnes of the fungi each year.

Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith opened the €12m site in Tyholland, Co Monaghan.

He said the firm was a pioneer in the development of the industry.

"The mushroom industry is worth in excess of €100m per year and over 70pc of that production is exported," said Mr Smith.

Oil field likely in Afghanistan

A preliminary survey found that Afghanistan may have 1.8 billion barrels of oil in the north of the country, an official said.

The survey found the possible oil field between Balkh and Jawzjan provinces, Mines Ministry spokesman Jawad Omar said.

Last June, Afghan officials said US geologists believe the country has nearly one trillion US dollars in mineral resources.

BB housemates angry over ball

The stresses and strains of continued incarceration inside the Big Brother house are starting to show after contestants launched an insurrection over a rubber ball.

Housemates Sam and Dave mounted the mutiny following Big Brother's edict banning ball games for fear of damaging lights and fittings on the set of the Channel 4 programme.

London-based graffiti artist Sam and Welsh Christian minister Dave led the rebellion.

Israel holds out on peace talks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top cabinet ministers affirmed in a meeting that Israel will not accept conditions for resuming direct negotiations with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians want the framework and agenda worked out in advance.

However an official in Mr Netanyahu's office said the prime minister and his top ministers decided in a meeting to hold out for a separate invitation from the United States without preconditions.