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NI tax pitch for US investment

The prospect of a cut in business tax rates in Northern Ireland is generating significant interest in the United States, the Secretary of State has said after meeting Congressmen in Washington.

Theresa Villiers said the potential for a much lower rate of corporation tax in the region than in other parts of the G7 group of nations could provide a "power incentive" for US executives looking for opportunities, noting that many already had a strong affinity with the island of Ireland due to ancestral ties.

Children were worst offenders

Children aged between 10 and 17 were responsible for one in seven crimes in Victorian times, according to a new report.

Offenders as young as 10 were charged with highway robbery, fraud and violent assault, a study of historic criminal registers found. Family history website Ancestry.co.uk said 17-year-old males were the most prolific offenders.

Killings linked to Guantanamo

A top US defence official said it was "no coincidence" that recent Islamic State videos of the savage executions of Jordanian and Japanese hostages showed the victims wearing orange jumpsuits, "believed by many to be the symbol of the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay".

Brian McKeon, principal under secretary of Defence for policy, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that President Barack Obama and his national security team all believe the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre "is used by violent extremists to incite local populations".

Pope confesses to whiz kids

Pope Francis has made a confession of sorts, telling a 16-year-old girl that he doesn't have a clue about how to work a computer.

Francis (78) made the confession during a Google Hangout with several disabled kids from around the world, who showed him how they make use of technology, including braille keypads, tablets and video cameras. He told one girl: "Do you want me to tell you the truth? I'm a disaster with machines. I don't know how to work a computer. What a shame!"