Deadly obesity is ballooning in Ireland while the only hospital equipped to treat dangerously overweight patients has no available beds, it was revealed today.
A leading medic warned that 90 people needing emergency operations are languishing on a waiting list because of a lack of resources.
Professor Donal O'Shea, a consultant endocrinologist at St Columcille's Hospital in Loughlinstown, south Dublin, said international trends show 6pc of people on obesity waiting lists die over two years.
Cowen 'cannot' stop high rents
Brian Cowen claimed it was impossible to overthrow controversial shop leases struck during the boom years which bar rent reductions.
The Taoiseach said the commercial agreements -- being blamed for job losses in the retail industry -- were between private individuals and could not be interfered with under the constitution.
But Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said his party had received legal advice that it was legal to quash upward-only rent reviews.
Roy Chubby Brown on trial
Blue comedian Roy Chubby Brown will go on trial today over an alleged assault on a woman in a car park.
The comic, real name Royston Vasey, is to appear at Teesside Magistrates Court where he denies common assault of Kelly Oliver.
The alleged offence was said to have been committed in Middlesbrough last September following a dispute.
The 65-year-old Teesside-born entertainer is now living at East Harsley, Northallerton, North Yorkshire.
Tasmanian devil hopes
Australian scientists found a colony of Tasmanian devils that are genetically different from their peers and so far resistant to the face cancer that has devastated the population.
Researcher Kathy Belov of the University of Sydney said today that the discovery of the colony in northwestern Tasmania state could help save the species from extinction.
The furry black animals spread a fast-killing cancer when they bite each other's faces.