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Oz rules back Irish migrants

Australia tightened its migration rules today in favour of English speakers and professionals, saying the country has been attracting too many hairdressers and cooks and too few doctors and engineers.

The system is likely to favour Irish professionals because of its emphasis on the English language and qualifications.

The new rules will favour applicants who already have job offers over those who merely have qualifications or who are studying. Moreover, immigrant numbers in certain jobs could be capped for the first time. The government has not identified which jobs.



Beer is good for our bones

Beer is a rich source of a nutrient that can help prevent weak bones -- but it depends what type you drink, researchers said today.

As one of the nation's favourite tipples, beer is a rich source of dietary silicon, which can help cut the chance of developing diseases like osteoporosis.

However, not all beers are the same, with those containing malted barley and hops having higher silicon content than beers made from wheat.



Tower closes viewing deck

The observation deck of the Burj Khalifa -- the world's tallest tower -- has been unexpectedly shut down, little more than a month after it opened.

The Dubai skyscraper's owner Emaar Properties blamed the closure on "unexpected high traffic".

Advance bookings have meant tourists looking to visit the Burj since the deck opened on January 5 have struggled to find tickets. Emaar did not say when the observation deck would reopen.



Female victory in Costa Rica

Costa Rica's governing party candidate swept to an election victory today that made her the first woman president in the Central American nation.

Laura Chinchilla had 47pc of the vote with nearly all the votes counted. The closest contender, Otton Solis of the Citizens' Action Party, had 25pc. He and the other main rival quickly conceded defeat.


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