| 9.8°C Dublin

Suu Kyi accepts Hollande invite

AUNGSan Suu Kyi will visit France on June 26-29 at the invitation of Francois Hollande, the French president's office said.

The visit shows France's wish to "support the political transition in Myanmar [Burma]", the statement said.

She will also visit Ireland, Switzerland, Norway and Britain during this month's visit to Europe. Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to Thailand last week was her first trip outside Myanmar since 1988.

Snow cancels flights to NZ

FLIGHTS through Christchurch airport, the busiest on New Zealand's South Island, have been disrupted by snowfalls.

Air New Zealand stopped flying to the city today, it said, adding that a large number of its domestic services were cancelled or delayed because of poor weather. Qantas flights from Australia were also cancelled.

In Christchurch, where an earthquake last year killed 185 people and wrecked thousands of homes, temperatures were 0.3C at 4pm and forecast to drop to -3C later tonight.

Oil prices back on the way up

OIL prices rose to nearly $85 a barrel in Asia today after a report showed US crude supplies fell more than expected, suggesting demand may be improving.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was up 57 cents to $84.86 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 31 cents to settle at $84.29 in New York yesterday.

Crude has sunk from $106 last month amid signs of weakening economic growth and oil demand in Europe, the US and China.

Earthquake rocks Taiwan

A POWERFUL earthquake has hit off the coast of southeastern Taiwan, but no casualties or damage were reported.

The quake struck today at 9.08 am (01.08 GMT) and had a magnitude of 5.9. The epicentre was about 52km southeast of of Taitung.

In 1999 a magnitude-7.6 earthquake killed more than 2,300 people.