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Teen's assault case delayed

GARDAI have been granted more time to get the DPP's directions in the case of a Dublin teenager who allegedly fractured another youth's skull in an assault and later tried to run him over with a car.

The boy (17) had been charged at the Children's Court last month with assault causing harm to the youth, also aged 17, at Swords Road, Santry, in north Dublin, on July 22. He also faces a second related charge for dangerous driving, on July 31.

Judge Ann Ryan adjourned the case until September 20.

Five police die

in Syria bombs

Two bombs went off in Damascus, killing at least five policemen and wounding others in the latest violence in the capital.

The bombings, including one outside a mosque that killed the policemen, came as regime forces and rebels clashed.

The new president of the Red Cross said he held "positive" talks with Syrian president Bashar Assad this week to gain access to detainees and free up deliveries of aid to hundreds of thousands of people.

Swift tribute to

cancer victim

Taylor Swift will pay tribute to a young cancer victim with a special song on a Stand Up To Cancer telethon.

The song, Ronan, is dedicated to a three-year-old boy who died last year of neuroblastoma, and was written by Swift after reading the blog of Ronan's mother, Maya Thompson.

It will also be available on iTunes with proceeds going to cancer-related charities.

Water is key to alien life

Underground water could greatly increase the chances of planets harbouring extra-terrestrial life, scientists believe.

It means there could be around seven times more life-bearing planets among the stars than is currently believed.

Potentially habitable planets are said to lie in the "Goldilocks zone", the narrow orbital path that is not too close to their star and not too far away, but "just right" to support surface liquid water.

Several such worlds have already been discovered.