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Top acts play at Cork festival

SOME of music's biggest names will be descending on our shores for the seventh annual Marquee festival.

This summer, everyone from Elton John to Alexandra Burke will be heading to Cork for the Live At The Marquee festival over its four-week duration, the Herald can exclusively reveal.

Performing in Ireland for the first time since becoming a father, Elton John will be appearing on June 28. And he is in good company with Tom Jones, Paul Simon, Bryan Adams and Christy Moore also lined up to perform.

Woman says ex raped her

A WOMAN accusing a Roscommon resident, with whom she had a relationship, of raping her has said that the sex they had was "rough" but denied it was consensual.

The accused (32) has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the woman at the home they shared on September 28, 2007. Mr Ken Fogarty, defending, put it to the woman that she had consented to the sex.

"No, I did not agree with it. I asked him to stop and he didn't stop," she said.

The trial continues.

Obama's plan to oust Gaddafi

US President Barack Obama's senior advisers are meeting today to outline possible steps that could be used to pressure Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi to halt the violence against his people and give up power.

Obama is facing the sternest test yet of his philosophy of humanitarian intervention, which he has described as an imperative to prevent atrocities against civilians. But Gaddafi's brutal suppression of protests to his 42-year rule may fall short of Obama's criteria for military action.

Japan coast hit by earthquake

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit off Japan's northeastern coast today, shaking buildings hundreds of miles away in Tokyo and triggering a small tsunami. There were no immediate reports of significant damage or injuries.

The quake struck at 11.45am local time and was centred about 90 miles (150 kilometre) off the northeastern coast, Japan's meteorological agency said.