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Two killed as Sandy rages

Hurricane Sandy lashed precarious shanty towns, stranded travellers and downed power lines with heavy wind and rain as it roared across Jamaica, headed for landfall in eastern Cuba and on to threaten the Bahamas and possibly Florida.

Sandy's death toll was at least two. An elderly man was killed in Jamaica when he was crushed by a boulder that rolled on to his clapboard house, police said. Earlier, a woman in Haiti was swept away by a rushing river she was trying to cross.

The storm hit Jamaica as a Category 1 hurricane then strengthened as it spun over open sea towards Cuba. US forecasters said it had maximum sustained winds of 90mph and might grow into a Category 2 storm before going ashore.

Lap dancing is not art - ruling

An attempt to make lap dancing tax free has been thrown out by a New York court which ruled it does not promote culture in a community the way ballet or other artistic endeavours do.

The ruling was split four to three by the judges. Some said there was no distinction in state law between "highbrow dance and lowbrow dance," so the case raised "significant constitutional problems".

The case was brought by Nite Moves, an adult club that was arguing its fees for admission and private dances are exempt from sales taxes.

Van stolen... with 12 coffins

A group of Polish car thieves got some unexpected cargo when they stole a van in Germany -- 12 sealed coffins.

The coffins were found in woods near the Polish city of Konin after being dumped.

They were in one of three vans stolen, and were due to be delivered to a mortuary.

Disney defends new princess

Disney has had to defend its latest cartoon princess after critics said the Hispanic-based character was not an accurate racial portrayal.

The new character, Sofia, is in a TV movie being shown in the US next month.

Hispanic pressure groups have questioned whether the fair-skinned, blue-eyed young princess is an accurate representation of the Hispanic population.