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Two years for firearms teen

A 15-year-old boy has been given two years' detention from Judge Desmond Hogan for possession of a semi-automatic pistol and €1,700 worth of drugs.

The teenager, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the firearm, €1,100 worth of heroin and €600 worth of cannabis at his home on January 29, 2009.

Judge Hogan heard that the teenager has been on remand in a detention school and is doing well there. He also accepted that the boy had very supportive parents. He said he hoped that the boy would learn from his time in detention and "not fall into similar pitfalls".

Browne libel action settled

A LIBEL action by businessman Dermot Desmond against broadcaster Vincent Browne over an article in Magill magazine 12 years ago was settled in the High Court yesterday.

Under the settlement, an apology was to be read out and Mr Browne was to make a contribution to a charity nominated by Mr Desmond. Mr Justice Eamon de Valera struck out the proceedings on that basis.

Girl locked up in prison home

A malnourished Arizona girl was locked in a bathroom for two months, beaten with metal rods, and forced to exercise until exhaustion because her father said she had stolen food and cheated on a home-school test.

The girl escaped from the bathroom through the attic on and contacted police on Tuesday of last week. The girl said her father forced her to exercise until she was exhausted and beat her with belts and metal rods or pulled her up by her hair if she stopped the exercises.

Being bored is bad for health

Being bored could be bad for your health, a study has revealed.

Experts from University College London said boredom is not specifically dangerous but could be a symptom of "harmful behaviour" such as excessive drinking and smoking. The researchers, however, stressed the study was not a serious piece of scientific work but a commentary intended for amusement.