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Verdict due in Pistorius case

Oscar Pistorius made his name by thrilling crowds with his unique sprinting style, but tomorrow the eyes of the world will fall on the athlete for very different reasons.

More than 18 months after he shot dead his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his luxury home on Valentine's Day 2013, the sportsman known as the Blade Runner will finally learn his fate as a judge delivers her verdict in one of the most closely followed trials of recent times. If found guilty of premeditated murder, the 27-year-old double amputee faces 25 years to life in prison.

Hotel owner drugged guests

The owner of a New Zealand tourist lodge has been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting 16 guests, most of whom were from overseas.

Police said Michael Harris was charged with 39 offences against 16 men, including indecent assault, drugging a victim to facilitate an assault and making intimate visual recordings. Harris owns the Main Street Lodge in the North Island town of Kaitaia.

Dad suspected of killing 5 kids

A man is suspected of killing his five children in South Carolina and then driving for hours before dumping their bodies, wrapped in individual garbage bags, on a dirt road in rural Alabama, authorities said.

Timothy Ray Jones Jr. (32) led investigators to the site where the bodies of the children were found, off a two-lane highway near Camden, Alabama. The children ranged from one to eight years old and were reported missing by their mother on September 3, authorities said.

Grief affects immune system

Bereavement can have a devastating impact on the immune systems of older people and may explain why many elderly spouses die soon after the loss of their loved ones, scientists have said.

A study has found that a key component of the immune defences that protect the body against lethal infections, particularly in the over 65s, is weakened in the period of grief when someone loses a person very close to them.

However, the researchers found that the phenomenon was only seen in people older than 65. Younger people appear to be less susceptible to the physical effects of bereavement on their immune systems.

The study involved analysing a type of white blood cell called the neutrophil which plays a critical role in fending off any invasions of bacteria or other infectious agents that could lead to serious illnesses, such as pneumonia which often claims the lives of elderly, bereaved people.