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Walkers put on blaze alert

Walkers are being warned about the threat of wild fires over the bank holiday weekend.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said very high-risk conditions are forecast for some parts of the country, particularly the south and south west.

Fires have already been reported in north Kerry.

Western regions and upland areas in the east have also been cautioned to remain on high alert for the spread of any forest or gorse blazes.

One-in-five talks to their plants

More than one in five gardeners admit talking to their plants in the hope it will help them to grow, a survey has revealed.

The poll of 2,000 people for UK garden retailer Wilko's also found that one in eight people sing or play music to their flowers.

Classical music was the most popular choice, particularly Brahms and Beethoven.

Of the 22pc of adults who talk to their plants, a third say they converse with their flowers more than they do with their neighbours.

Michael D sticks

by EU remarks

PRESIDENT Micheal D Higgins has defended his remarks on what he called a moral crisis in the EU.

Eyebrows were raised across Europe after the president criticised aspects of how the EU is dealing with the economic crisis.

However, Mr Higgins said that there was no issue with him expressing views on the state of the eurozone.

He said they were right, proper and constitutional.

President Higgins said: "What I was really doing in Strasbourg was addressing a debate, that I feel is very important, on the future of the union in a time of crisis."

Spielberg plots sniper movie

Steven Spielberg has his sights set on his next project, a movie about former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who is considered to be the deadliest sniper in US military history.

DreamWorks Studios says Spielberg will direct Bradley Cooper in an adaptation of the best-selling book American Sniper.

Kyle was killed this year at a Texas gun range.