| 8.3°C Dublin

In brief: Facebook mouse killer avoids jail

An Australian woman has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty by filming herself hacking off a mouse's head and posting the footage on Facebook.

A Brisbane court today ordered 23-year-old Naomi Anderson to perform 180 hours of community service for the crime committed earlier this month. She could have received a maximum punishment of two years in jail.

Alarm as lizards used in AIDS 'cure'

The Philippines warned yesterday against using geckos to treat AIDS and impotence, saying the folkloric practice in parts of Asia may put patients at risk.

Environmental officials have also expressed alarm about the growing trade in the wall-climbing lizards in the Philippines. An 11-ounce gecko reportedly sells for at least 50,000 pesos (€820).

Heiress buys $85m US TV mogul's pad

A British heiress has completed her $85m (€60m) purchase of a massive Los Angeles mansion built by the late television mogul Aaron Spelling.

Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone's 22-year-old daughter Petra officially became the owner of the lavish residence yesterday. Spelling's widow, Candy Spelling, put the 56,000 square-foot house on the market for $150m (€106m) two years ago, but ultimately let it go for less.

Jane Austen work sells for £993,250

The earliest surviving Jane Austen manuscript, a handwritten draft for a book that was never published, sold for £993,250 (€1.13m) at Sotheby's in London on Thursday.

The manuscript for 'The Watsons' was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.

Actor Baldwin splits with wife

Actor Daniel Baldwin has been granted a restraining order against his wife and filed for divorce, claiming she punched him, threatened him with a knife in front of their children and made threats of violence and death "too numerous to list".

The 50-year-old said his wife woke the couple's children, aged one and three, at their Oregon home by screaming and throwing objects while drunk. Joanne Baldwin was arrested this week for violating her parole on a drink-driving conviction.

Window cleaner saved 65ft in air

Seattle firefighters have rescued a window cleaner who slipped out of his seat and dangled about 65ft off the ground outside a building at the Seattle Centre civic complex.

KIRO-TV helicopter video showed a fire engine ladder reaching the man and a firefighter helping him climb down.

Picasso thief had $500,000 cache

A man accused of stealing a valuable Picasso drawing from a San Francisco gallery had about $500,000 (€353,415) worth of other stolen artwork in his New Jersey apartment, including another Picasso, police said.

Authorities raided the Hoboken home of Mark Lugo on Wednesday after Lugo made a phone call on Tuesday from the San Francisco jail to a female friend, police said.

Thousands flee Indonesia volcano

Thousands of residents were evacuated after a volcano on an Indonesian island erupted, spewing clouds of hot ash and debris and sending red-hot lava cascading down its slopes. Mount Lokon, on Sulawesi, started erupting on Thursday.

One woman died of a heart attack in the chaos.

Irish Independent