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In Brief: Japan hangs two

Japan has hanged two inmates convicted of murder, its fourth and fifth executions this year.

The Justice Ministry said the executions were carried out in Tokyo after the two inmates were convicted of shooting two rival gangsters outside a restaurant in 2005.

Execution in Texas

A Texas inmate was executed yesterday for fatally shooting one of three people he and a partner abducted during a robbery nearly 11 years ago.

Richard Cobb (29) didn't deny using a shotgun to kill Kenneth Vandever in an East Texas field where two women were also shot and one was raped.

A sparkling idea

The idea behind the Tampa Women's Club charity event was simple. For $20 (€15), you could buy a flute of champagne and a chance to win a one-carat, $5,000 (€3,840) diamond.

Organisers placed $10 cubic zirconia stones in the bottom of 399 of the 400 glasses. The prized diamond was placed in the last. The problem? Eighty-year-old Miriam Tucker accidentally swallowed it. A doctor recovered the jewel.

ABBA comeback?

AN ABBA comeback may be on the cards after singer Agnetha Faltskog hinted at a possible reunion.

Faltskog, who has released a solo album called 'A', was asked by Germany's 'Die Zeit' magazine if she would be open to an ABBA reunion and she responded positively.

Snakes in the court

Snakes have been slithering into a Mississippi courthouse – posing no threat but giving workers the creeps.

Five of the brown non-venomous DeKay's snakes – sometimes called earth snakes – have been found in the Hinds County circuit clerk's basement office.

School goes neutral

Officials in a liberal Stockholm suburb that discourages gender stereotypes are to open a gender-neutral changing room in a secondary school to avoid students being classified as male or female.

Patrik Biverstedt, headmaster of the Soedra Latins upper secondary school, said they decided on the cubicle where one person can change at a time after students proposed it last year.

Irish Independent