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In brief: Lost du Maurier story unearthed

A "MACABRE" short story written by Daphne du Maurier and lost for more than 70 years has been unearthed by an enthusiast.

'The Doll', written around 1928, is one of 13 du Maurier short stories in a new anthology to be published in May. Ann Willmore, who runs a bookshop in du Maurier's hometown of Fowey, Cornwall, unearthed it in a 1937 compendium of stories by various authors which were rejected for publication.

Mugabe turns 87 as his health fails

Robert Mugabe's health is failing, leaving Zimbabwe's government paralysed, according to sources.

Mr Mugabe, who turns 87 today, underwent a prostate operation in Malaysia last month, sources said. His spokesman denied the claim but said the president returned from Singapore yesterday following a separate check-up. The cabinet has sat for just two hours in the past two months, officials say.

Stuttering may be down to genetics

STUTTERING is not caused by nervousness or a traumatic childhood as portrayed in 'The King's Speech' film, but may be rooted in a genetic disorder.

Research suggests that mutated genes that are inherited are likely to be to blame, affecting the brain's ability to control the voice muscles. The findings, discussed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington DC, could lead to drug treatment and therapies to reverse the effects of the genetic damage.

Mexican town wants game ban

A shoot-em-up video game set in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez has angered local officials.

Chihuahua state legislators said yesterday they have asked federal authorities to ban the game, "Call of Juarez: The Cartel". About 6,000 people died in drug-related violence in Ciudad Juarez in 2009 and 2010. The website of game developer Ubisoft Entertainment SA says the title is due for release this summer.

Pirates holding four Americans

Two pirates and a Somali official say a hijacked yacht with four Americans on board is nearing the Somali coast, and that it's being shadowed by a warship.

The three say the yacht Quest is in the waters between Yemen and northern Somalia. One pirate Bile Hussein said a warship with a helicopter on its deck is near the Quest.

Irish Independent