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In brief: Mother tried to sell girl's virginity

An American woman has been charged with offering her 13-year-old daughter's virginity to a man in exchange for $10,000 (€8,000).

The woman, from Salt Lake City, was charged with two counts of aggravated sex abuse and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Police said the woman and her daughter also modelled lingerie for the man.

Criminals ordered to do homework

A judge in Ohio is giving defendants homework assignments as a part of probation sentences.

Stacy Cook has ordered offenders in the American state to write five-page reports on teen violence, drug use and head injuries. She said she wanted to get them thinking about why what they did was wrong.

Couple left with sinking feeling

A couple in America, who went rafting on a flood-swollen river without life jackets, were given a suitably wet punishment.

An Ohio judge sentenced them to stand in a tiny swimming pool while handing out water safety brochures. The pair pleaded guilty to misconduct during an emergency.

Adele refuses to play festivals

Chart-topping singer Adele is potentially turning down millions of pounds after vowing never to play festivals or arenas, despite her astonishing success.

The 23-year-old said she was frightened of playing to large audiences and feared having an "anxiety attack".

Lenin's Jewish ancestry revealed

For the first time, ordinary Russians can see documents that appear to confirm long-standing rumours that Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin had Jewish heritage.

The document, on display in Moscow, is a letter written by Lenin's sister, which says their grandfather was a Ukrainian Jew who converted to Christianity to escape the Pale of Settlement, which, under tsarist rule, was the only area Jews were given permanent residence for.

Possession of shark fins banned

California's state assembly has come to the defence of endangered sharks targeted by fishermen who amputate their fins then toss the live creatures back into the ocean.

US officials have approved a bill that bans the sale, trade or possession of shark fins -- a delicacy that costs hundreds of dollars per pound and is used to create a soup that is popular among some Asians.

Irish Independent