Riot appeal denied
A court has rejected an appeal by a member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot against a previous court ruling that denied her an early release.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has served a year and a half out of her two-year prison sentence and was appealing for parole. Along with two other band members, she was convicted of hooliganism following Pussy Riot's punk performance against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral last year.
BIRD 'SPY' SOARS AGAIN
A kestrel captured in Turkey on suspicion of being an Israeli spy has been released after officials concluded it was not actually in the employ of Mossad.
The bird of prey was discovered wearing a tag marked "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel". After authorities were satisfied that the bird had been tagged for research purposes and not snooping, the kestrel was free to go on its way.
PAKISTAN BOMB ATTACK
A pair of bombs tore through crowds of shoppers at a busy market in northern Pakistan, killing 39 people, officials said.
Riaz Massoud, a top government official in Kurram, said the bombs killed 39 and wounded at least 70 yesterday.
SQUIRREL'S LETHAL BUG
Health officials in Los Angeles have confirmed that a squirrel found in a National Forest in California was infected with bubonic plague. As a precaution, parts of the Angeles National Forest near Wrightwood are now closed and are likely to remain so for several weeks.
The animal – a ground squirrel – was found to be carrying the disease, which if not treated with antibiotics is usually fatal.
NEO-NAZI GP INQUIRY
Italy's health ministry has launched an investigation into a neo-Nazi GP. Dr Gianantonio Valli, who has 1,400 health service patients on his books in the village of Cuveglio, near Varese, keeps a bust of Hitler in his library and displays racist propag-anda in the waiting room.
When his far-right views were finally reported this month in 'La Repubblica', centre-left parliamentarians demanded action and the health minister has now requested a report on the situation.