Ireland seeks UN peace role
Ireland is to seek election to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the first time, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
He said that, both within the country and in the wider world, Ireland is at the fore of promoting peace, justice, security and development.
"If elected, Ireland would support clear and strong action by the council in addressing human rights violations and in promoting universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms," Mr Kenny announced.
Four killed in resort shooting
An early morning New Year's shooting left four people dead at a condominium near San Diego.
Police responded to an emergency call from a cellphone of shots fired in Coronado, a wealthy seaside suburb of about 24,000 people on San Diego Bay.
Officers found a man in the doorway of the condo. The bodies of two men and a woman were discovered inside the condo.
Coldplay have knocked the Military Wives choir off the top of the UK charts after their single Paradise became the first official number one of 2012.
The British band soared to the top spot a week after the the wives and choirmaster Gareth Malone secured the coveted Christmas number one with charity number Wherever You Are.
Meanwhile, singer Ed Sheeran returned to the top of the Official Albums Chart with his debut release.
Bird carnage in fireworks blitz
Authorities in a US town said about 100 blackbirds died on New Year's Eve after being spooked by fireworks -- far less than the thousands that perished there a year ago.
Beebe police Lieutenant Brian Duke said that officials had asked local residents who were celebrating the year's end to stop setting off fireworks after blackbirds again started flying into objects and each other.
However someone appears to have targeted a blackbird roost this year and that there was evidence of fireworks at the roost.