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Belfast traders hold crisis talks

BELFAST traders have called a crisis meeting to discuss the downturn caused by the Union flag protests.

Talks will be held in the city centre on Wednesday.

The Confederation of British Industry estimated £15m (¤18m) was lost to the economy over Christmas because people avoided the commercial centre.

Almost 100 police officers have been injured during sporadic rioting and parts of Belfast brought to a standstill by loyalist road blocks.

Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are to meet the British and Irish governments later this week to discuss the protests.

Restaurant left gutted in blaze

AN Indian restaurant has been gutted in a fire.

Six units of the Dublin Fire Brigade fought the blaze at Afsana restaurant, Temple Bar, for two hours before it was eventually brought under control.

It is believed the fire started in the kitchen at about 5am yesterday. No one was injured.

Gardai indicated that the fire was not suspicious.

Mausoleum burned down

Vandals have burned down a famed mausoleum at a much-visited site outside Tunisia's capital, amid tensions between the government and extremists.

The president's office condemned the arson at the Sidi Bou Said mausoleum, calling for better security at cultural sites and blaming those who "are trying... to undermine the country's culture".

Residents marched to protest against the violence.

Crime writer's court drama

Crime writer Patricia Cornwell is famous for her books on the life of a fictional medical examiner.

Now, she has her own personal drama unfolding in federal court.

Cornwell is suing her former financial management company and business manager for negligence and breach of contract.

She claims they cost her millions in investment losses and unaccounted for revenues.