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Jury is out in niece rape trial

A JURY in the trial of a Cavan man accused of sexually assaulting and raping his teen niece was sent home having failed to reach a verdict.

The 58-year-old accused had pleaded not guilty to 14 charges of sex assault and one of rape on dates between May 25, 2002 and April 30, 2004. The complainant was 13 and half years old at the time.

The jury of six men and six women had been considering their verdict for about 45 minutes on day four of the trial when Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy told them to suspend their deliberations for the day and come back today.



Soldiers die in chopper crash

Two air force helicopters crashed during a training exercise, killing five soldiers.

Officials in Colombia said four other soldiers suffered injuries in the accident.

The officials said the cause was still under investigation.

The two UH-1H helicopters were assigned to the flight school of Colombia's Air Combat Command. They went down nearly two miles from an air base in Melgar, about 45 miles from Bogota.



New accusation for serial killer

a convicted serial killer on death row is suspected in the long-unsolved murder of a 19-year-old aspiring actress.

Investigators believe Rodney Alcala was responsible for the death of Pamela Lambson near San Francisco in 1977. However, detectives said Alcala would not be charged because of insufficient genetic material.

Alcala was convicted last year of murdering a 12-year-old girl and four women in Southern California in the late 1970s. He was recently indicted in the deaths of two women in New York.



Seven die in car bomb blast

A car bomb killed seven people in Faisalabad, Pakistan, early today.

The blast at a petrol station left another ten people wounded.

Pakistani TV showed piles of bricks, and chunks of twisted metal from cars strewn across the station.

Al-Qa'ida and Taliban militants have carried out scores of suicide and other bombings in Pakistani cities, usually aiming at security forces. But Faisalabad, a key hub for Pakistan's textile industry, has rarely been targeted.