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In Brief: 17 killed in two Baghdad blasts

TWO explosions in a Shiite neighbourhood of eastern Baghdad killed 17 people and wounded around 50 others.

Yesterday's blasts in the Sadr City neighbourhood, coming a day after attacks across the capital killed 25 people, served as a reminder of the lengths to which Sunni militants are trying to go in order to reignite sectarian tensions as American forces prepare to go home.

A bomb went off near a house in a narrow alley in Sadr City, said two police officials. Then, minutes later, another bomb went off.



Red Or Black may not return

ITV's programme boss said he has not decided whether Simon Cowell's Red Or Black? show will return.

Peter Fincham, the network's director of television, said if it did come back he would like to see some changes.

The Ant and Dec-fronted show was screened last month, with winners walking away with either £1m or nothing.

The show was the subject of controversy when it emerged the first jackpot had gone to a contestant who had been jailed for a violent attack.



Teacher set fire to herself

A secondary school maths teacher sprayed herself with a flammable liquid and set herself alight in a playground in southern France at break time, France's education minister said.

The motive behind the incident, in the Mediterranean city of Beziers, was not immediately clear.

The teacher, whose name has not been released, was flown by helicopter to a hospital in nearby Montpellier suffering from serious burns.



Freud painting sells for ¤3.4m

A small Lucian Freud painting described as an "indisputable masterpiece" sold for more than £3m (¤3.4m) when it went under the hammer at auction.

Boy's Head, measuring just 21.6cm by 15.9cm, was bought by an anonymous bidder for £3,177,250 (¤3,634,064).

But the work -- which depicts Charlie Lumley, Freud's neighbour and one of his most recognisable subjects -- did not meet pre-sale estimates of £4m.