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In Brief: Cocoa good for the brain

DRINKING cocoa may benefit the brain in old age, according to research funded by Mars which tested the effects of cocoa on 90 elderly volunteers.

Participants were given milk-based cocoa drinks containing high, intermediate or low levels of plant compounds called flavanols which are said to reduce the risk of dementia.

After eight weeks, mental performance increased significantly for those given the "high" and "intermediate" drinks.



Biggest ever python caught

The biggest Burmese python ever caught in Florida -- 17ft, 7 inches (5.18 metres) long and 164lbs (74.4kg) -- was found in Everglades National Park.

The snake was pregnant with 87 eggs, also said to be a record. The python had feathers in its stomach that scientists plan to use to identify the types of wildlife it was eating.

Tens of thousands of Burmese pythons are believed to be living in the Everglades, where they thrive in the warm, humid climate.



Mexico murder suspect caught

Mexico's marines captured a drug cartel suspect carrying the ID cards of a newspaper employee who was killed in May along with three photographers.

Hernandez Pulido was carrying the ID cards of Irasema Becerra, who had been an administrative worker at a local newspaper and was the girlfriend of one of the dead photographers.

The May killings had been thought to bear the hallmarks of the Zetas cartel; the victims were slain, dismembered and their bodies stuffed into black plastic bags and dumped into a waste canal.



Kenny G files for divorce

Saxophonist Kenny G is playing the final note on his marriage after 20 years.

Kenny Gorelick filed for divorce in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences.

The 56-year-old musician married Balynda Helene Benson-Gorelick in April 1992 and they have a 14-year-old son.

Gorelick is seeking joint custody but does not want to pay his estranged wife spousal support.