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In Brief: Dad guilty of raping partner

A MAN who raped and attacked his partner of six years has been remanded in custody pending sentence.

The 34-year-old man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape between December 28 and 29, 2010, in the couple's Monaghan home.

The court heard that the couple had been out socialising that night having left their young son with a babysitter.

When they returned home he attacked her by pinning her to the ground, holding her by the throat and threatening to kill her before he raped and anally raped her.

The now 41-year-old victim called gardai to the scene and attended hospital. The offence was "rooted in alcohol", the court was told.

Mr Justice Paul Carney adjourned sentencing to next Monday.

Tibetan sets himself on fire

A Tibetan man protesting against Chinese rule set himself on fire outside the tightly controlled region's main city of Lhasa.

The man self-immolated outside an old community hall in Dangxiong county, shouting slogans in support of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

About 40 people have set themselves on fire over the past year and a half in ethnic Tibetan areas of China in protest of what activists say is Beijing's heavy-handed rule in the region.

Battle to save whale calf fails

A baby beluga whale that was believed to be just two days old when it was found stranded after a storm in Alaska's Bristol Bay has died at a research aquarium where it received round-the-clock care by a team of marine mammal experts.

Officials at the Alaska Sea-Life Centre said that despite everyone's best efforts, the whale died early this morning after it became evident that its condition was declining.