| 10°C Dublin

In brief: No loo on train? Use this bag...

THE Dutch national railway has an unusual solution for passengers who need the loo on a train line designed without them -- plastic bags.

The rail operator said that the bags, introduced yesterday, are for use in emergencies only. The idea has been met with incredulity by politicians and the general public already unhappy with the short-haul "Sprinter" trains' bathroomless design.

The bags have a cup- shaped plastic top and contain a highly absorbent material that turns urine into a gel-like mixture.

After use the bags can be sealed and thrown away.



Lawyers chase abuse victims

VICTIMS of sex abuse in Northern Ireland have been left traumatised after they were contacted by lawyers seeking to represent them as a major inquiry gets under way, it was claimed.

Last month the executive announced an inquiry into allegations of abuse in children's homes and care institutions as far back as 1945.

Victims' spokeswoman Margaret McGuckin said one sufferer was hospitalised after the legal offers upset him. In another case the victim has been face to face with a lawyer and had to leave the area where they were living to escape the unwanted attention.



New museum on Arnie's life

ARNOLD Schwarzenegger took a trip down memory lane in Austria, visiting his childhood home to open a museum dedicated to his life.

Hundreds of fans -- many clad in Terminator-style leather jackets and national dress -- gathered in the village of Thal to see the former California governor and Hollywood action star.

Speaking with a soft Austrian provincial accent, Schwarzenegger (64) said the museum was now home to mementoes including his first bodybuilding weights and the desk from his governor's office in Sacramento.



Seahorses in River Thames

EVIDENCE of a colony of rare seahorses has been discovered in the River Thames in London.

The short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus), which grows up to 15cm, is more commonly found in the Mediterranean.

The Environment Agency said the seahorses may be breeding in the Thames.