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Minister adds a personal touch

TOURISM Minister Michael Ring stunned a bus loaded with American tourists by jumping on board to welcome them to Ireland.

The junior minister was on his way to Donegal to help promote the Magees of Donegal brand and Harvey’s Point hotel when he took time to add a personal touch to the Wild Atlantic Way.

“It was good craic,” said Mr Ring. “The bus had pulled over in south Donegal, and I thought I might as well say hello. One of them then said to me Are you really the tourism minister?’”

Inmates face electric chair

Tennessee has become the first US state to reintroduce the electric chair.

The governor’s decision comes a month after a botched execution in Oklahoma inspired international debate about the use of lethal injections.

In that case, convicted killer Clayton Lockett began writhing, clenching his teeth and straining to lift his head off the pillow after he had supposedly been rendered unconscious by the lethal drugs cocktail.

Thai coup chief outlines plans

Thai army chief General PrayuthChan-ocha has set out his plans for the country after seizing power in a coup, saying reforms were needed before an election, but some Thais defied martial law to show opposition to his takeover.

Prayuth launched his coup afterrival factions refused to give ground in a struggle for powerbetween the royalist establishment and a populist governmentthat had raised fears of serious violence and damaged theeconomy.

Bees to sniff out landmines

Biologists in France and Croatia have reared sniffer bees which they claim could find explosives hidden underground in the Balkans.

The insects are said to have an olfactory sense as strong as sniffer dogs.

Researchers hope they will speed up the urgent task of clearing thousands of landmines that have been disturbed in the worst flooding on record. Around one million landmines were planted during the war in Bosnia in 1992-95. Nearly 120,000 of the unexploded devices remain in more than 9,400 minefields.