Around the world: South African honeymoon murder claim 'is ludicrous'

THE family of a British man accused of paying to have his new wife murdered on honeymoon in South Africa have dismissed the claims as "totally ludicrous".

Taxi driver Zola Tongo said Shrien Dewani, 31, offered 1300 for the killing of 28-year-old Anni, just hours after the couple arrived in the country.

Mrs Dewani was shot dead by gunmen a day later as the pair were driven through the impoverished Gugulethu township in Cape Town.

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The allegation formed part of a plea agreement drawn up with prosecutors at Cape High Court, where he was jailed for 18 years for his part in the killing on November 13.

Mr Dewani, from Bristol, returned to England after the murder. He has always denied any involvement in his wife's death.

His spokesman Max Clifford described the accusations as the latest in a string of false allegations against him.

In a statement the Dewani family said: "Shrien is totally innocent of any involvement in this heinous crime.

"These allegations are ludicrous and hurtful to a young man who is grieving.

"South African police have never sought to speak to Shrien regarding the allegations."

Woman bites off tongue during kiss

America: A 57-year-old Wisconsin woman bit off half of her 79-year-old husband's tongue during a kiss and has been arrested, police in Sheboygan said.

South Africa: More than 350 illegal miners were arrested after a shootout at an abandoned mine shaft owned by a grandson of Nelson Mandela and a nephew of President Jacob Zuma. Police said the illegal miners shot at security guards who confronted them at a mine.

Cheney faces bribery charges

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Nigeria's anti-corruption agency says it has filed a 16-count indictment against former US vice-president Dick Cheney and Halliburton over a long-running bribery case. The charges stem from an alleged case involving bribes paid to officials over a liquefied natural gas plant.

Irish cutbacks under attack

HUNDREDS of activists took to the streets of Dublin last night over the Irish government's toughest Budget in the history of the state.

Tensions ran high outside the gates of the Irish parliament as smoke bombs and flares were lit by chanting demonstrators.

Three men were arrested for public order offences.

City centre workers, mothers and trade union members angry with leaders for accepting government-backed pay deals joined the rally.

China snubs Nobel Peace Prize

CHINA and 18 other countries have said they will not attend Friday's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran will be absent, while 44 countries will attend.A Chinese official said a "vast majority" of countries would stay away.Russia lines up trade deal

THE EU and Russia have reached a deal settling outstanding trade issues, and that could clear the way for Russia to become a World Trade Organisation member in 2011.

EU president Jose Manuel Barroso met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday.