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The Interview grosses over $1 million on Christmas Day

The stars of The Interview, James Franco and Seth Rogen. Credit: Reuters

Sony's comedy film The Interview grossed over $1 million on Christmas Day after the company decided to partially release it in US cinemas.

The distributor initially withdrew the film from cinemas last week after a cyber-attack that the FBI has blamed on North Korea - the nation whose leader is assassinated in the spoof film.

At least nine dead in Sri Lanka mudslides

At least nine people have been killed and 10 others are missing in mudslides triggered by heavy rains today in the central hills of Sri Lanka.

More than 60,000 people have been evacuated and 3,000 homes destroyed as floods and mudslides covered many parts of the Indian Ocean island in the last four days, disaster officials said.

Nine people were killed and two injured in mudslides today in the tea-growing Badulla district when their houses were buried in landslides, Udaya Kumara, an official at the state disaster management centre, said.

Ten others were missing and rescue operations were temporarily halted due to risk of further landslides, Mr Kumara said.

The inclement weather has so far affected more than 500,000 people across the country.

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Photos: Hundreds take part in Boxing Day swims

Hundreds of people in Tenby, Pembrey and Llandudno have braved the cold sea water for traditional Boxing Day swims.

The 44th Tenby Boxing Day swim had pirates and princesses as its theme. Credit: Gareth Davies Photography
Huge crowds turned out for the 30th Pembrey Walrus Dip, on Cefn Sidan beach. Credit: Morgan Patterson
The Llandudno Boxing Day Dip saw swimmers plunge into water believed to feel the equivalent of -8C. Credit: Geoff Steen - North Shore

Lawyers confident as Thailand murder trial set for July

A lawyer for two Myanmar nationals indicted over the murder of two British tourists on a Thai holiday island said he was confident of persuading scared witnesses to testify and exonerate the accused.

A trial date was today set for July 8 next year by a court on Koh Samui, the neighboring island to Koh Tao, where the bodies of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found on a beach in September.

The parents of defendant Win Zaw Htun travelled to Thailand to support their son. Credit: Reuters

Police arrested Myanmar workers Zaw Lin and Win Phyo, both 21, in October, saying their DNA samples matched those found on the victims.

A committee of investigators set up by Myanmar's embassy in Bangkok last week said potential witnesses able to prove the suspects were innocent were too scared to appear in court for fear of retribution by Thai police or their former employers.

Thailand's military government pressed police to solve the case quickly. Zaw Lin and Win Phyo, who were migrant workers, initially confessed but later retracted their statements, saying they were given under duress.

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Archbishop of Canterbury diagnosed with pneumonia

Credit: PA Wire

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been diagnosed with pneumonia after being forced to pull out of his Christmas Day sermon through illness, Lambeth Palace said.

The Most Rev Justin Welby missed the annual Canterbury Cathedral service after being unwell for a several days with what was thought at the time to be a "severe cold".

Lambeth Palace tweeted today:

Today, he was taking bed rest at home but a Boxing Day tweet was posted on his personal account, saying:

  1. Central

Grandfather in court accused of grandson's murder

Police attend the road in Lincoln Credit: ITV News Central

A grandfather from Lincolnshire who's accused of murdering his nine-year-old grandson has appeared before magistrates. Stewart James Greene, who's 64 and from Grimoldby near Louth, appeared at Lincoln Magistrate's Court, where he was remanded in custody.

He is charged with murdering Alex Robinson on the 23rd December. He's due before Lincoln Crown Court on Monday 29th December.

Police were called to a house on Pennell Street in Lincoln earlier this week. The child was taken to Lincoln County Hospital by ambulance but died shortly afterwards. The cause of his death has not been revealed.

Dublin court rules pregnant mother's life-support machine may be switched off

Doctors in Ireland have been granted permission to switch off a life support machine keeping a clinically-dead woman alive because she is pregnant.

In a landmark ruling, Dublin's High Court said keeping the young mother alive would deprive her of dignity in death and subject her father, partner and two young children to "unimaginable distress" in a "futile exercise".

The panel of judges said it was in the best interest of the unborn child to authorise the withdrawal of life support in what was a "tragic and unfortunate case".

The High Court added that it was a case of "great public importance".

The 26-year-old was pronounced clinically dead on December 3 after suffering a trauma injury last month.

Her family had sought to switch the equipment off to preserve her dignity.

But doctors refused, fearing they might be prosecuted under Ireland's strict Catholic-influenced abortion laws, which give the 18-week-old foetus the same constitutional rights as the mother.

Under the Irish constitution, the foetus is regarded as a citizen.

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