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British soldier charged with raping six-year-old in Austria

A British soldier arrested on suspicion of raping a six-year-old girl in Austria has been charged, prosecutors have said.

The unnamed soldier, reportedly a bombardier from 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery in Essex, was also charged with sexually abusing the young girl.

Prosecutors said the soldier entered the house in Neustift, in the Stubaital valley, Austria, early one morning Credit: Google Maps

Prosecutors in the country said he had entered the family's unlocked home in the small town of Neustift, in the Stubaital valley in the early hours of one morning and was caught the girl's bedroom by her father, who had been woken by the noise.

He will face trial on March 10 and, if convicted, faces up to 10 years in prison.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman confirmed the Army was aware of the developments.

The Army is aware that a soldier has been charged in Austria following allegations of child sexual offences.

This matter is now subject to criminal proceedings led by the Austrian authorities and it is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.

– Ministry of Defence spokeswoman

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Conchita Wurst steals show at Aids research benefit

Conchita Wurst stole the show at Europe's biggest charity event, despite plenty of big-name competition. Party-goers dressed in little more than body paint rubbed shoulders with men in tuxedoes and cross-dressers in wild costumes, transforming Vienna's City Hall into a fantasy land.

The occasion, Europe's biggest charity event, was serious - raising money for AIDS research.

Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst performs on stage during the opening ceremony of the 22nd Life Ball in Vienna Credit: Reuters

"I feel so poorly dressed," quipped a black-suited Bill Clinton, glancing down from the stage at the feather boas, fantastic head-dresses and exotic outfits among the 4,000 or so ball goers.

The former president urged all attending not to forget what lies behind "all the joy of this evening: the determination of every person ... here to give every child a better chance".

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R) and organizer Gery Keszler Credit: Reuters
Singer Ricky Martin performs on stage Credit: Reuters

Four-storey Vienna building collapse leaves 2 in hospital

A four-storey building in Vienna, Austria, has partially collapsed leaving five people injured and two in hospital.

The second and third floor of the building in Mariahilfer Street in Vienna collapsed after what eyewitnesses described as an "explosion".

There are fears of further collapses in the area and the cause of the incident is unknown, according to Austria's public broadcaster ORF.

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Vienna building collapse after 'explosion'

A building in Vienna, Austria, has partially collapsed leaving at least five people injured, the country's public broadcaster ORF reports.

An image of the collapsed building in Vienna Credit: ORF

Eyewitnesses told ORF the building started to collapse after an "explosion" and emergency services are now at the scene.

Dust filled the streets when a building collapsed in Vienna Credit: ORF

A picture posted on the broadcaster's website showed a cloud of dust covering a street in the capital.

Austria freezes human rights abuse suspects bank accounts

Austria has frozen the local bank accounts of 18 Ukrainians suspected of potential human rights abuses in the country's political upheaval or of corruption, its foreign ministry said.

"With this national decision the federal government is responding to a concrete request from the new Ukrainian government," Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in a statement to the Austria Press Agency. A Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed the decision to Reuters.

The step was a precautionary measure while the European Union discusses potential sanctions, Kurz added. The statement did not identify the people involved or say how much money had been seized.

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Winchester teen killed in avalanche named

A 16-year-old from Hampshire who died in an Austrian avalanche has been named.

Cameron Bespolka from Winchester died at the resort of Lech Am Arlberg after being buried under the snow.

The schoolboy was one of triplets holidaying in Austria with their father, who suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital.

The brothers and their dad were taking part in a skiiing lesson with an instructor when the snow fell on Tuesday at 1.30pm.

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