Rise in college applications

There has been a 2.3% rise in the number of people applying to go to college compared to this time last year.

The Central Applications Office received 76,227 applications by this evening's 5.15pm deadline.

Late applications can be made to the CAO until 1 May.

Motion passed to ban anti-homeless devices

Dublin city councillors have passed a motion criticising the erection of bars to deter rough sleepers outside Department of Social Protection offices.

The motion proposed by councillors Pat Dunne and Michael O'Brien also calls for the introduction of bye laws to ban such devices.

Mr O'Brien said: "The agreement by the elected council to pass this motion is a welcome first step. However, by itself it's merely a declaration of sentiment by the councillors that these devices should be banned.

"I am requesting that this motion be now referred to the Council Planning and Development Committee and that work be done to draft bye-laws or amendment to bye-laws to give real effect to such a ban," he added.

Taliban suicide bomber kills at least nine outside Kabul police base

A Taliban suicide bomber has struck a police base in central Kabul, killing at least nine people just days before a fresh round of international talks aimed at reviving dialogue with the Islamist group.

Scores of people were also wounded in the bombing at the entrance of the base, which left several bodies and charred debris strewn around the area.

The attack comes during the Taliban's unprecedented winter offensive despite a renewed push to restart formal peace talks.

The interior ministry initially reported the attack as a suicide car bomb, but later said the attacker appeared to be on foot and detonated himself in a queue of people waiting to get inside the base.

New 'politics and society' Leaving Cert subject

Students at more than 40 second-level schools will be first to study a new Leaving Certificate subject called 'politics and society' which is being introduced on a phased basis from September 2016.

Speaking at a launch for the new programme in Limerick, Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan said a total of 115 schools had expressed interest in running the new subject.

Politics and Society has been developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and has been described as a subject that "helps build on and learn from the reflection on past events to better equip students to make progress into the future".

85 people killed in Boko Haram attack in Nigeria

At least 85 people were killed in a weekend attack by Boko Haram insurgents in a village near the restive northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri.

An official said 75 bodies were brought into the hospitals, while 10 others had been buried on Sunday.

Saturday's attack occured in Dalori, 12km from state capital Maiduguri.

13 Indian students drown in sea tragedy - police

Thirteen Indian students drowned after they went swimming in the sea off the country's west coast, police said.

The tragedy happened at Murud beach, around 140km south of Mumbai, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra state.

"The victims were all aged between 19 and 23," a police spokesman said, adding that 10 women and three men died.