Horrific mistake

Five people, including four college students, died in a fiery crash caused by a woman driving the wrong way on a Massachusetts highway, state police said. A car travelling south on the northbound side of Interstate 495 in Middleborough, about 55km south of Boston, slammed head-on into a vehicle travelling in the correct direction shortly after midnight local time, investigators said. The northbound car burst into flames after the crash, killing all four young men in the vehicle.

Women now drink as much alcohol as men
Men and women are now consuming harmful amounts of alcohol in equal measure. Historically men have been more likely to drink alcohol than women and more likely to drink in quantities more likely to harm their health. Perhaps not so surprising, University of New South Wales research - published in medical journal BMJ Open - shows that by the end of the last century men's and women's drinking had converged. Some young women are now even drinking more harmful levels of alcohol then men.

Gang rape case
Police in Brazil are looking for at least 10 men in connection with the gang rape of a woman on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. A police statement said the 34-year-old victim was assaulted by several men in a bar and on a street of the city of Sao Goncalo, in Rio's metropolitan area. Investigator Debora Rodrigues said the alleged crime took place a week ago and asked that the victim be put into a protection programme.


Croc relocated
A crocodile that seriously injured an American man in a Costa Rican beach town popular with surfers and eco-tourists has been captured and relocated to a wildlife refuge, community leaders and residents said. The Tamarindo Community Development Association said in a statement posted online that the croc was captured on Monday. The man was bitten several times in the leg and head in the July 22 attack at a river estuary in Tamarindo.

Noose put around neck
White students at a south Mississippi high school put a noose around the neck of a black student and "yanked backward," the state NAACP said. Ayana Kinnel, spokeswoman for the civil rights group, said the incident took place the afternoon of October 13 at the Stone County High School field house in Wiggins. The NAACP said no one has been charged with a crime, and the student's parents have not been told of any punishment for the other students involved.

Diplomatic row
New York officials are trying to get a German diplomat's immunity waived to prosecute him on charges of hitting his wife in the face, and the US State Department said it had become involved in the matter. Joachim Haubrichs hasn't been arrested or charged, due to his diplomatic protections, the Manhattan district attorney's office said. But prosecutors believe there's sufficient evidence to convict him of assault, Executive Assistant District Attorney Nitin Savur wrote in asking a mayoral aide to contact the State Department.

- agencies