News Digest: Man in court after police seize £130k of cannabis
A 60-year-old man has been remanded into custody charged in connection with a £130,000 cannabis seizure.
Guangren Xiang was arrested after police raided his home at Mount Coole Park in north Belfast on Sunday.
A number of cannabis plants were allegedly discovered in the property. Xiang faced a total of five charges as he appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court.
They include possession of class B drugs with intent to supply, cultivating cannabis, conspiracy to supply, and dishonestly causing electricity to be diverted. Speaking through a Chinese interpreter, Xiang confirmed he understood the allegations against him.
An investigating detective said he could connect the accused with the charges. Bail was not sought during the brief hearing. A defence lawyer instead indicated that an application for his release may be made in two weeks' time.
Queen's student named UK's top undergraduate
A Queen's University student has been named UK Undergraduate Of The Year in a national competition.
Third-year Finance student Mark Devine, from north Belfast, won the Mathematics, Economics and Finance category of the annual TARGETjobs Undergraduate Of The Year awards, putting him in prime position to launch a career in international trading, starting with a 12-week internship at Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd (GM&T).
The internship, which will begin after Mark graduates next month, comprises 11 weeks at GM&T head office in London and one week in the company's Singapore branch. The 23-year-old will be working as part of the Product Control team.
An award-winning student within the Queen's School of Management, Mark has already worked for a year with financial-services giant Morgan Stanley and has scored a scholarship to sit the US-based Chartered Financial Analyst exam this summer.
A keen musician who plays guitar, violin and piano, Mark displayed an entrepreneurial streak at an early age, setting up a string-quartet business while still a pupil at St Malachy's College in Belfast.
Mark was picked out of 20 finalists in his category. Resourcing Partner at GM&T, Ben Carney, said: "Mark displayed all the key attributes that we look for in an intern."
Tall ships to grace Bangor event
Not one but two spectacular ships will be arriving in Bangor next month as part of a celebration of modes of transport.
North Down Borough Council has announced the vessels will be there on June 7-8 as part of its Seashore Festival – Ships, Planes, Trains & Automobiles Event.
The ships – The Mercedes and The Golden Lion – will be moored alongside The Eisenhower Pier and will be open to the public on both days.
And if you fancy sailing the high seas on a tall ship, there will also be opportunities for hour-long evening sailings. Tickets cost £10 and are available at Bangor Tourist Information Centre and North Down Museum or online at www.northdown.gov.uk/bookings. The Golden Lion, a 70 metre, three-masted ship was built in 1937. The Mercedes is a 50 metre, twin-masted vessel.
Live opera being beamed to city
The delights of the Royal Opera House in London are to be beamed live to Belfast later this year for two special performances.
La Bohème, on July 15, and Rigoletto, on September 17, will be coming live from the Covent Garden stage to 18 towns and cities across the UK, including Belfast when it is screened on the big screen at City Hall.
The productions feature exclusive backstage films, competitions and live interaction.
Last season was the most successful year for the screens with more than 45,000 people watching from Aberdeen to Belfast and London to Plymouth. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the partnership with BP Big Screens which has enabled half a million people to enjoy opera and ballet through free live broadcasts.
Queen attends diocese centenary
The Queen has celebrated the centenary of the diocese of Chelmsford and was told by its bishop – the only way is Essex.
The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell joked about the reality show famed for its nightclub-loving stars as he listed the qualities of his district.
At a special service celebrating 100 years of the diocese, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh joined a congregation at Chelmsford's cathedral church of St Mary the Virgin, St Peter and St Cedd. Hundreds gathered around the place of worship to welcome the royal couple whose arrival was proclaimed by a town crier.