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A WELSH CYCLIST'S RECORD.—James Michael, the well-known Welsh racing cyclist, defeated Frank Starbuck, a crack racer from Philadel- phia, at Manhattan Beach, U.S., on Saturday, in a thirty-three-mile race. He won by nearly three miles, and cut many American cycling records. His time was 66 mins. 14 3-5 sees. OUTRAGE BY ARMENIANS. An explosion occurred at Constantinople on Wednesday after- noon, outside the Grand Vizier's Department, by which one man was killed and several others were injured. At the same time an Armenian was arrested at the Ottoman Bank while trying to set fire to a parcel of explosive matter which he carried, and another Armenian was appre- hended after having made an attempt to explode a bomb outside the Galata Serai Barracks at Pera. ALLEGED FALSE PRETENCES AT WINSFORD.— On Monday, at the Middlewich Police Court, Wm. Brown, alias Dr. Holme, a distinguished- looking person, attired in a blue serge coat and vest, corduroy breeches, and brown leggings and boots, and wearing a brown check cap, was charged with obtaining food and lodgings at the London and North- Western Hotel, Winsford. by false pretences. Miss Parker stated that she was in charge of the hotel on Tuesday when the defendant arrived, and told her that he was a doctor of medicine, that he had a house at Llandudno, which he had left in charge of his housekeeper, and that he had driven from there to Chester, where he had had a breakdown. He engaged a room. Miss Griffiths, the proprietress of the hotel, stated that she arrived home on Tuesday. She requested defendant to settle his account, and he stated that he expected a cheque on the following morning, and he would then pay his bill. At noon on Friday he went out and did not return. Police-sergeant Thcmas proved arresting prisoner at Northwich on Sunday, and finding on him an unsettled bill from the Brine Baths Hotel, Nantwich, for R13 7s. Id. Prisonei was remanded to the Petty Sessions on Wednesday. IRELAND'S SOCIAL FIGURES: HIGHEST MAR- RIAGE RATE FOR YEARS. The marriages registered in Ireland during 1896 numbered 23,055, and according to the Registrar-General's report these shew the highest rate since 1871. The birth rate was the highest since 1884. The death rate was the lowest since 1871. The excess of births over deaths was 31,941, but the loss by emigration was greater, viz., 38,995, so that notwithstanding the cheerful vital facts above stated, there would appear to have been a decrease of 7,054 in the population during the year. The bulk of the emigrants were aged between 15 and 35, the best muscle of the country. The percentage of persons married in Ireland who were under age is very far below the corresponding rates in England and Scot- land. Only 2.6 per cent. of the children born were illegitimate. Ulster had the highest ille- gitimate birth rate, 3.7, and Connaught was as low as 0.6. Looking at this question from the point of view of counties, Antrim has the highest rate, 31.2 per 1,000.

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