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The News Matrix: Friday 11 November 2011

 

Ecclestone paid £27.5m ‘hush money’

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said he paid £27.5m in "hush money" to a German banker to avoid an investigation into his back taxes. Mr Ecclestone, 81, appeared as a witness in the Munich trial of banker Gerhard Grib-kowsky who is charged with tax evasion, corruption and bribery. MORE

Warning on addiction to prescription drugs

The Department of Health wants to curb addiction to prescription drugs after a leap in prescribing rates for powerful painkillers and tranquillisers. Officials have appealed to doctors, drug agencies and regulators for greater "vigilance" to avoida surge in deaths. MORE

Malema given 5-year ANC suspension

Julius Malema, the outspoken youth leader of South Africa's governing African National Congress, has been suspended from the party for five years after being found guilty of bringing it into disrepute. MORE

Jackson doctor makes defence on TV

Despite failing to give evidence at his trial for the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson, Conrad Murray has spoken to NBC's Today show explaining his version of events. He said the amount of the powerful sedative propofol that he gave Jackson was "inconsequential". MORE

Riot police fire tear gas at quake protest

Riot police yesterday fired tear gas and used batons to disperse protesters angry at the state's relief efforts after the second earthquake in eastern Turkey in three weeks killed at least 10 more people in the city of Van. Rescue teams continued to search for survivors. MORE

Call to investigate border chief briefings

The head of the Civil Service has been asked to investigate whether the Home Secretary's advisers were "briefing against" the head of the UK Border Force over the relaxation of checks at ports during the summer. Labour MP Simon Danczuk has written to Sir Gus O'Donnell asking him to investigate whether Theresa May's staff may have broken the special advisers' code of conduct. MORE

Three policemen die in suicide attack

Five suicide bombers attacked a local government office in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, sparking a battle that left three Afghan police dead and two others wounded. The attack took place in Zumat district, an area near the Pakistan border controlled by the al-Qa'ida-linked Haqqani network.

Number of babies born at home drops

Ever-dwindling numbers of women are giving birth at home, new figures have revealed. Only 2.5 per cent of those giving birth last year in England and Wales did so in their own houses, down from 2.7 per cent in 2009 and 2.9 per cent in 2008, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Perry’s memory loss is Romney’s gain

Rick Perry dropped a clanger that will live in the annals of American presidential debates when he began to list the three government departments he would eliminate – and forgot the third. His floundering lasted an excruciating 53 seconds. The gaffe is likely to benefit Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts.MORE

Tweeters’ silence to honour the fallen

Twitter users have come up with their own way to mark Remembrance Day. At 10.15 today, organisers will tweet an order of service with links to hymns. There will then be a two-minute "silence" when tweeting will stop. Users are encouraged to post the names of loved ones who died serving in the Forces.

Safety switch lets squid change colour

Some marine creatures are able to change colour rapidly by responding to light, scientists have discovered. A deep sea octopus and squid "switched" from transparent to reddish brown when a blue light was shone above them. They use the trick as camouflage against predators that use a bright glow to snare their prey.

Pyramids to close over 11/11/11 cult fears

The pyramids of Giza will be closed to visitors today after concerns that a cultish group was planning to hold rituals to mark the date 11/11/11 at the ancient site. The decision was taken after pressure from internet users, Atef Abu Zahab, head of Egypt's Department of Pharaonic Archaeology, told AFP.

Chinese vase sells for more than £9m

An imperial Chinese vase thought to have been kept at the royal palace in Beijing's Forbidden City sold for more than £9m at auction last night. The turquoise vase, decorated with chrysanthemums, was bought over the phone during a 700-lot Chinese sale at Bonhams auction house in London.

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Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

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Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

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