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The News Matrix: Friday 12 July 2013


Judge berates boss of robbed cashier

A senior judge has chastised the manager of a Ladbrokes betting shop in Coventry after she said a teenage cashier failed to follow the “robbery prevention guide” when confronted by an armed robber. Lord Justice Jackson said Jacqueline Swift’s suggestion was “shocking”, saying the worker could “hardly be criticised for breaching company policy”.

Air pollution kills two million a year

Air pollution created by human activity is the direct cause of more than two million deaths globally every year, according to scientists. “Many of these deaths are estimated to occur in East Asia and South Asia,” said Dr Jason West, from the University of North Carolina.

Dead whistleblower convicted

A Moscow court has posthumously convicted the whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky of tax evasion. Mr Magnitsky died in prison in 2009 after he was refused treatment for pancreatitis. He had uncovered a massive fraud scheme but was then locked up. MORE

Probe into death of man after taser stun

The police watchdog has launched an investigation into the death of an ice cream man who was stunned with a Taser while being restrained by police. Jordan Begley, 23, had been wielding a knife before he collapsed and suffered a “medical episode”. MORE

Princess charged with trafficking

A Saudi princess living in the US has been charged with human  trafficking for allegedly holding a Kenyan maid against her will  and forcing her to work long  hours for minimal pay. Meshael Alayban was arrested in California. PAGE 19

Birds of prey hired to scare off pigeons

Birmingham City Council has hired birds of prey to guard the city’s new £190m library from gulls and pigeons. It is hoped a weekly visit from Buzz the hawk and a three-month-old falcon called JD will prevent the pests nesting in the Library of Birmingham’s intricate metalwork and causing a nuisance with their mess.

Spy agency returns to using typewriters

Moscow’s Federal Protective Service (FSO), a KGB successor in charge of protecting President Vladimir Putin and his officials, has placed an order for 20 typewriters apparently to use in place of computers for printing drafts of top-secret documents. The FSO believes computers are too susceptible to snooping.

Creator of Twister board game dies

The man who invented the board game Twister – prompting decades of awkward social interactions –has died at the age of 82. Charles “Chuck” Foley died in St Louis Park, Minneapolis, his son Mark Foley said yesterday. Foley and a collaborator came up with Twister in the mid-1960s, and it continues to be a top seller.

Page-turner? I didn’t even finish this one

JK Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, has topped a poll of the books people give up on before reaching the final page. One respondent to the Goodreads survey asked: “Where’s the magic?” In second place was Fifty Shades of Grey, followed by Eat, Pray, Love and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. MORE