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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

 

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Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

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Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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

The model for a gadget launch

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