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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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Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform