The News Matrix: Friday 15 June 2012


Number of homeless families rises by 14%

The number of homeless families in England has risen sharply in the past year. In total, 50,290 households were given accommodation by local councils – a rise of 14 per cent since 2010/11. The number forced to live in bed-and-breakfast accommodation rose by 44 per cent to 3,960.

Visa blunders bar Africans from Britain

Visa-control staff handling applicants from Africa are wrongly refusing them entry to the UK, a report has found. In the latest setback for the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the body's independent chief inspector said there were many cases of visas rejected incorrectly after evidence was "disregarded".

Court deals poll blow to Islamist party

The country's highest court dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament and ruled that the last Prime Minister to serve under Hosni Mubarak could stay in the presidential race. The move could sweep away the Muslim Brotherhood's political gains since Mubarak was deposed 16 months ago. MORE

Cameron issues new warning to Argentina

David Cameron has saluted the military's bravery in a speech to mark 30th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands – and warned Argentina that Britain is "ready and willing" to stand up for them again. He said he was proud of those who had served in the 1982 conflict. MORE

Anti-terror officers blow up tourist's car

A tourist had his car blown up by anti-terrorist police after it broke down – and he also got a parking ticket. Nima Hosseini Razi left the vehicle to go sightseeing. When he returned he found that officers, fearing the vehicle might have contained a bomb, had blown open the boot in a blast. MORE

24 workers dead following lorry crash

Twenty-four people were killed yesterday when a lorry carrying workers overturned on a road after overnight rains in western India. Another 25 people were injured. The workers were on their way to Sanand, an automobile hub. The 25 injured people have been admitted to hospital.

'Locked-in' man joins twitterati

A man with locked-in syndrome has tweeted for the first time. Tony Nicklinson, who was paralysed seven years ago, used eye-movement technology to type: "Hello world. I am tony nicklinson, I have locked-in syndrome and this is my first ever tweet. #tony."

Foetus photographs cause controversy

The plight of a woman who was forced to abort seven months into her pregnancy has caused outrage in the country after images of her foetus were posted online. Rights groups have blamed authorities in Shaanxi province for forcing Feng Jianmei to have the abortion. MORE

Syria denies Russian helicopter claim

US officials have conceded that the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have indulged in a "little spin" when she charged Russia earlier this week with delivering attack helicopters to conflict-ridden Syria. Bashar al-Assad's regime offered a first denial of her claim through its ambassador to Russia, Riad Haddad, yesterday. "Russia is not delivering any helicopters to Syria," he asserted. MORE

Coalition failing to abolish child poverty

The Government has no hope of meeting its targets to abolish child poverty, experts warned as ministers announced plans to change the way the number of poor families is measured. Iain Duncan Smith was accused of trying to hide the Coalition's expected failure to meet its target. MORE

Boxer's jail food plea knocked out of court

Boxer Floyd Mayweather's request that he be released from jail because the low-quality food and water is threatening his health has been rejected by a Las Vegas judge. Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa said he should eat and drink what is being given to him behind bars.

Millions flock online despite restrictions

The number of Cubans linked to the country's state-controlled intranet jumped more than 40 per cent to 2.6 million in 2011 compared to the previous year, the government has reported, even though Cuba's population remains largely cut off from unfettered access to the internet.

Gossip site misses a movie scoop

Gossip site TMZ failed to spot a scoop right under its nose. A reporter noticed Benicio del Toro on Saturday and started filming him, but didn't recognise his older companion. The man was later identified as the reclusive director Terrence Malick, who shuns publicity.

'Vampire skeletons' to be put on display

A history museum plans to display a "vampire" skeleton after unearthing the 700-year-old remains of two men stabbed through the chest with iron rods. Archaeologists said bones found at a monastery in Sozopol were buried in a pagan ritual aimed at keeping the men from turning into vampires.

Boy, 14, arrested in murder inquiry

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a man whose body was found in a canal in Manchester city centre. Simon Brass, 40, who lived in the Salford area, died from drowning, a post-mortem test found. Greater Manchester Police said the arrest came following a tip-off.

Breast milk may help to fight Aids

Breast milk may protect children against the Aids virus, research suggests. Tests on mice show that even though some children acquire HIV from breastfeeding, mother's milk has a strong antiviral effect. Most at-risk breastfed infants do not get HIV despite long and repeated exposure.

Making a mockery of their monarch

Who said criminals have no sense of humour? Counterfeit coins have been discovered that appear to poke fun at King Carl XVI Gustaf over his alleged infidelities. Real Swedish coins have the words "Sweden's King" running round the edges. On the fake coins, the message said: "Our whore king".