The News Matrix: Friday 18 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Phone photos clear murder conviction

A man's 2005 murder conviction has been quashed after the discovery of photographic evidence on his mobile phone which could have helped his defence case. Sam Hallam, 24, was at the Court of Appeal after being dramatically freed on bail to hear that his conviction was "unsafe". MORE

Clerical error forces Mladic trial delay

An apparent clerical error prompted judges to postpone the war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic yesterday, possibly for months. The delay cast a shadow over one of the court's biggest cases – and over the reputation of the court itself. MORE

IOC says no to 1972 memorial in London

Israel hopes the international community will put pressure on the IOC after it refused a request to hold a minute's silence in London to commemorate the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Officials said the decision "rejects the central principles of global fraternity". MORE

Aides vs mandarins in battle of No 10

Relations between civil servants and Downing Street are at an all-time low. One source described the atmosphere in Whitehall in the past month as "bloody", with officials and politicians blaming each other for the failure to get the Government's message across. MORE

Music critics helped me, says Adele

Adele has said that music critics who told her to improve helped her triumph at the Ivor Novello awards: "They said my songs weren't as good as my voice. I took it on board and now I'm songwriter of the year."

Sanctions against Burma suspended

Sanctions barring American investment in Burma are to be suspended in response to political reforms. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, flanked by Burma's Foreign Minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, told reporters yesterday that the United States would issue licenses to permit US investments in the country, but would keep "relevant laws on the books as an insurance policy".

Opposition leader offers to step down

The head of Syria's main opposition council offered to resign yesterday after some members threatened to pull out of the umbrella group amid rampant infighting. The move strikes a blow to efforts to present a united front against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. MORE

Funding for private students under fire

A government plan to fund more student places with private universities is under fire after the Universities Minister David Willetts said no checks are made on whether undergraduates complete their courses. He said his department did not know drop-out rates at funded institutions. MORE

Suspects may lose mobile phone data

Police in London are trialling a system to extract mobile phone data from suspects in custody. The data includes call history, texts and contacts, and is kept even if no charges are brought. Campaign group Privacy International said the scheme, which could be used by police across the UK, could breach human rights law.

White babies are new ethnic minority

For the first time, there are more black, Hispanic and other minority babies being born in the United States than white babies. US Census Bureau data released yesterday shows the United States is on its way to becoming "majority minority", with almost half of all young children from minority groups. MORE

Bear with him... Alan's coming home

Alan Partridge is to give fans a glimpse of his native Norfolk after comic Steve Coogan signed a new deal to bring the character back to TV. He will appear in a pair of specials for Sky Atlantic, which will also show a revamped version of his online series Mid Morning Matters.

Man who lost limbs dives into challenge

A Frenchman who lost all his limbs in an accident has swum from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia in the first part of a five-continent challenge. Philippe Croizon, who lost his arms and legs in 1994 after receiving an electric shock, took seven and a half hours to swim the 12 miles. MORE

A new record for veteran DJ Ken

Radio 2 DJ Ken Bruce has pulled in the biggest audience of his career. The 61-year-old reached 7.72 million listeners in the first three months of 2012, up almost 400,000 on 2011. "Obviously I'm a late developer," Bruce joked.