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The News Matrix: Friday 18 May 2012

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.

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Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?