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The News Matrix: Friday 19 July 2013

Poisoning inquiry as 23 children die

The Indian government announced it would set up an inquiry into the quality of food given to school pupils in a free meal scheme after 23 children died in an outbreak of food poisoning. The children fell ill after eating rice and potato curry in the eastern state of Bihar on Tuesday. MORE

Osborne’s tax breaks for fracking firms

The Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled tax breaks for controversial fracking in a bid to create the “most generous” regime for shale gas in  the world. Friends of the Earth said ministers should instead concentrate on exploiting the UK’s “huge renewable energy potential”.

Organist’s widow ‘does not hate’ killer

The widow of a church organist said she rejected “feelings of hate and unforgiveness” over her husband’s killing. Maureen Greaves wept as Ashley Foster, 22, was convicted of manslaughter. Alan Greaves, 68, was battered to death in Sheffield on Christmas Eve. MORE

Opposition leader jailed for five years

Russian opposition leader and Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was convicted of embezzlement yesterday and sentenced to five years in prison, a harsh ruling his supporters called an obvious attempt to shut down a foe of President Vladimir Putin. MORE

Coe: legacy must be children in sport

London’s Olympic legacy must bring more children into sport for the sake of the nation’s health, Lord Coe, left,  warns. “The average child is 50 per cent less active at the age of 15 than they were at nine,” he said. MORE

Farmers warned of crop fires

The Met Office has issued a fire warning to farmers as Britain clocked up its sixth consecutive day of plus-30C temperatures. Soon-to-be harvested crops such as wheat and winter barley are looking particularly vulnerable to fire, according to scientist Karl Kitchen. In London, there have been an average of 21 grass fires a day this month. MORE

New blue-chip hacking cover-up

The Serious Organised Crime Agency won’t reveal the names of blue-chip firms which paid corrupt private investigators to break the law as revealing them would damage the firms’ commercial interests.  MP Keith Vaz said the public needs to be reassured that “no one is above the law”. MORE

Manning judge takes a hard line

A military judge refused yesterday to dismiss a charge that Bradley Manning aided the enemy by giving classified information to WikiLeaks – it is punishable by up to life in prison without parole. Col. Denise Lind denied motions to acquit him of that and a computer fraud charge. MORE

Rowling’s rage over leak of pseudonym

JK Rowling, who was revealed to have used the pseudonym Robert Galbraith to publish a detective novel, has attacked the law firm at the source of the leak. “To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells,” she said. MORE

Hugh and Damian  do battle for Emmys

Hugh Bonneville and Damian Lewis are both in the running for the best actor in a TV drama series at the Primetime Emmys. The British stars, nominated for their respective roles in Downton Abbey and Homeland, face stiff competition from Kevin Spacey for his role in House Of Cards.

Mermaid banned from the water

A Florida woman has been banned from swimming in her community’s pool because she wants to wear a mermaid tail. Jenna Conti, who lives in FishHawk, has been told her custom-made tail violates a policy against swim fins.

Parisians told to be friendly

Paris’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Regional Tourism Council have produced a guide in the hopes it will help shake off the city’s reputation for snobbishness. The handy guide includes sections on how to be polite to 11 nationalities and how much they are likely to spend. MORE

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