The News Matrix: Friday 20 May 2011

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The Independent Online

Cameron meets Bahraini prince

Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain, met David Cameron yesterday despite criticism of his country’s human rights record. Hundreds of people protesting the country’s repressive regime have been arrested and put on trial. MORE

Essex police launch Huhne investigation

The pressure grew on Chris Huhne last night after Essex Police said it had launched a formal criminal investigation into claims he attempted to evade penalty points for speeding. The Energy Secretary has strongly denied the claim.

Bin Laden’s praise for Arab Spring

In an audio message recorded before his assassination, Osama bin Laden praised the revolutions in the Middle East, and warned fellow Islamists to be wary of Western involvement.

Nuclear watchdog to probe hacking claim

The UN nuclear watchdog is investigating if Iranian officials hacked into computers and phones left by inspectors monitoring nuclear sites. It may complicate efforts by the Atomic Energy Agency to find out if Iran is building nuclear weapons. MORE

Lives put at risk by MoD failings

Critical failures in the defence procurement system resulted in British forces being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan with vehicles that were inadequately protected, a report by the National Audit Office has said. MORE

Obama backs 1967 Palestinian borders

Barack Obama has endorsed a key Palestinian demand for the borders of its future state and prodded Israel to accept that it can never have a truly peaceful nation based on “permanent occupation”. Mr Obama urged that a Palestinian state be based on the 1967 borders – before the Six Day War – in a significant shift in the US approach. MORE

Clarke says sorry over rape comments

Kenneth Clarke said last night that he chose his words “very, very badly” when he suggested that some rapes were less serious than others. His apology came as the Coalition put on hold plans which would allow sex offenders to halve their prison sentences. MORE

Shark surprise for sea life centre

Blackpool Sea Life Centre discovered a shark that has been living undetected in its ocean tank for years. The centre’s experts speculate that a former curator introduced a small tropical carpet shark to the display without recording the fact, and it has been in hiding ever since.

Weather forecaster causes political storm

One of Ukraine’s best-known weather forecasters has caused a scandal after turning the evening weather forecast into a political diatribe. Lyudmila Savchenko suggested a spell of good weather was compensation for the country’s dire political leadership.

Insurance firm lays on orgy for staff

Germany’s normally reputable Hamburg-Mannheimer insurance group organised and paid for a lavish, Roman-style staff sex orgy at Budapest’s historic art nouveau thermal baths for the company’s top 100 male sales representatives, it emerged yesterday. MORE

Paraplegic walks again after therapy

A hit-and-run victim who was completely paralysed from the waist down has taken faltering steps on a treadmill after pioneering treatment. American Rob Summers, 25, is the first patient to respond to the therapy, which combines hours of training with electrical stimulus. MORE

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