The News Matrix: Friday 27 April 2012


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Taylor convicted over Africa war crimes

Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, was found guilty at the UN-backed court in The Hague of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone. It makes him the first African head of state to be convicted by an international tribunal. MORE

Big achievement: we collect two awards

i scooped both the Newspaper of the Year and Newspaper Design of the Year prizes at the Newspaper Awards on Wednesday evening. Assistant editor Rhodri Jones, left, designer Charlotte Braunagel and head of creative Dan Barber collected the glass gongs from Gabby Logan at the ceremony in London's Park Lane Hilton.

In their ruling, the judges said i was "a very punchy newspaper with a great sales story for the industry", and that it was "on track to secure its long-term place in the quality newspaper market".

We feed our hungry pupils, say teachers

Half of the country's teachers have witnessed pupils with hunger pangs or malnutrition, and some even buy food for students, a survey suggests. One in four teachers who saw children with too little food to eat said the problem was becoming increasingly common in the recession. MORE

Bo Xilai accused of spying on President

Disgraced communist leader Bo Xilai, whose wife is linked to the death of Briton Neil Heywood, has been accused of spying on China's President. Both Bo and his former regional police chief, Wang Lijun, have been accused of recording calls with the Hu Jintao. MORE

Attack on Hama 'claims 70 lives'

Activists have claimed that an attack on the Syrian city of Hama on Tuesday night left 70 dead. The violence, the worst in the city for several months, came just a day after a UN team arrived to observe the ceasefire that was supposed to begin on 12 April. MORE

Police object to new hunt for Madeleine

Portuguese police have refused to reopen the inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The decision comes after Scotland Yard urged authorities to resume their investigation and released a new "age-progressed" image of Maddy aged nine. Officers in Portugal insist there is no evidence to warrant a new inquiry.

MI6 says sorry over 'holdall' spy's death

A Secret Intelligence Service witness offered an apology yesterday to the family of Gareth Williams, the spy whose body was found in a padlocked bag. Ellen Williams broke down in tears at her son's inquest at Westminster Coroners' Court when she heard that her son's boss, who failed to report Mr Williams as missing, had not faced disciplinary action. MORE

Rail network carries record 1.16bn people

Britain's railways carried a record 1.16 billion passengers in 2010-11. The total number of journeys in England reached 1.05 billion – a 9 per cent increase on the previous year. More than 60 per cent of all train trips either started or ended in London, the busiest region.

Number of £5 notes in circulation 'soaring'

Almost ten times as many £5 notes are being dispensed by cash machines than in the summer of 2010, the Bank of England claims. The increase is a result of its instruction to cash-machine operators to increase the number of £5 notes issued at ATMs. The notes have long been criticised for their scruffy condition.

Escaped puppy delays flights

A puppy called Byrdie delayed several flights at New York's LaGuardia Airport earlier this week when she escaped from her crate and ran loose on a busy runway. She evaded capture until her owner, booked on a Delta flight to Memphis, joined the hunt.

Bin Laden family deported to Saudi

Pakistani authorities deported Osama bin Laden's three widows and his 11 children to Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of the Interior said it had "passed orders for the deportation of 14 members of OBL family in pursuance of Court orders". The family were detained after the US raid that killed bin Laden.

Sundance Kid shoots down Cameron

Oscar-winning actor and director Robert Redford has criticised David Cameron's recent claim that British filmmakers should concentrate on movies more likely to make large sums of money. Addressing Sundance London, Mr Redford said the Prime Minister had a "narrow" view of his national cinema. MORE

Bakers join protest over pasty tax hike

Around 500 bakers and savoury food lovers took to Westminster yesterday to protest the Government's pasty tax – a proposed VAT hike on hot baked goods. Leading industry figures and Cornish MPs claimed a 20 per cent rise in pasty prices could result in hundreds of job losses. MORE