The News Matrix: Friday 27 January 2012


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The Independent Online


Test could reveal autism in babies

Austism can be detected when babies are just six months old, according to a study funded by the Medical Research Council. The disorder is not officially diagnosed until a child reaches the age of two, but it is thought a test at six months could pinpoint those most at risk.

Three dead after buildings collapse

Three people are dead and 21 missing after three buildings fell down in Rio de Janeiro. Mayor Eduardo Paes said a structural problem may have caused a 20-storey building to crumble, which apparently caused the collapse of two smaller buildings. MORE

Aid groups quit after evidence of torture

The moral authority of Libya's new government was called into question by two aid groups yesterday. Méde- cins sans Frontières brought a halt to its operations in Misrata after being asked to treat torture victims and Amnesty International said it has collected evidence of torture. MORE

Doctor 'to blame' for man's death in cell

A doctor who wrongly passed a man in a police cell as fit to be detained has been cleared of manslaughter, but not of "fault". Dr Hisham El-Baroudy's patient died of alcohol and opiate intoxication three hours after his visit. A Southwark Crown Court judge said negligence was "never in doubt".

'Google' juror refused right to appeal

Theodora Dallas, left, the juror who was jailed for six months after searching online for information about the defendant she was trying has been refused permission for a Supreme Court appeal.

Victims of dark arts to be kept in dark

Thousands of victims of private detective Steve Whittamore will not be told their personal data was targeted, the Information Commissioner told the Leveson Inquiry yesterday. Christopher Graham said his office did not have the resources to notify those affected. Civil rights groups are expected to challenge his position. MORE

Breast implant founder arrested

The founder of the breast implant firm at the centre of a health scare has been detained. Jean-Claude Mas, 72, was taken into custody in Marseilles. He was arrested as part of a probe into allegations relating to Poly Implant Prothèse's unapproved silicone breast implants. MORE

Hunt for survivors on Concordia to end

Two weeks after the Costa Concordia cruise liner crashed into rocks off the Italian coast, rescue services are preparing to end the hunt for survivors. Rescuers have recovered 16 bodies after the ship partially capsized by the island of Giglio. At least 16 people are still missing.

Pitt was miserable, despite success

Brad Pitt has revealed that he suffered from depression during the height of his fame. The Oscar-nominated actor said that despite enjoying critical and commercial success during the 1990s, he felt miserable. "I was smoking way too much dope; I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut," he said.

Pizza counts as a 'vegetable' in schools

New guidelines have been introduced for US school lunch menus, limiting calorie content and requiring twice as many fruits and vegetables. But it is not a complete victory for health advocates such as Jamie Oliver. After lobbying by the food industry, it was decided that pizza can be one of the two "vegetables" a day. MORE

Gingrich's spaced-out plan for Moon base

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wants to create a permanent US base on the Moon by 2020 if he is elected and support efforts to establish it as the 51st state as soon as its population reaches the legal minimum of 13,000. The proposal met with mirth from Mr Gingrich's opponents. MORE

Not yet quite the full Monty, but it's close

The Monty Python team are to work together again on a new sci-fi film. Absolutely Anything will be directed by Terry Jones. John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin will voice CGI aliens. Producers are said to be trying to sign the remaining member, Eric Idle. The sixth Python star, Graham Chapman, died in 1989.

Cuddly toys may be taken into custody

Police have been criticised for arresting anyone who takes part in an unsanctioned opposition rally, but things took a surreal turn in the Siberian city of Barnaul where a demonstration of toys was opposed by the local police department, which said the use of such "new technology" could be illegal.