The News Matrix: Friday 29 June 2012


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The Independent Online

Contempt threat for IPCC over Duggan

A coroner has threatened the police watchdog with contempt of court after reports into the fatal shooting that sparked riots last August were withheld. It emerged in March that an inquest into the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot by police, may never be held. MORE

Big Brother bullying sparks backlash

Scenes of alleged bullying on the Channel 5 reality show Big Brother have sparked almost 1,000 complaints to the broadcast watchdog Ofcom. On Monday's show, viewers saw housemate Conor McIntyre verbally attack and threaten to punch fellow contestant Deana Uppal. Activists called for his removal.

Supreme Court upholds Obamacare

The US Supreme Court has upheld the core of the ambitious healthcare overhaul driven through Congress by President Obama in 2010, thus ensuring that "Obamacare" provisions to extend health insurance to nearly every American can be implemented as planned. MORE

Tory MP spied for the communists

A Conservative MP was a spy for Czech secret services, papers found in Prague have revealed. Raymond Mawby, who died in 1990, was MP for Totnes for almost 30 years. He was given cash for supplying political gossip after being approached by communist spies in 1960.

Karadzic acquitted on genocide count

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has acquitted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of one charge of genocide but upheld 10 other war crimes counts, including another genocide charge, related to atrocities in Bosnia's bloody war. MORE

Tory MPs demand referendum on EU

One hundred Conservative MPs have demanded a referendum on "the nature of our relationship with the European Union" in the next five-year parliament as European leaders press for the abolition of Britain's £3bn EU rebate. John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay, said the "meddling" EU is "very different" to the EEC Britain joined in 1973. MORE

Murderer on run after prison escape

Convicted murderer John Massey was still on the run last night after escaping Pentonville prison in north London on Wednesday. The 64-year-old, serving life for a 1975 pub murder, climbed over the wall using a makeshift rope made from knotted sheets.

Russia maintains support for Assad

Russia says international talks on the Syria conflict should pursue a formula for a political transition but must not decide whether President Bashar al-Assad is barred from a possible national-unity government. Meanwhile, tensions continued to escalate with Turkey amassing military hardware at its borders. MORE

Man who 'chewed face' on cannabis

The Florida man who is accused of chewing on another man's face this month had taken cannabis, according to the results of lab tests released yesterday. The presence of other street drugs, known as "bath salts", which had been suspected, were ruled out.

Mayor faces grilling over sausage role

Jill Makinson-Sanders, the Mayor of Louth in Lincolnshire, has attracted controversy after dressing as a sausage to welcome the Olympic torch. Cllr Makinson-Sanders wore the costume to support the Lincolnshire banger in its campaign for EU protected status. One resident said: "It looked so rude."

Timbuktu under threat, says Unesco

Unesco has named two World Heritage sites in Mali – the fabled city of Timbuktu and the tomb of Askia – as being endangered due to armed conflict by competing rebel groups who have taken over the north.

Agents destroyed neo-Nazi files

The German intelligence service is at the centre of a deepening scandal after it was confirmed yesterday that its agents had destroyed files containing vital information about a neo-Nazi terrorist gang. Agents had been keeping the gang under surveillance for over a decade. MORE

School to sell artwork for $150,000

A primary school could earn up to £150,000 from the auction of a painting that has hung in its hall for 86 years. Captain of the Eleven by Philip Hermogenes Calderon depicts a small Victorian boy preparing to defend his cricket wicket. The money will go to fixing Thames Primary in Blackpool.

Double-decker bus used in police swoop

Police commandeered a red double-decker London bus yesterday to arrest suspected con artists on Westminster Bridge. The tricksters, believed to have been targeting tourists, were shocked when around 30 officers sprung from an Arriva bus. More than 12 arrests were made.

£85,000 to buy a dress. That's Gaga!

Lady Gaga is believed to have paid £85,250, a world record, for an ivory silk tulle empire line gown by her late friend, Alexander McQueen, at a London auction. The pop star was among bidders at Christie's who bought items from the personal collection of Daphne Guinness.

Car bombs kill at least 14 in Baghdad

At least 14 people were killed and more than 50 injured in a series of car bombs in Iraq yesterday. The attacks were reported to have hit the capital Baghdad, with at least eight people killed when a car bomb detonated at a market in a mainly Shia area of the city.

Jailbirds can read their way to freedom

Hardened prison inmates can now shorten their sentences by reading literature, philosophy, science or the classics. In plans unveiled this week inmates will be able to cut four days off their sentence for each book read, up to 12 a year, shortening their time inside by up to 48 days a year.

Prize-winning writer to focus on music

A novelist has won a prestigious literary prize despite announcing her intention to quit writing to focus on a music career. Grace McCleen won the £10,000 Desmond Elliott Prize for her book The Land Of Decoration, but recently claimed that writing "makes me very ill".

Go directly to gulag. Do not pass go

A popular Polish board game nicknamed "Communist Monopoly" is now available in international editions. The game, called Kolejka ("queue"), aims to teach young people about the hardships of life in Poland under decades of communism until 1989.