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The News Matrix: Friday 3 August 2012

Brooks formally charged with hacking

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was formally charged with phone hacking yesterday and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 3 September, Scotland Yard said. Brooks, 44, answered bail at Lewisham police station last night.

Factions urged to unite over Kailai trial

Communist Party factions are under pressure to unite over the Gu Kailai trial to ensure the party's leadership change this year is not derailed. Ms Gu, 52, wife of the disgraced Bo Xilai, could face trial as early as next Tuesday over the poisoning of the British businessman Neil Heywood. MORE

Community order for Cowell's stalker

A woman who hid in Simon Cowell's walk-in wardrobe after smashing his window with a brick was given a 12-month community order yesterday. Leanne Zaloumis, 30, from South-east London, was also given a restraining order against Cowell. In March the woman forced her way into his Holland Park home.

Call to preserve D-Day beaches

Unesco has been asked to list the Normandy beaches where the D-Day invasion was launched among its world heritage sites. Laurent Beauvais, president of Lower Normandy, said this would allow for the protection and preservation of the beaches that symbolise a turning point in the Second World War.

ECB dashes hopes of 'big bazooka' cure

The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said yesterday the bank would make a new effort to buy government bonds to drive down the high borrowing rates squeezing indebted governments. And he urged leaders of the 17 eurozone countries to use their bailout fund to do the same. But troubled Spain and Italy took a hit as the bank dashed hopes of swift action. MORE

Millions of accounts are 'illegitimate'

There are more than 83 million illegitimate accounts on Facebook, the social-networking giant has confirmed. Some 8.7 per cent of its 955 million active accounts break the rules and 5 per cent of its membership is made up of duplicate profiles. Some 1.5 per cent of its users were described as "undesirable".

Lily Allen's album uses 'married name'

She already goes by the name of Lily Rose Cooper on Twitter, but Lily Allen has confirmed her new record will be released under her married name. The singer, who married Sam Cooper last year, has been working on new material over the past few months. She also recently confirmed that she is expecting her second child.

'Terror time' for Nasa's Mars probe

Nasa scientists have dubbed it the seven minutes of terror: the time they have to land a £1.67bn space probe on Mars. On Monday, a roving vehicle will be lowered to the planet using tethers suspended from a mother spacecraft for the first time. The rover will search for fossilised signs of life. MORE

Ned Kelly's bones returned to family

The skeleton of Australia's most notorious criminal will finally be returned to his family – 132 years after he was executed. Victoria state government officials said Ned Kelly's remains would be given to the 19th-century outlaw's descendants. The whereabouts of his corpse was unknown for decades. MORE

Young people predict more riots

More than a quarter of young people believe there will be riots this summer, and a third think the sentences given to last August's rioters were too "soft". In a survey of 1,000 12 to 18-year-olds, more than half claim the riots happened because people copied what others were doing. MORE

Obama beam put in place at 9/11 site

A steel beam signed by Barack Obama has been lifted into place at One World Trade Center. Dozens of people added their signatures. The President wrote: "We remember, We rebuild, We come back stronger!"

Annan quits as UN peace envoy

Frustrated by Syria's escalating civil war, Kofi Annan announced yesterday that he will quit his role as special envoy to the country at the end of the month, giving reasons that amounted to a scathing criticism of world powers' failure to unite to stop the chaos in the Arab state. MORE

Pope completes life of Christ trilogy

Pope Benedict XVI has completed his trilogy on the life of Christ. The publication date of the third volume will be announced after Jesus of Nazareth is translated into various languages from the Pope's native German. The Vatican said it is dedicated to accounts of Christ's infancy. The first volume was published in 2007.

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