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The News Matrix: Friday 30 November 2012

Riot muggers' convictions quashed

Prosecutors will not seek a re-trial after two men convicted of robbing a student during the riots had their convictions overturned. John Kafunda and Reece Donovan were jailed in March after a court was told they posed as Good Samaritans before robbing Ashraf Rossli, 21. MORE

Melting ice sheets are a major threat

The polar ice sheets are melting three times faster than they were 20 years ago, researchers have warned. Professor Andrew Shepherd said: "The ice sheets used to be a minor player in sea level rise. Now it seems to be a substantial player." MORE

Palestinians rejoice over UN statehood

Thousands of Palestinians thronged the streets of the West Bank and Gaza yesterday to celebrate the United Nations General Assembly vote upgrading the PLO mission from observer entity to observer state. For the first time since Hamas seized control in 2007, warring factions joined forces in Gaza City where Fatah staged a large, peaceful rally. MORE

Good cop boots up an internet smash

A picture of a New York City police officer giving new socks and boots to a homeless man in Times Square has caused an online sensation. Some 389,000 Facebook users "liked" the picture, which was taken by a tourist earlier this month. Larry DePrimo, the officer in question, said: "I didn't think anything of it."

France: First gay mosque opens in Paris

Europe's first gay and lesbian friendly mosque opens its doors in a Paris suburb today. The mosque is set up in a small room inside the house of a Buddhist monk, and welcomes transgender and transsexual Muslims and seat men and women together.

Paris threatens steel billionaire

The wealthiest man in Britain is in last-minute negotiations with the French government over the future of his €400m steel plant in Eastern France. Paris is threatening to nationalise the plant unless Lakshmi Mittal agrees to sell it to a private buyer before midnight. MORE

Italy: Got a demon? Call the exorcist hotline

The Catholic Church has set up an exorcist hotline in Milan due to overwhelming public demand. Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, the diocese's chief exorcist, said there had been a 100 per cent rise in requests for help in the past 15 years. He knew of one exorcist who had been seeing up to 120 people a day. MORE

Yard to probe 'sex for cash' student site

The Met is to examine evidence gathered during i's expose of a website which offered students up to £15,000 a year in exchange for having sex with wealthy businessmen, to establish if those behind the site could be investigated for incitement into prostitution. MORE

Gap-year kids more likely to misbehave

Gap-year students are more likely to skip school, smoke cannabis and earn less by the age of 30, research suggests. Youngsters who take a year out before going to university are more likely to indulge in "risky behaviour", less likely to have faith in their own abilities and to feel in control of their own destiny.

Anne Hathaway's cottage threatened

A cottage that once belonged to William Shakespeare's wife Anne Hathaway is under threat from a housing development. The Government has approved 800 new homes to be built near the cottage, but Stratford-on-Avon district council has lodged a challenge. MORE

Norman takes Mantel's mantle

Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel has been beaten to the newest literary award by the writer of an Italian cookbook. Russell Norman, whose book Polpo includes recipes from his London restaurant of the same name, won the first Waterstones Book of the Year award ahead of Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies.

Big stores agree code on special offers

Eight leading supermarkets have agreed to a voluntary code to ensure shoppers won't be cheated by misleading offers. Tesco and Morrisons won't be able to promote goods with labels such as "was £3, now £2" when they are being sold at a higher price than they were previously. MORE

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