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The News Matrix: Friday 4 November 2011

Prophet cartoon debate rages in press

Libération, the French daily newspaper, yesterday published the Prophet Mohamed cartoon which earlier this week led to the firebombing of the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The attacks sparked debates in France over freedom of expression and religious tolerance. MORE

Metal theft’s a major threat, warns police

The daily theft of copper and other metals has become so endemic it represents “a significant threat to national infrastructure”, police officers will warn Parliament next week, as they call for reforming scrap metal laws. In some forces, metal theft is 10 per cent of recorded crime. MORE

Police use force on California protesters

The Occupy protests in Oakland, California turned violent on Wednesday when riot police arrested dozens of activists who broke into buildings, smashed windows and started fires – four were hospitalised. MORE

No deal for Edmonds as he loses his case

Noel Edmonds yesterday lost a High Court battle against a businessman he described as “the brother he never had”. The Deal Or No Deal presenter, 62, had claimed that Ulrik Lawson, a property developer, agreed to manage the refurbishment of his £1.3m Devon home for “no fee”. MORE

Book lending on borrowed time

The number of visits to UK libraries has fallen by almost 23 million over the past five years, including a 7.5-million drop from 2010 to 2011. The number of book loans has fallen by 2.9 per cent in the past year to 300 million, though more children’s fiction titles were taken out than in the previous year.

‘Lost’ asylum seekers could fill Cambridge

Border officials have lost track of a mass of asylum seekers and migrants equal in number to the population of Cambridge. Figures showed the number of “lost” cases had tripled from 40,500 in March to 124,000 in September. The archive had become a “dumping ground for cases where the UK Border Agency has lost track of applicants,” MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee said. MORE

We’re not targeting Iran, Nato insists

Nato said yesterday that it had “no intention whatsoever” of attacking Iran, following reports earlier this week that Israeli cabinet ministers were trying to encourage support for a strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities. Media reports in Israel had claimed some ministers favoured forming a coalition with Western countries.

Woman, 63, is jailed over cannabis farm

A grandmother was jailed for two years yesterday for growing cannabis worth more than £345,000 over four years. Lynda Seager, 63, initially told police that she was growing strawberries – but none were found at her house.

100,000 people back extradition review

An online petition opposing a British terror suspect’s extradition to the US has 100,000 signatures, the amount required for a parliamentary debate. Babar Ahmad has been held without charge for seven years. MORE

Woman given meaty sum by mistake

A butcher shop employee in the German city of Braunschweig inadvertently handed a customer a bag containing more than €2,000 in cold cash rather than the cold cuts she usually gets. The 79-year-old pensioner had paid €5 for her package of cold cuts and veal steaks.

Sky lanterns ‘danger to animals’ warning

Think twice before celebrating Bonfire Night with sky lanterns, the Environment Secretary has warned. Caroline Spelman said they “look beautiful on their way up but they can cause real damage to animals when they come down”, adding that cattle could be killed if they accidentally ate the wire frame.

Lennon tooth could fetch £10,000 in sale

A tooth belonging to John Lennon is expected to fetch £10,000 when it is auctioned in Stockport, Manchester, tomorrow. The tooth, which appears to be stained brown, forms part of a wide collection of rock memorabilia being sold by Alan McGee – known as the man who signed Oasis.

Sailor rescued after phone call to mother

French sailing star Florence Arthaud was rescued and whisked from Mediterranean waters after she used her mobile phone to call her mother when she fell off her boat in the early hours at the weekend. Ms Arthaud was located near the island of Corsica, thanks to a headlamp and the GPS system on her phone.

Putin claims baby as seven billionth

Now Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has hailed a two-day old Russian boy as the world’s seven billionth person, weighing into a scramble to claim a title that is almost impossible to verify. A host of other countries, including India, have also claimed the ‘title’.

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