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The News Matrix: Friday 6 September 2013


BBC misled MPs, says Thompson

The former BBC director-general, Mark Thompson, has accused of Lord Patten of "fundamentally misleading" MPs over how much he knew about payoffs to senior staff. His claims about the BBC Trust chairman appear in evidence Mr Thompson has filed with the Public Accounts Committee, which was leaked last night. Both men are due to appear before the committee on Monday.

Pressure mounts on IDS over 'cover-up'

Pressure is growing on Iain Duncan Smith over the chaotic introduction of his £2.4bn benefits reforms and the hiding of the problems the project was experiencing from Parliament. Labour seized on a damning report by the National Audit Office as evidence of a "cover-up". MORE

130 vehicles crash on fog-bound bridge

The fact no one died in a pile-up involving 130 cars on a fog-bound bridge was "truly miraculous", police said. Drivers were travelling at high speeds without headlights as they crossed the bridge from the Isle of Sheppey to the Kent mainland in thick fog. MORE

Refusal to admit guide dogs 'illegal'

Blind people with guide dogs are being illegally denied access to restaurants, shops and public transport, according to the Guide Dogs Charity. It claimed it was "common" for people to be refused access to services on the grounds that they are accompanied by a dog.

World 'failing to protect its species'

Conservationists' efforts to save the world's most endangered species of animals and plants are going to waste, a study claims. The report in the journal Science claims global treaties for preserving wildlife fail to cover those areas with the highest proportion of unique species. MORE

Holmes film is a case for McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen has signed up to play Sherlock Holmes in a new film by Bill Condon, the director of Chicago. A Slight Trick Of The Mind will feature a long-retired Holmes still tortured by an unsolved case.

Two-month prison hunger strike ends

Convicts have ended a two-month hunger strike in protest against the California prison system's isolation policies. More than 30,000 inmates had refused meals since the strike began in July. They said gang leaders are often held for decades in isolation. A judge had given authorities permission to force-feed inmates.

Woman behind Taliban film slain

Militants have killed an Indian woman whose 1995 memoir about marrying an Afghan man and life under the Taliban was made into the 2003 Bollywood film Escape from Taliban. The killing of Sushmita Banerjee, 49, is the latest in a string of attacks on prominent women in Afghanistan.

Flemish town bans French speakers

Civil servants in the municipality of Menen have been told they will no longer be permitted to speak French from the new year. Mayor Martine Fournier announced the new rules in a bid to prevent "Frenchification". Despite the town's position near the border with France, it lies in the Flemish half of Belgium. MORE

Cat elected mayor is attacked by dog

A town's honorary mayor, Stubbs the cat, has been badly injured in an attack by a dog. The quirky community of Talkeetna in Alaska elected Stubbs 15 years ago. But now Stubbs is sedated and under veterinary care. Saturday's attack left him with a punctured lung, bruised hips, a deep gash on his side and a fractured sternum. MORE

New York delicacy 'cronut' comes to UK

A croissant-doughnut hybrid that brought queues of punters to shops in New York is being launched in the UK. Greggs has manufactured its own version of the "cronut", with summer berry and caramel varieties. The bakery chain claimed it was the "the most exciting thing since the birth of the sausage roll".

Google gets green light for flash HQ

Workers will soon enjoy a rooftop swimming pool, running track and gardens at Google's £650m new base in London. Camden Council has approved plans for the search engine's UK headquarters in King's Cross. The building will be up to 11 storeys high, but has been tagged a "groundscraper" as it will be 330m long.

Polanski: My sex crime frustration

Roman Polanski has spoken of his frustration at being the object of hatred over a sex crime he committed in 1977. The Oscar-winning director of The Pianist had sex with Samantha Geimer, then 13, during a photoshoot. Polanski, 80, told Vanity Fair he felt more persecuted after he was arrested in 2009 in Switzerland at the request of the US than he did when he was convicted.