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The News Matrix: Friday 7 June 2013

Aid to Africa ‘is in Britain’s interest’

It is in Britain’s economic and security interests to provide aid to Africa, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has warned. “If we are to ever have the prospect of a world that is less unstable, it means working with those developing countries,” she said.

Forecast of spending cuts until 2020

Public spending cuts could be a long-term feature of the UK economy, two think-tanks have warned. The Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Institute for Government said cuts could last until 2020, and the £11.5bn reductions proposed for 2015-16 will be followed by deeper cuts. MORE

Private detective reveals stars’ secrets

Sensational transcripts have come to light from the archive of the late private detective Fred Otash, who was the basis for Jack Nicholson’s character in Chinatown. They include the revelation Otash confronted Rock Hudson and his wife over the sixties heart-throb’s homosexuality. MORE

No corporation tax for Vodafone, again

Mobile phone giant Vodafone paid no UK corporation tax for the second year, its annual report has revealed. Despite sales of £5bn in Britain in the year to March and an operating profit of £294m, it slashed corporation-tax to zero by legally claiming allowances for infrastructure investment. MORE

Death sentence Brit, 74, blames friend

The 74-year-old upper-class Brit who has been sentenced to death for drug smuggling in Egypt has spoken of his life in prison and his claims that he was betrayed by an old  friend into transporting a  cargo of marijuana up the Red Sea. MORE

Roache denies sex abuse charges

The Coronation Street star William Roache will “vigorously protest his innocence” of child sex-abuse allegations, his lawyer said. The actor appeared at Preston magistrates’ court yesterday to face charges of indecently assaulting four girls aged between 12 and 16 in the 1960s. MORE

Elevated bus  fire kills 42 people

At least 42 people died and 33 were injured when an express bus burst into flames on an elevated road in south-eastern China. The blaze occurred during the evening rush hour in the port city of Xiamen. A local fire official said bodies were piled up inside the bus.

Khmer Rouge crime denials outlawed 

Cambodia has rushed through new legislation making it illegal to deny the war crimes and genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime – a law observers believe will be used to attack political opponents ahead of the forthcoming national elections. MORE

Have-a-go heroes praised by police

Police have praised members of the public who tackled a burkha-clad armed gang as they fled from a raid on Selfridges department store in Oxford Street. Two members of the  gang were held by pedestrians as they tried to make their getaway by moped. MORE

Brand takes messiah tour to Middle East

Comedian Russell Brand is set to perform edgy material about religion in mosques and synagogues during a tour of the Middle East. Brand will take his “Messiah Complex” tour to Israel, Lebanon and Palestine, performing wherever he can deliver his show free from censorship. MORE

Supergrass death ‘not suspicious’

The death of a Russian millionaire Alexander Perepilichnyy, linked as a supergrass to a high profile corruption scandal, was not suspicious. Perepilichnyy 44, was found dying outside his Surrey mansion last November. Surrey police found no evidence of foul play. MORE

Hospital treats 300 rape victims a month

A hospital in eastern Congo that helps sexual violence victims is treating 300 rape survivors a month and that is just “the tip of the iceberg”, said a UN relief co-ordinator. Locals blamed armed groups, including the Raia Mutomboki, a village vigilante group. The Congolese army and the rebel M23 group are also accused.

Ecuador minister  to meet Hague

Ecuador’s foreign minister says he will meet the Foreign Secretary William Hague on 17 June to discuss the unresolved asylum case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who will  by then have completed a year of living in cramped quarters in Ecuador’s London embassy.

Waitrose sorry for unsafe fillet farago

Waitrose staff refused to fillet a trout for a customer on the grounds that it was “too slippery”, according to a report compiled by the Health and Safety Executive. The customer was told it wasn’t possible to fillet the fish because of health and safety rules. Waitrose apologised for the incident.

Forest boy is  charged with fraud

A Dutch 20-year-old who tricked German authorities into believing he had been living wild in a forest for five years has been charged with fraud. Authorities spent €30,000  (£25,000) trying to trace his identity.

Search robots battle for $1.5m prize

Eleven robots faced off in Massachusetts to track down objects and compete for a $1.5m prize in a Nasa contest aimed at speeding technological development. Teams from the US, Canada and Estonia scoured a two-acre park to find geological samples.

Cowell ‘responsible’ for young performers

Britain’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell said he feels a “responsibility” towards young contestants on his show ahead of tonight’s grand finale. Responding to criticism, Cowell said: “If you’ve got a really pushy stage mum and the kid is miserable we never put those people through.”

Barlow writes Peter Pan musical

Singer Gary Barlow is penning a West End musical based on the Johnny Depp film Finding Neverland. The production, which tells the story of J M Barrie and Peter Pan, is “something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Barlow.

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