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The News Matrix: Monday 12 December 2011

 

Abuse hotline gets more than 2,000 calls

More than 2,000 staff have called a whistle-blowing hotline with warnings of abuse and neglect in care homes and hospitals in its first six months. The volume of calls surprised the Care Quality Commission, which set up the hotline in the wake of the scandal at Winterbourne View. MORE

Medvedev orders vote fraud probe

President Dmitry Medvedev ordered an investigation into allegations of voting fraud yesterday. His attempt to quell public discontent came a day after tens of thousands of Russians protested in Moscow. The announcement, on Facebook, received a mostly hostile response. MORE

City's leader calls for social responsibility

Ken Costa, the man charged with rebuilding the City's relationship with the public, told i that social responsibility must be "sewn into the fabric" of big business in the wake of the financial crisis. MORE

UK storms set to batter the South

High winds and heavy rain which have battered northern England and Scotland are set to move south and hit other parts of the UK tonight. Forecasters say scenes of heavy winds bringing down power lines and trees and disrupting travel in the north could be replicated. MORE

Villepin declares leadership intention

The former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin last night said he would stand for president in the country's elections next spring. A long-time rival of incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr De Villepin said he was concerned to see France "humiliated" by further austerity.

Eight die as troops battle army defectors

Syrian army vehicles were set ablaze yesterday as troops battled defectors in clashes that killed at least eight people, according to activists. For the first time, violent protests against President Assad's regime spilled over the border into Jordan, where about a dozen Syrians attacked the embassy in the capital, Amman, injuring at least two diplomats and four consulate employees.

Four found dead at house in Pudsey

Yorkshire police announced last night that they were investigating chemical spillages and gas leaks after finding the bodies of four people at a house in Pudsey, West Yorkshire.

North does not take decorations lightly

South Korea's Christmas lights are causing sparks to fly after officials said they would go ahead with lighting three huge structures near the border. Pyongyang said the act would result in an "unexpected consequence".MORE

Drivers use mobiles despite bigger fines

Tougher fines are failing to stop motorists using mobile phones while driving, figures show. The number of offenders – 171,000 – is now higher than the year before the harsher penalties were introduced.

Stolen body of TV quiz host found

Eleven months after grave robbers stole the corpse of Italy's best-loved television personality, police have found the coffin containing his remains, and his family are preparing a cremation. The body of Mike Bongiorno, the Italian "TV Quiz King," was snatched from his tomb by Lake Maggiore earlier this year. MORE

Christmas shoppers finally go out in force

Retailers enjoyed a bumper weekend as people finally rushed out to buy Christmas presents. Millions of shoppers went online and hit the stores as sellers responded to forecasts of a drop in festive takings by slashing prices in "panic sales". Queues were seen at malls and stores across the country. MORE

Winehouse album tops the charts

Amy Winehouse has topped the album charts, more than four months after her death. Her posthumously released collection, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, features 12 original tracks and covers compiled by producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson. The album displaced Olly Murs' In Case You Didn't Know. MORE

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Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone