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The News Matrix: Monday 13 January 2014

Experts push for Iraq war crimes inquiry

Legal experts from around the world are to join calls for an investigation into whether British politicians and military figures should be prosecuted for alleged war crimes in Iraq. An open letter will pressure the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch a formal inquiry. MORE

Death toll rises as rival rebels clash

Rebel infighting has killed nearly 700 people over the past nine days in bout of clashes among  opponents of President Bashar Assad since the country’s civil war began, activists said yesterday. The fighting has added yet another layer of complexity to Syria’s nearly three-year conflict.

Army chief hints at presidential run

Egypt’s army chief, who ousted the country’s first elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, last July, has clearly indicated that he wants to become president. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told an army seminar in Cairo he would run for office “at the request of the people”. MORE

Death-row Briton vows to clear name

A Briton who has been in prison in Florida since being sentenced to death in the late 1980s will this week attempt to force the US government to hand over documents which could clear his name. Krishna Maharaj, 74, was convicted for a double murder in Miami in 1987.

Britons fail to follow familiar birds’ tweets

The majority of people can’t identify some of Britain’s most familiar birdsong, a survey suggests. BBC Gardener’s World found that more than two thirds could not identify the song of blackbirds and robins.

$350,000 to hunt and kill a rhino

The plight of an endangered species was illustrated by a hunter in the US, who paid $350,000 (£212,000) at auction for a permit to hunt and kill a black Rhino in Africa. The sellers of the permit, granted by the Namibian government, said it will allow the hunter only to shoot an ageing male rhino who is beyond breeding age and may be a hazard to his herd. MORE

Blair joins mourners for Ariel Sharon

Tony Blair will today join mourners at the coffin of Ariel Sharon, who is lying in state in Jeruslaem after his death, aged 85. Mr Sharon, Israel’s former prime minister and wartime leader, will be buried in the southern Negev region. Yesterday, draped in the national flag, his coffin was displayed in front of the Knesset, the nation’s parliament. MORE

Excessive fees by payday lenders

Many payday lenders could be breaking the law by charging excessive default fees to borrowers who miss repayments, according  to Which? The consumer group found that 10 of the 17 leading payday lenders have default fees  of £20 or more.  MORE

Eyes peeled for banana raider

Police are looking for a man who smashed his vehicle into a petrol station in Connecticut, snatched a banana from a shelf and ate it before leaving. Nothing else was taken. CCTV shows a car backing into the glass doors at about 2am.

Kylie breathes life into ‘The Voice’

Kylie Minogue has helped The Voice to bounce back, pulling in two million more viewers than for last year’s show launch. Her debut appearance on the BBC series saw an average audience of 8.4 million, compared with last year’s 6.2 million.

Christmas lands  for six astronauts

Christmas has finally arrived for six astronauts aboard the international space station. A supply ship reached the station on Sunday morning carrying their presents.

Pope allows babies to feed in chapel

Pope Francis baptised 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel yesterday. The pontiff also encouraged mothers  to breastfeed among the famous  frescoes “without thinking twice”.

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