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The News Matrix: Monday 22 August 2011

Teenager’s mistaken identity ‘hell’ ends

A teenager who was arrested after being mistakenly identified as an arsonist by police during riots in Manchester has been released after nine days of “hell” in custody. Dane Williamson of Salford, was held after £319,000 worth of stock was damaged at Miss Selfridge in the city. MORE

Month of mourning ends with service

Norway concluded a month-long mourning period with a candlelit memorial service yesterday to the 77 people killed by a right-wing extremist. Speaking at the ceremony in Oslo, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said: “We need you ... each and every one of us can guard freedom.” MORE

Rethink over free school’s rejection

The Government has ordered a review of the rejection of plans for a free school aimed at breaking the link between teenagers and gangs. The Department for Education has said it will look again at the Diaspora High School in Lewisham, south London.

Businesses pay to access wards

NHS maternity units are receiving money from companies that persuade new mothers to buy photographs of their babies. The companies are given access to wards, where they encourage women to have photos taken with their babies hours after giving birth. MORE

Kim Jong Il to meet Medvedev on trip

Kim Jong Il and his armoured train arrived in Russia at the weekend to begin a trip shrouded in secrecy, during which he is expected to meet Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev. The North Korean leader has a fear of flying and always travels by train. MORE

US hikers jailed for 8 years for spying

The lawyer for two Americans convicted of spying in Iran said he would appeal against their eight-year sentences. The families of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, arrested in 2009 on the border with Iraq – where they said they were hiking – had hoped to see them freed. MORE

Butterflies at risk from funding cuts

The survival of Britain’s most threatened butterflies has been put at risk by swingeing government cuts, conservationists have warned, with no further funding for recovery schemes for 24 species. MORE

Gun battle halts football match

A football match in Mexico’s first division was abandoned after a shootout outside a stadium in the city of Torreón forced players and spectators to take cover. Players ran to the dressing room and fans dived under their seats as shots rang out. MORE

Maid’s lawyers fear case may be shelved

Lawyers for the maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault voiced concern yesterday that New York’s chief prosecutor may be about to back away from the case against the former IMF chief. Speculation grew at the weekend that the prosecution plans to ask the judge to accept a motion to dismiss the case. MORE

Cycling boosts the UK by £3bn a year

Cycling generates nearly £3bn a year for the economy, but the figure will rise only if safety concerns are addressed, a report from the London School of Economics says. The study is the first attempt to quantify the contribution made by cycling to the economy. MORE

Suicide bombers kill 12 in two attacks

Two suicide bombers killed at least 12 people in separate attacks in Yemen’s volatile south yesterday. Their targets were pro-government tribesmen who have sided with the army in an effort to flush out Islamist militants after months of protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule.

Man quizzed over death of his relative

A man is being questioned on suspicion of murdering a relative The 66-year-old was arrested in connection with the incident. A 20-year-old man, who has not been named, died at the house in South Molton, near Barnstable, Devon.

Poker players are offered foreign deal

American card players are hardly a high priority for humanitarian organisations. But such is the current plight of professional poker players in the US that a new service launched last week is offering to relocate card players to “poker-friendly countries” around the world. MORE

60,000 gather to celebrate Krishna

More than 60,000 pilgrims attended a Hindu festival in Hertfordshire yesterday to celebrate the birth of Krishna. The worshippers gathered at Bhaktivedanta Manor, which was donated to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness by the late Beatle George Harrison in 1973.

Controversial comic Boyle has new show

The comedian Frankie Boyle, whose comments about Katie Price’s disabled son caused a furore, is to return to Channel 4 with a topical talk show recorded on the night before transmission. A pilot of Frankie Boyle’s Rehabilitation Programme is to air in October.

Lack of demand for religious buildings

Property in France doesn’t come cheap, but thanks to judicial reforms, several courthouses are going for a song. And a decline in religious conviction means there are priories, abbeys and churches on the market – but church and state are having difficulty bringing in the customers. MORE

Jim still running smoothly at 60

Grandfather Jim Haggart, 60, is celebrating 45 years’ service as an AA patrolman. Mr Haggart, who claims to have rescued around 80,000 motorists during his career, began on the company’s cadet scheme.

Curb on utilities who dig up the roads

Councils are to be encouraged to declare war on gas, electricity or water companies which infuriate motorists by digging up busy roads during the rush hour. The initiative by the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, is the latest attempt to curb unnecessary roadworks. MORE

‘Writer is victim of fortune-telling scam’

A best-selling romance novelist may have been among the victims of a fortune-telling scam. Police in Florida arrested several members of one family last week as part of “Operation Crystal Ball”, looking into the alleged criminal activities of a clan of US-born Romanian gypsies. MORE

Whisker to whisker in top Alpine battle

Sixty hopefuls went whisker to whisker yesterday for the title of best beard in the annual Alpine Beard Festival in Chur, Switzerland. The contest, in its 26th year, draws over 100,000 spectators. Contestants, hail from across Europe to compete for the title of most rugged Alpine beard.

‘The X Factor’ equals record figures

The opening night of The X Factor drew a combined audience of 12.6 million viewers – equalling its record for last year. The figure will have brought sighs of relief to ITV bosses, who have lost sardonic frontman Simon Cowell to the US version of the programme.

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