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The News Matrix: Monday 23 January 2012

 

Neglected children left unprotected

Neglected children are languishing in harmful situations because social workers and police feel powerless to intervene, a new report warns. Half of social workers and a third of police officers feel unable to step in even when they suspect children are being ignored or starved. MORE

Hackers in revenge attacks on websites

The websites of US broadcaster CBS and record company Universal Music were deleted yesterday by hacking group Anonymous, in revenge for last week's suspension of MegaUpload by US authorities for infringing internet piracy and copyright laws. Both were running again last night.

Captain's 'character flaws' known by staff

The legal disaster engulfing the owners of the Costa Concordia deepened following the company's admission staff were aware of the captain's "character problems" ahead of the accident that claimed up to 32 lives. MORE

Office space 'open to entrepreneurs'

Vacant government office space will be opened up to upcoming entrepreneurs to run their own businesses, David Cameron said. The Prime Minister plans to offer under-used workplaces to new enterprises and small businesses in an attempt to the boost the economy.

Hollande's 'dream' speech woos voters

The newly energised presidential front-runner François Hollande answered critics with a speech in which he promised to create a new "French dream". At a packed public meeting, the Socialist candidate tore into President Nicolas Sarkozy's "vain" and "zig-zag" leadership. MORE

Detective may have been Mulcaire target

Scotland Yard is investigating claims that a detective who liaised between police and the family of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler was targeted by the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. The name and number of the detective constable was found in the evidence seized from the home of Mulcaire, who eavesdropped on phone messages on behalf of the News of the World. MORE

Abuse on Cunard ships investigated

Detectives from Wiltshire police are investigating claims of sexual abuse against children alleged to have taken place onboard two of Cunard's most luxurious cruise liners. It is claimed that a crew member committed assaults on the Queen Mary 2 and its sister vessel, the Queen Elizabeth.

Cancer kills sacked football coach

The American football coach fired by Penn State University last November because of allegations of child abuse by an assistant under his watch, died yesterday from lung cancer. Joe Paterno passed away at the age of 85, his family said in a statement, barely three months after his firing. MORE

Alarm bells ring as Big Ben starts to lean

Big Ben's clock tower is leaning 18 inches due to subsidence that could cause the temporary closure of the Houses of Parliament. A surveyor's report into cracks that have begun appearing inside the Palace of Westminster will be discussed by MPs today. Fixing the problems could cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

Pizza adds flavour to Burns Night menu

Two great culinary loves of the Scots have been combined in a twist on the traditional Burns Supper – the UK's first haggis pizza. An Edinburgh-based pizza company has created the pizza as an alternative celebration on Burns Night on 25 January. The Cosmo haggis pizza will be available in supermarkets across Scotland.

Domino effect keeps Jessie J at No 1

Jessie J has secured her second week at No 1 in the charts with her single "Domino". The 23-year-old singer held off Brighton-based hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks, who edged up one place to No 2, while French house producer David Guetta's track "Titanium" leapt from No 8 to No 3.

UK ready to welcome Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon is set to kick off as Chinese communities in the UK start a 15-day celebration of Chinese New Year. The festival will run to 6 February. London Mayor Boris Johnson and the Chinese Ambassador to London will both speak at a ceremony in Trafalgar Square next Sunday.

Dictator's son tells of hopes and fears

Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of the recently deceased dictator Kim Jong-il and considered the black sheep of the family, has offered a rare glimpse behind the family curtain in an extraordinary book in which he reveals his love for his "tender-hearted" father and fears for North Korea's future. MORE

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Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform