The News Matrix: Monday 7 November 2011


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EU drugs regulator under investigation

The regulator responsible for licensing pharmaceutical drugs across the EU is under investigation over alleged conflicts of interest. If the London-based European Medicines Agency is found to be guilty, it would undermine confidence in the pharmaceutical industry.

Man's body left in mortuary for decade

An inquiry has been launched after the body of a man who died in police custody turned up at a mortuary more than a decade after he was believed to have been buried. Christopher Alder, 37, a former paratrooper, choked to death while handcuffed in a police station. MORE

2.1 tonnes of cocaine seized in six months

Customs officers have seized more cocaine in the past six months than in the whole of the previous year. More than 2.1 tonnes of the drug was found between April and September, compared with two tonnes in 2010-11. The biggest haul of 1.2 tonnes, from a yacht a Southampton, was worth £300m.

Carlos the Jackal bomb trial begins

"Carlos the Jackal" will go on trial in Paris today for his alleged role in organising four bombings in France in 1982 and 1983, including an explosion aboard an express train in which five people died. MORE

Police arrest 3,000 suspected rioters

More than 3,000 suspected rioters have been arrested by police investigating the riots in London in August. So far, 1,809 people have been brought before the courts, with 618 sentenced and 255 jailed – some 1,058 cases are ongoing. Officers from Operation Withern continue to gather evidence.

Cain's ratings dip after sex claims

Herman Cain, the pizza mogul and would-be US president, looked in danger of becoming the latest shooting star of the Republican field to fall back to earth, as a poll yesterday showed his inept response to sexual harassment claims had dented his credibility with potential voters. The percentage of Republicans who view Mr Cain favourably has dropped by the 9 percentage points. MORE

Floods death toll passes 500

The death toll from Thailand's worst floods in half a century climbed past 500 yesterday, as advancing pools of polluted, black water threatened Bangkok's subway system and new evacuations were ordered in the sprawling capital. Relentless rainfall has swamped vast areas of Thailand since late July. MORE

Suicide bombers kill seven at mosque

Two suicide bombers yesterday targeted a mosque in Afghanistan, where worshippers had gathered to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. The attack in Old Baghlan city, which killed seven people and injured at least 18 others, raises questions over the ability of Afghan forces to tackle violence on their own.

Jackson jury considers verdict

The jury has spent the weekend mulling evidence from the trial of Dr Conrad Murray, accused of the involuntary manslaughter of the singer Michael Jackson in 2009. Their failure to issue an immediate verdict suggests they are making sure to dot i's and cross t's, or, for now, they are divided. MORE

Lion was never on the loose

A helicopter was scrambled and passengers were stopped from leaving a train yesterday after West Yorkshire Police received a call from a woman who thought she had seen a lion in the village of Shepley near Huddersfield. But after nearly two hours, police ended the search as officers failed to find any big cats.

Wayne crowned Scrabble champion

Financial adviser Wayne Kelly celebrated with a night on the tiles yesterday after being crowned the national Scrabble champion. Words that helped Kelly, 37, from Warrington, to secure victory included "travails", which scored him 74 points, and "caromel" – meaning to turn into caramel and worth 69 points. MORE

Lehman's 50 cent share worth £20,600

A certificate for a 50 cent share in Lehman Brothers fetched €24,000 (£20,600) at an auction in Germany on Saturday. The share was the first to be issued by the merchant bank, which collapsed in 2008 sparking the financial crisis, and used to hang over the chief executive's desk. The identity of the buyer has not been released.

Helmetless stars may get film fined

The Spanish distributor of the film Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, faces a €30,000 (£25,700) fine from the country's traffic department because its promotional poster shows the actors riding a scooter while not wearing helmets. The lack of protective headgear was criticised for "promoting reckless driving". MORE