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The News Matrix: Saturday 1 February 2014


Jury discharged in trial of Briscoe

The jury in the trial of judge Constance Briscoe, charged with lying to police over the Chris Huhne speeding points case, has failed to reach a verdict. Ms Briscoe, 56, from Clapham, south-west London, denies perverting the course of justice. MORE

Thousands sent home after scare

A radiation scare at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria saw 8,000 workers sent home yesterday. Following rumours that highly dangerous alpha radiation was leaking from the nuclear-reprocessing plant, the high levels turned out to be of natural origin. MORE

President signs amnesty law

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed an amnesty law for protesters detained during anti-government unrest. Mr Yanukovych’s latest concession was rejected by protesters, due to the demand they must leave occupied municipal buildings. MORE

One in three payday loans repaid late

Fewer than two-thirds of payday loans are fully paid back early or on time. The findings from the Competition Commission follow an industry-wide inquiry prompted by reports of “deep-rooted” problems. The report criticised the “prevalent” practice of rolling over loans.

Barrier Reef at risk from dump

A plan to dump vast amounts of sediment inside Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as part of a coal port expansion was approved yesterday. Activists said the move would imperil one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems.

Sollecito held at border by police

Raffaele Sollecito has been forced to surrender his passport to police after reportedly crossing the border to Austria. Italian police said that the 29-year-old former boyfriend of Amanda Knox, 26, was picked up in the village of Venzone, close to the Austrian border. MORE

Rogue driver gets 11 years

A man who carried a petrol station manager on his bonnet for half a mile after driving off without paying his £39 bill, has been jailed for 11 years. Joshua Charnley, 19, caused Lekshmanan Asokkumar, 58, multiple skull fractures.

43 killed in rampage of anti-Muslim gangs

At least 43 people were killed as the capital Bangui was rocked by “unprecedented levels of violence” this week. Marauding gangs with machetes hacked to death one man as French peacekeepers awaited instructions from their base, officials said. MORE

Call for new approach to sex workers

The mother of a woman murdered by a man thought to be inspired by Jack the Ripper is campaigning for an overhaul of the way prostitution is policed. She is calling for the adoption of the Merseyside model, which uses intermediaries to help sex workers report violent customers. MORE

Lingerie model shows 60 is still sexy

American Apparel has been praised for featuring a 62-year-old lingerie model. An image of Jacky O’Shaughnessy, wearing only a lace bra and underwear, was posted on the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages accompanied with the tagline “sexy has no expiration date”. MORE

Powder scare at Super Bowl site

The FBI and police are investigating a suspicious white powder posted to at least five New Jersey hotels near the site of tomorrow’s Super Bowl  between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.

Man questioned over cat video

A video showing a man throwing a cat against a block of flats has been removed from YouTube after a flurry of complaints. A petition signed by some 40,000 people was sent to France’s justice minister, and a man, 24, has now been questioned by police in Marseille.

A chance to discover some no-hit wonders

Forgotify, a new online music service, plays only never-listened-to-before songs from Spotify, the streaming service. Spotify has more than 20 million songs in its library, and the founders of Forgotify said it was “a musical travesty” that four million tracks went unheard.

New York ‘declares war’ on mute swans

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has “declared war” on mute swans. The breed, brought to the US in the 1800s, are said to have destroyed the habitats of native fowl, and attacked humans. The body plans to eliminate virtually all of the state’s 2,200 swans by 2025.

‘Back To The Future’ again in West End

A stage adaptation of Back to the Future is set to open in the West End in 2015. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creative team behind the 1985 film, have been signed up to adapt the hit to mark its 30th anniversary. The idea has received the backing of Michael J Fox. MORE