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The News Matrix: Saturday 1 June 2013


Arson suspected  at Hindu temple

Police are investigating a suspected arson attack on a Hindu temple in London. Officers were called by London Fire Brigade following reports of a fire at the Adhya Shakti Mataji Temple in Hillingdon after midnight on Tuesday. Traces of what is believed to be petrol were discovered.

Jailed ex-CIA officer critical of wardens

John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer jailed for revealing in 2008 the name of a covert agent in charge of the US’s Bush-era, enhanced interrogation programme, has claimed in a letter to lawyers that he is treated as “subhuman” at the Pennsylvania prison where he is held. MORE

‘Uphill struggle’ to get women on TV

The BBC’s new head of news faces an uphill struggle to get more women on TV. James Harding said he was “determined” to establish greater gender parity, but former governor Angela Sarkis has warned: “You will find sexism everywhere and the BBC is no different.” MORE

US warns Russia  not to arm Assad

The US and Germany warned Russia that arming President Assad’s forces could jeopardise efforts to bring Syria’s warring parties together for peace talks. The Secretary of State John Kerry said Russian plans to send an air defence system to Assad put Israel’s security at risk. MORE

Public backs police on anonymity plan

Almost two-thirds of the public  believe crime suspects should  remain anonymous at the point of  arrest, a survey has found. A  majority of people back controversial police plans to protect the  identity of criminal suspects until they are charged.  MORE

Chinese singer heads West

One of Asia’s biggest stars is releasing her first English-language album and hoping to win a big UK following. Karen Mok, who has 36 million followers on Chinese social network Weibo, performs a collection of  jazz standards on her new record, Somewhere I Belong. MORE

Muhammad cartoon pair lose appeal

Norway’s highest court has upheld guilty convictions against Mikael Davud and Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak for their part in the 2010 al-Qa’ida plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad. The Supreme Court quashed their appeals.

Ebook owners spurn second-hand shops

Britain’s second-hand bookshops are going out of business “at a frightening speed”, Matthew Haley, the head of books at Bonhams told an audience at the Hay Festival. He added that the ebook generation has little interest in the dusty pages of the past. He did admit to owning a Kindle.

Violence threatens to break up country

Officials in Iraq are growing increasingly concerned over a spike in violence that has revived fears of a return to widespread sectarian fighting. Authorities introduced a ban on many cars across Baghdad yesterday in an effort to thwart car bombings.

Sean Parker’s  $10m wedding

Sean Parker, dot-com buccaneer, renowned party guy and co-founder of Napster, is due to tie the knot today at his $10m wedding to singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas. The first president of Facebook was played by Justin Timberlake in the film The Social Network. MORE

Police arrest 25  anti-Putin protesters

Police detained about 25 opponents of President Vladimir Putin who tried to protest against restrictions on freedom of assembly, activists said. Police seized the opposition figure Eduard Limonov and supporters who attempted to demonstrate in Moscow without official permission.

Pupils given 14 days to study right book

English students at a school in Suffolk discovered they had been given the wrong book to study just two weeks before their A-level exam.  Pupils at Newmarket College had been studying Bram Stoker’s Dracula instead of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The school was recently described as “inadequate” by Ofsted.

Three killed by debris from blast

An explosion thought to have been caused by a faulty appliance ripped through a block of flats in an upmarket district of the capital, Manila, last night, punching a large hole in a wall. Chunks of concrete were sent flying on to the street below, killing three people in a passing delivery van.

Giant asteroid poses ‘no threat to Planet Earth’

The White House says an asteroid more than one and half miles long poses no threat to Earth. The rock called Asteroid 1998 QE2 was making its closest approach to us last night, but stayed 3.6 million miles away.

Caught by the seat of their pants

Two youths who robbed a Mansfield newsagent were caught because their underwear, visible over their low-slung jeans, was captured on CCTV. Reece Winfield, 18, and Corey Hobson, 17, still had the pants on when they were arrested two days later.

Heat wave  hits Lapland

People in northern Finland were swimming and paddling in rivers and lakes, enjoying the sun, as a rare heat wave hit Lapland; 30.5C in Utsjoki yesterday was the hottest May temperature since records began some 50 years ago.