The News Matrix: Saturday 10 December 2011


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The Independent Online


Ian Brady to make appeal in public

Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer, will appear in court for the first time in years to argue for a move from a top security hospital so he can fulfil his wish to die in a mainstream prison. It will be only the second mental health tribunal ever to be held in public. MORE

Couple not guilty of killing baby son

A couple walked free from the Old Bailey yesterday after being cleared of killing their four-month-old son. A jury found Rohan Wray, 22, and Chana Al-Alas, 19, of Islington, north London, not guilty on the direction of the judge after prosecutors withdrew the charges.

Locals to keep story going for bookshop

A local community is helping to raise £20,000 to save a bookshop from closure after setting up a co-operative. The store in Clevedon, North Somerset, was threatened with closure because its owner is retiring after 14 years, but it is now set for a new chapter in its life.

Sinead O'Connor weds for fourth time

Sinead O'Connor has wed 38-year-old therapist Barry Herridge at a wedding chapel in Las Vegas. It was the "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer's fourth marriage. On her blog, O'Connor described the ceremony, which was held on Thursday, as "too glorious for words".

Haven't booked your bags? That's £100

Ryanair are to introduce a fee of £100 for passengers who check in bags at the airport without booking ahead. The fee will apply on all flights during the peak summer period and is intended to encourage passengers to travel light and use their free 10kg hand luggage allowance. MORE

Far-right party accused of hostility

German officials will launch a probe into whether the country's far-right National Democratic Party should be banned. Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said material is being gathered for a trial on the party's legality. It is accused of being hostile to democratic principles and anti-Semitic.

BBC puts the brakes on Jeremy Clarkson

The BBC has pulled tonight's episode of QI, which features Jeremy Clarkson, following the furore over his comments about striking public sector workers. The episode of the BBC2 quiz, hosted by Stephen Fry, was recorded earlier this year. It will be replaced by another new episode.

Taxman who signed off £10m deal retires

The controversial taxman who signed off a deal that saved Goldman Sachs, one of the world's richest banks, up to £10m in tax is to retire. Dave Hartnett, Permanent Secretary for Tax at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), will leave the civil service next summer, it was announced yesterday.

Bronze Age find in East Anglia

One of the most significant Bronze Age sites ever found in Britain has been discovered in East Anglia. Wooden boats, spears, swords and clothing were preserved in pristine condition after being buried in silt and peat along the old course of the river Nene in Whittlesey.

UN peace keepers hurt in bomb attack

A vehicle carrying United Nations peacekeepers in southern Lebanon was hit by roadside bomb yesterday, wounding five French soldiers and a Lebanese bystander. It was the third bombing this year targeting the international force, which patrols the southern border with Israel.

Soldier, 20, tortured and killed by Taliban

A young British soldier was executed by the Taliban in Afghanistan after leaving his checkpoint to find missing kit, an inquest heard yesterday. After being captured, Highlander Scott McLaren, 20, was tortured, shot five times in the head with an automatic rifle and had his body interfered with.

Blaze in hospital kills 89 patients

At least 89 people – mostly patients – died yesterday when fire swept through a Kolkata hospital in the middle of the night. The hospital's licence was revoked and the owners detained by police. Six hospital officials were charged with culpable homicide MORE

Deforestation 'may cause earthquakes'

Deforestation and extreme weather may later cause earthquakes and landslides, scientists believe. Their findings show cutting down trees on steep slopes may increase this risk in heavily deforested areas such as Haiti, which suffered a devastating magnitude 7 quake in 2010. MORE

Batman cartoonist draws his last breath

Jerry Robinson, a comic-book artist who was among the earliest Batman illustrators and was credited with creating sidekick Robin, has died aged 89.

Conviction thrown out over juror tweet

A court has thrown out a death row inmate's murder conviction and said he deserves a new trial after a juror "tweeted" during court proceedings. Erickson Dimas-Martinez was convicted of robbing and shooting a teenager after a party in Arizona in 2010. MORE

Protesters plan to hit Saturday shopping

The protest group UK Uncut plans to occupy high-street shops next Saturday – the busiest shopping day of the year – as part of its campaign against tax dodging, it was announced yesterday. The group said it will occupy Vodafone or TopShop stores on high streets across the UK. page 9

Missing investigator  'being held hostage'

The family of Robert Levinson, a US private investigator who went missing in Iran in 2007, has released a video which suggests he is alive and being held hostage. In the clip, former FBI agent Mr Levinson, 63, says: "Please help me." He had been investigating cigarette smuggling. MORE