The News Matrix: Saturday 11 February 2012


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Cool it, UN chief tells UK and Argentina

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed to the UK and Argentina yesterday not to let tensions over the Falklands escalate after the Argentinean foreign minister complained to the UN over the UK's "militarisation" of the islands in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war.

Santorum level with Romney in poll race

With polls showing him surging in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Santorum, the conservative former senator from Pennsylvania, challenged the party yesterday to pick him over Mitt Romney because he was someone they could "get excited about". MORE

Damilola killer back in jail after 16 days

One of Damilola Taylor's killers has been jailed just 16 days after being released. Ricky Preddie, who was sentenced to eight years in 2006 for the schoolboy's manslaughter, breached the terms of his licence. It is the second time he has been recalled to prison. MORE

Athens turmoil over austerity backlash

Athens was rocked by another day of demonstrations and political fallout yesterday as it continues to fail to get its finances in order The situation took a dramatic turn as scores of politicians rejected a new round of austerity measures imposed by international backers. MORE

Space engineer jailed over leak to CIA

A Russian who worked as an engineer at a space station was sentenced to 13 years in prison yesterday after being convicted of leaking secret information to the CIA on Moscow's ballistic missile testing. The conviction comes amid growing tension in US-Russian relations. MORE

Armed police seal off central Glasgow

Armed police sealed off a large part of Glasgow city centre yesterday as they negotiated with a man inside an Italian restaurant. Officers were called to the siege at Amarone, on Nelson Mandela Place, at around 3.30pm. Police said it appeared the man was alone in the building.

Christians say they're 'pushed to margins'

Christian campaigners complained they have been "pushed to the margins" of society after two court rulings with implications for the faith's role. A judge said saying prayers before council meetings was illegal, and the couple who refused to allow a gay couple into their bed & breakfast lost an appeal to overturn a £3,600 fine. MORE

Trump tells Salmond to scrap wind farm

Donald Trump has demanded that Alex Salmond cancel plans to build an offshore wind farm in Aberdeen Bay, close to the billionaire's new £750m golf course. In a letter to Scotland's First Minister, Mr Trump said "the reckless installation" would be the most damaging event in Scottish history. MORE

Shipping halted as Danube freezes

The "Blue Danube", celebrated by Johann Strauss in a waltz of the same name, looked like the Arctic yesterday, covered in a carpet of ice stretching for hundreds of miles as Europe's big freeze continued. Shipping ground to a halt, hitting economies across the EU. MORE

Island grinds to a halt as petrol runs out

The tiny, isolated Norfolk Island, an Australian territory in the Pacific Ocean, has ground to a halt after running out of petrol. Islanders rely on supplies by ship but it has been delayed due to bad weather. MORE

New leader is dead...  or maybe abdicated

Social media was abuzz with rumours of the death of North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un yesterday. Someone on the Chinese site Weibo posted that he'd been assassinated in Beijing. Others claimed he had abdicated and was on the run. The rumours remain unsubstantiated.

Council seeks to make spitting illegal

Councillors are seeking Government approval to make spitting illegal in Enfield. The north London council want Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to approve fixed penalty notices of £80 for those caught spitting, and fines of up to £5,000 for anyone refusing to pay. MORE

Palin gives away 100 free copies of book

The writing career of Bristol Palin, below, daughter of ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin, appears to have fallen on desperate times after she posted an advert offering 100 free copies of her memoir, Not Afraid Of Life – My Journey So Far, to people who join her at a book-signing today in Washington DC.