The News Matrix: Saturday 11 May 2013


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The Independent Online

World’s police crack £29m cyber gang

A scam straight from the movies has been cracked by police across the world. Criminals made off with $45m (£29m) in a “cyber-crime” that involved raising debit card withdrawal limits. The ring’s leader was found dead next to an envelope containing $100,000. MORE

Accountant jailed over false returns

An accountant who helped cheat £1.2m in income tax and VAT from HMRC has been jailed for three years. Muhammed Butt, 36, of Edington, Birmingham, was convicted after returns he submitted on behalf on two companies were found to under-declare their profit by £1.8m.

Downloadable guns removed from web

The US State Department has ordered blueprints for a 3D-printed gun to be removed from the internet after they were downloaded more than 100,000 times. The plastic gun’s designer, Defense Distributed, was told that publishing the designs online may breach arms-control laws.

Met’s handling of the mentally-ill criticised

Police mistakes may have contributed to the deaths of dozens of mentally-ill people. The judgement came in a damning report released yesterday looking into 50 deaths that followed contact with the Metropolitan Police. It found systematic failures and  “discriminatory attitudes”. MORE

Patriarch targeted  in alleged death plot

Officials in Istanbul are investigating an alleged plot to assassinate Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians. The patriarch reportedly learned of the alleged plot from Turkish media. It was later confirmed by Turkish police.

Des Lynam reveals he voted for UKIP

UKIP is celebrating a fresh celebrity endorsement, after TV presenter Des Lynam revealed he voted for the party in last week’s council elections. Lynam, who lives in West Sussex, said he was “delighted” to pledge his support to UKIP: “I feel they have something to offer the country as a whole.”

Minister calls for army on West Bank

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett has called for more military activity in the West Bank to improve security for Israeli settlers. Mr Bennett, whose Jewish Home party finished third in January’s general election, said his plan would deal with the “significant downturn in security”.

Martin resists attack on second intruder

Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who spent three years in jail for shooting dead a burglar in 1999, has confronted another intruder. The man was allegedly trying to steal batteries from a shed on his Wisbech farm. Martin said: “If I had wanted to fight him off, I could have.” MORE

Security agency has to release spy book

The National Security Agency has been forced to release to the public a book it produced to help its cyber spies uncover intelligence on the web. Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research includes a chapter on Google hacking, and instructions on how to find sensitive information online.

Polls open in general election

Pakistanis today head to the polls. Former cricketer Imran Khan is a candidate in an election defined by power cuts and terrorism, prospective voters told i. Former PM Nawaz Sharif has made restoring electricity central to his campaign, while US withdrawal from Afghanistan looms. MORE

Council hopes for vibrant Princes St

One of Edinburgh’s most famous streets is set for a drastic transformation, with plans to grant licenses to bars and restaurants for the first time. A quarter of the units on Princes Street may make the switch from retail, with councillors hoping it will foster a vibrant café culture. MORE

Carbon dioxide highest on record

US researchers in Hawaii say the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has passed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. The Keeling Lab took a measurement of 400.03 on top of Mauna Loa volcano. The last time CO2 was regularly above 400ppm was about 3-5 million years ago.  MORE

Hoarding couple guilty of child cruelty

Possibly the first conviction for hoarding has been handed down at the Old Bailey. A Bedfordshire couple were given suspended prison sentences for child cruelty. Social workers reported that, among other things, their children ate on the stairs because the kitchen was so cluttered.

‘Warning photos’ of former fattest man

A former “world’s fattest man” has released naked photographs of his body as a warning to others to avoid becoming obese. Paul Mason of Ipswich once weighed 70 stone. He now weighs about 24 stone and is waiting for about eight stone of loose excess skin to be surgically removed.

A large fortune in nickels and dimes

Rare coins including two 1913 Liberty Head nickels worth more than $5m (£3.25m) have gone on display at a show in New Orleans. Other highlights include an example of the first coin authorised by George Washington – a 1792 half disme, an early spelling of the word dime.

Factory fire ends county cricket game

A cricket match between Derbyshire and Lancashire was called off yesterday after fire broke out at a disused Thorntons factory in Belper, sending smoke into the air as the building exploded. Emergency services said people who had been inside the building were all accounted for.

Passengers safe after door opens mid-flight

A plane from Aberdeen to the Shetland Isles had to make an emergency landing after a cargo door opened mid-flight, leading to a loss of cabin pressure and the plane slowing alarmingly. The 17 passengers and three crew on board the Flybe plane all disembarked in Orkney safely.

Ring of fire over the outback

Astronomy enthusiasts across the Australian outback were treated to a “ring of fire” eclipse when the moon glided between the Earth and the Sun, blocking all but a dazzling circle of light in a solar eclipse. It was the second visible from northern Australia in six months. In November, there was a total solar eclipse.