The News Matrix: Saturday 15 December 2012


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The Independent Online

Boyle agrees to fund anti-MI6 legal action

The £50,000 compensation won by comedian Frankie Boyle in a recent libel case against the Daily Mirror will go towards helping Britain's last inmate at Guantanamo Bay sue MI6. Shaker Aamer is taking action against the security service over accusations it defamed him. MORE

Weapons in Burma originated in India

The Swedish-made weapons used by Burmese troops against rebels had originally been sold to the Indian government, officials in Sweden confirmed. One of the weapons was part of a shipment of arms sold to India in 2003. The Indian embassy in Stockholm is said to be co-operating with the inquiry. MORE

Trapped dog honks car horn to get help

A dog trapped with other pets in a truck for several days managed to alert police in Canada by honking the vehicle's horn. The muzzled dog – along with two other dogs and two cats – were left without proper care in the parked truck. Two people have been charged with cruelty to animals.

Casablanca piano fetches £370,000

The piano used for the song As Times Goes By in the classic 1942 film Casablanca has fetched just over $600,000 (£370,000) at auction, but failed to meet its pre-sale estimate of up to $1.2m (£750,000). The 58-key upright was sold to an unidentified buyer at Sotheby's in New York.

Premier says arrest was a political plot

The Premier of the Cayman Islands has criticised Britain while rejecting calls to resign over his arrest on suspicion of corruption. McKeeva Bush described Governor Duncan Taylor, the Queen's representative, as his "enemy". He implied his arrest was orchestrated by Mr Taylor and others.

UK police smash CD smuggling ring

More than one tonne of fake music CDs was seized at Manchester Airport when police smashed a massive smuggling operation. The consignment, thought to be the largest haul ever found in the UK, included illegal copies of Taylor Swift and Rolling Stones albums. 

Expenses scandal MP is spared jail

Margaret Moran, the Labour MP who fiddled over £53,000 in expenses, was spared jail yesterday. The 57-year-old, who was said to be "severely ill", was given a two-year supervision order. Mr Justice Saunders admitted the sentence could lead to people thinking she had "got away with it". Page 7

Kenneth Kendall dies at 88 after stroke

Kenneth Kendall, the BBC's first television newsreader, has died at the age of 88. He suffered a stroke a few weeks ago and died in hospital in Newport on the Isle of Wight. He joined the corporation as a radio announcer in 1948, and first appeared on BBC TV in 1955. MORE

UN optimistic on deal on inspections

The United Nations nuclear agency expects to reach a deal with Iran next month enabling it to investigate whether the Islamic state has carried out atomic bomb research, the chief UN inspector, Herman Nackaerts, said after returning from Tehran. He said progress had been made.

Terror group accused of railway bomb plot

German prosecutors believe a radical Islamic terrorist group was behind an attempted bombing at a rail station in Bonn. The device was found last Monday and defused. It contained gas cartridges, a metal pipe containing chemicals, batteries and an alarm clock.

Parents warned of 'toxic' face paint sets

Thousands of children's £1 face paint sets containing high levels of lead have been sold to UK shops, parents are warned. They were imported by a UK firm – since fined £14,000 – from a factory in China. So far only 324 sets have been returned despite a product-recall by Trading Standards.

Cameron: 'We must arm Syrian rebels'

Countries in the European Union must agree to arm the Syrian rebels trying to topple President Assad's regime, David Cameron will tell leaders tomorrow. Mr Cameron told the EU summit in Brussels that a "desperate crisis" is happening "on our watch". MORE

Charities back Clegg drugs review

Charities have backed the Deputy Prime Minister's call for a Royal Commission to review Britain's laws on drugs, making decriminalisation a more realistic prospect. Nick Clegg warned the Government had missed an opportunity by not ordering a fresh look at the legislation. MORE

Nurse 'told she wasn't to blame after hoax'

The Bristol nurse found dead after being duped by two Australian radio DJs was reassured several times by senior management after the hoax, the head of King Edward VII's Hospital has said. John Lofthouse said no one blamed Jacintha Saldanha after the "cruel trick".

Vandals set fire to Christmas goat

Vandals have burned down a giant straw goat meant to symbolise Christmas spirit. The 13m-high figure weighing 3.6 tons was torched by three assailants in Gavle, 90 miles north of Stockholm. Vandals have attacked the goat 26 times in 46 years.

Survey shows rise in rate of savings

Britons appear to be saving more after figures yesterday showed the amount of money put aside increased for the second successive quarter. An NS&I survey said the average person saved 7.3 per cent or £90 of their monthly income, up from £87 in July.

Ex-policeman aided killing of Putin critic

A former policeman has been jailed for 11 years for his role in the 2006 killing of Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov tracked Politkovskaya's movements and gave the killer the gun used to kill her in Moscow.

2014 Tour de France to start in Leeds

The 2014 Tour de France will begin in Leeds. Cycling's most prestigious competition will head through Yorkshire on 5 and 6 July before moving south for a third stage, which finishes in London. The race last visited the UK in 2007, attracting two million spectators.