The News Matrix: Saturday 15 October 2011

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The Independent Online

Occupy LSX claims 5,000 will attend

Police will take “any steps necessary” to keep order today as demonstrators planning to occupy London’s financial district vowed to hold out for as long as they could in a protest against corporate greed. The Occupy LSX website claimed 5,000 people had said they would attend. MORE

Berlusconi narrowly wins confidence vote

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi kept his job yesterday after a crucial confidence vote, but financial analysts and critics were sceptical that it would resolve Italy’sworsening economic troubles. Mr Berlusconi’s conservatives won in a 316-301 vote in Parliament’s lower house. MORE

Youth electrocuted in cherry-picker

A 17-year-old youth has died after the cherry picker in which he was working apparently came into contact with overhead cables, an ambulance service said yesterday. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon, at a disused quarry in Shilton Lane, BrizeNorton, Oxfordshire.

Prison population has dropped

The prison population in England andWales has fallen for the first time in six weeks, figures showed today. The number of prisoners being held fell by 122, taking the total to 87,551, 1,370 short of the usable operational capacity, the Ministry of Justice said.

Gunfight erupts on Tripoli’s streets

A gun battle erupted yesterday between rebel forces and Gaddafi supporters in the heart of Tripoli, in the first street fighting in the capital since the dictator was ousted. Shooting began after a group of armed men tried to raise the green flag – the national flag during Gaddafi’s tenure.

Private schools win charity status case

Independent schools have won a concession over the interpretation of their charity status. The Independent Schools Council took legal action against the Charities Commission, saying it relied too heavily on how many bursaries a school was offering for the poor. MORE

Ex-warlord becomes kingmaker in Liberia

An ex-warlord has emerged as “kingmaker” after polling third in Liberian elections, raising the prospect the Nobel Peace prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – the incumbent hoping for a second term -- may be forced to recruit a man who was filmed drinking beer as his men cut the ears off ex-premier Samuel Doe. MORE

‘Spend a penny on Everest loos’ plea

An environmental group has asked the government to consider putting portable toilets on Mount Everest. Thousands of explorers setting off to tackle the mountain complain they are faced with an increase in human sewage, as well as the corpses of unsuccessful mountaineers.

Queen to get second great-grandchild

Peter Phillips, the Queen’s eldest grandson, and his wife Autumn are expecting their second child, Buckingham Palace confirmed last night. The baby is due in March and will be the Queen’s second great-grandchild. The couple already have a daughter, Savannah, 12th in line to the throne.

Analogue era will end in October 2012

The UK’s analogue TV era will end on 24 October 2012, it was announced yesterday. Eighty years from the first broadcasts, the old five-channel system will be switched off for good. The date will also signal the completion of digital television switchover which started in 2008, since when millions of viewers have seen extra channels and clearer pictures. MORE

You can be naked, but only after dark

An artist arrested for applying body paint to a nude model in Times Square, New York, will have charges against him dropped if his models strip naked only after dark. Andy Golub’s lawyer, Ronald Kuby, argued that New York laws do not prohibit public nudity in the name of art, and a court came up with the night-time compromise.

Barber carves ‘fool’ on customer’s head

A barber faces sentence after shaving the word “fool” in inch-high letters and a smiley face on the back of the head of a man who has severe learning difficulties, a court heard yesterday. Michael Campbell, 35, who has no formal hairdressing qualifications, was found guilty of common assault.

Swank: Chechen fee willgoto charity

After a week of pressure and criticism, the Oscar-winning US actress Hilary Swank has agreed to donate to charity the fee she received for eulogising Chechnya’s warlord leader. Swank was at a party in Grozny last week to mark Ramzan Kadyrov’s 35th birthday.

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