The News Matrix: Saturday 16 June 2012


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The Independent Online

Brown says records support his version

Gordon Brown has claimed that Cabinet Office records back up his claim that he never threatened to declare "war" on Rupert Murdoch's News Corp during a phone call. Mr Murdoch claimed the call took place within days of The Sun switching support to David Cameron. MORE

Sage of Omaha fires boss over cruise

Warren Buffett, the mild-mannered investment manager, reportedly acted swiftly to replace one of his CEOs after the boss of a paint firm decided to take a Bermudan cruise at the company's expense to celebrate a small profit, despite years of wage freezes and redundancies. MORE

Final sarin gas attack suspect is arrested

The final member of a cult that carried out a sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo underground in 1995 was arrested by Japanese police yesterday. Katsuya Takahashi had spent some of his 17 years on the run working on construction sites. The gas attack killed 13 people. MORE

Police show 'forest boy' to be a fraud

German police have solved the mystery of the English-speaking "forest boy" who wandered into Berlin saying his name was Ray and he had lived in the woods for five years. Police said an ex-girlfriend identified him as a 20-year-old from the Netherlands who went missing last September. MORE

Trade show takes autism mainstream

An unlikely trade exhibition to show that autistic people can shine in all areas of life is under way at London's ExCel centre. More than 90 exhibitors are showing their wares, from specialist toymakers to care providers, and an adviser to Barack Obama will give a speech. MORE

Court ruling 'is a threat to democracy'

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood warned that a court ruling to dissolve the Islamist-led parliament and let Hosni Mubarak's former Prime Minister run for president could reverse the gains of the revolution and leave power firmly in the hands of the army. MORE

Lindsay Lohan found unconscious in hotel

Actress Lindsay Lohan, who has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction during her career, was taken to hospital yesterday after being found unconscious in the penthouse of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Los Angeles. Lohan, 25, is filming a television biopic of Elizabeth Taylor.

Europe looks on as nation goes to polls

Greece, the eurozone and the rest of the world began the nervous wait for tomorrow's general election, which could not only signal the end of Athens' membership of the single currency, but of its existence. A win for the Syriza party could lead to a break-up within weeks. MORE

Schools 'can't solve all society's failings'

Schools should not be expected to plug all the gaps left by society's failings, Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said. He announced that Ofsted is to launch a review looking at the issues facing deprived communities and the best ways to boost achievement in these areas. MORE

PIP implants removed on NHS

Almost 750 women are to have faulty breast implants removed on the NHS in the wake of the Poly Implant Prothèse scandal. The implants were filled with non-medical grade silicone. Some 490 women who had implants put in by private doctors are also to have them removed. MORE

Watchdog alarmed by rogue operators

About 80 rogue companies which raked in more than £28m by preying on vulnerable elderly customers could be just the tip of the iceberg, the Insolvency Service has warned. The watchdog said one in ten firms it had shut down in the past three years had tricked people out of cash.

Coca-Cola fizzes in as sanctions are eased

The Coca-Cola Co. plans to start selling drinks in Burma for the first time in 60 years, following the US decision to suspend sanctions in the wake of democratic reforms. Burma is one of three countries where Coca-Cola does not trade. The others are Cuba and North Korea. MORE

Second soldier killed in Afghanistan

A second soldier has been killed in Afghanistan this week. The soldier from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment was killed in Helmand. The Ministry of Defence named a soldier killed on Wednesday as Lance Corporal James Ashworth from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

Plan B remembers his troubled roots

Plan B has returned to the pupil referral unit he was sent to after being expelled from school, to help troubled teenagers stage a performance at a London festival. The musician has spent six weeks preparing the group to take the stage in front of a crowd of 50,000. MORE

Problems for Portas down by the seaside

Mary Portas, the Government's high-street tsar, has hit trouble in the seaside town she is seeking to renovate. Margate was given a £100,000 grant to revive its flagging high street, but the Channel 4 film crew following her every step of the way is looking to impose draconian "gagging" terms on local business owners. MORE

Killer who didn't forgive school prank

A 73-year-old U.S. man has been sentenced to life for shooting a former classmate over a school prank more than five decades ago, when Norman Johnson put a jockstrap over Carl Ericsson's face. Ericsson harboured a grudge until January when he shot his former classmate... in the face.

Scherzinger excited by X Factor challenge

Former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger has joined Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos on The X Factor's judging panel. The singer, whose contract for the US version was not renewed, said she was "so excited", adding: "I can't wait to see what talent the UK has to offer."

Gang arrested over fake Hermes bags

French police say they have smashed a sophisticated counterfeiting ring, arresting 12 people and recovering £14.5m in fake Hermes products. The arrests came after Hermes complained that its handbags and leather goods were being pirated. Fake goods cost French industry £4.75bn a year.

Lady Gaga 'offends' the national flag

Thailand's government has hit out at Lady Gaga for a second time in as many weeks by filing a complaint over the singer's "offensive" use of its national flag during her sellout concert last month. The Culture Ministry said her use of the flag with a provocative outfit was "inappropriate".

'Drive-by shooting' victim shot himself

Authorities say a man who claimed to be the victim of a drive-by shooting has confessed to shooting himself. Ray Dolin had said he was shot along a rural Montana highway, but Valley County undersheriff Vernon Buerkle said Dolin has now acknowledged that he shot himself.

Men gain 1.6 stone after birth of a child

Fathers gain more than a stone after their child is born, according to new research indicating women are not the only ones struggling with "baby weight". Figures suggest the average new father in Britain gains 1.6 stone as he struggles with the pressures of work and family life.

Hair straighteners put children at risk

A burns expert has warned of the dangers of hair straighteners after hundreds of children were injured by the devices. The hot metal plates used to shape the hair can leave children permanently scarred, even if just stepped on. One Bristol hospital has treated 110 children for burns. MORE

Crowds flock to 'John the Baptist' bones

Scientists have carbon dated six bones found in the ruins of a medieval church in Bulgaria to the first century AD, boosting Sofia's claim that they belong to John the Baptist. Thousands of worshippers have flocked to view the remains, untroubled by questions about their authenticity.