The News Matrix: Saturday 17 November 2012


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Zog, the last king, returned home

The body of Albania's last monarch, King Ahmet Zog, has returned home more than 50 years after he died in exile in France. Family members and officials welcomed the remains at Tirana's airport yesterday. Zog reigned from 1928 until 1939, when he fled the country. The communists abolished the monarchy in 1946.

Companies will have to hand over data

Consumers will finally be able to access the mass of information that companies hold about their buying habits under a new scheme. Energy and mobile phone companies, banks and credit card firms will have to provide the data to their customers when requested.

Tehran nearer to making weapons

Iran is poised to double output of higher-enriched uranium that can be turned easily into the core of a nuclear warhead, the UN nuclear agency says. The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is technically ready within days to ramp up its production.

Prescott fails in bid for policing role

Lord Prescott's bid to become the police commissioner for Humberside failed yesterday when he was beaten by Tory councillor Matthew Grove. The first ever police commissioner elections were derided as a "complete shambles" after only one in six adults bothered to vote. MORE

Ikea furniture made by Stasi prisoners

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has admitted to using East German political prisoners to make its goods for a period of three decades. The company sourced goods from the Stasi regime until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Ikea has expressed its "deep regret". MORE

Heroes' welcome for cleared generals

Tens of thousands of jubilant supporters gave two Croatian generals a heroes' welcome yesterday after a UN war crimes tribunal overturned their convictions for murdering Serb civilians in 1995. Neighbouring Serbia denounced the ruling as a scandalous injustice. MORE

Ash dieback disease found at five sites

The ash dieback epidemic has spread to Northern Ireland, with the disease confirmed at five sites. Chalara was identified in imported young saplings in Co Down and Co Antrim. Plantation owners have been ordered to destroy about 5,000 ash saplings.

War veterans die in freight train horror

Wounded US military veterans leapt for their lives just before a freight train struck their parade in rural Texas yesterday, killing four and injuring 16. About two dozen veterans and their wives were sitting on the parade float as it crossed in front of a Union Pacific locomotive.

Yacht in corpse and cocaine mystery

A corpse and 200kg of cocaine have been found on a yacht that ran aground on the island of Tonga. Australian Federal Police, who had been tracking the boat since August when it began heading for their country, say the drugs stuffed in the hull were worth around £75m. MORE

Vaccine approved for meningitis B

Meningitis B could be virtually eliminated after the first-ever vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency. The vaccine was shown to provide 73 per cent protection. The meningitis B strain accounts for almost nine out of ten cases of the disease in the UK. MORE

Labour sweeps to victory in Corby

Voters in the constituency formerly represented by Louise Mensch overwhelmingly backed Labour in yesterday's by-election. Andy Sawford captured Corby from the Tories with a majority of almost 8,000. The by-election was triggered by Mensch's surprise resignation. MORE

Petraeus: Benghazi attacks by 'terrorists'

The former CIA Director David Petraeus told the House of Representatives intelligence committee he and the spy agency had sought to make clear from the outset that "there were extremists in the group" that launched the attack on theUS diplomatic mission in Libya. MORE

Shafilea's sister gets 'mercy' sentence

The sister of "honour killing" victim Shafilea Ahmed has been given a suspended sentence over a robbery at her parents' house in what the judge called a "case for mercy". Alesha Ahmed's arrest ultimately led to the conviction of her parents for murdering Shafilea. MORE

Pelicans given a free flight

Two brown pelicans blown to Rhode Island by the winds of Superstorm Sandy will be flown in a private aircraft back to their natural habitat in Florida. The first of the large birds, whose wingspans measure about 2m, was found nine days after the storm made landfall in New Jersey.

Everybody was nun-fu fighting

A dozen kung fu nuns from an Asian Buddhist order displayed their martial arts prowess to bemused scientists at CERN, in Geneva, this week. Their spiritual leader, Gyalwang Drukpa, a monk who ranks only below the Dalai Lama, explained how their energy was like that of the cosmos.

Ex-pupil loses her claim over cut foot

A judge has thrown out a claim by a woman who needed five stitches when she cut her foot at school five year ago. Lord Justice Tomlinson said Emma Richards, who was hurt by a door at Langley Park School for Girls in Beckenham when she was 15, deserved sympathy but no damages.

Early Hitchcock film goes online

The earliest known surviving feature in which Alfred Hitchcock is credited has been released online. The recovered parts of 1924's The White Shadow, in which Hitchcock served as an assistant director, will be

Jerusalem writer attacks Asteroids

After writing the acclaimed play Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth was deluged with offers from both sides of the Atlantic. But instead of writing a Hollywood blockbuster, he has become the third writer to sign up for a film based on the Asteroids video game.