The News Matrix: Saturday 19 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Six charged over sex trafficking claims

Six people have been charged after an Indian woman, 37, from Hyderabad was allegedly trafficked to Britain and subjected to a series of sex attacks, Scotland Yard said yesterday. The six, who include an optician and a supermarket manager, will appear in court next month.

UK a world leader in cyber crime

The UK has leapt up the world's cyber crime league table, and is now the seventh worst country for cyber attacks. Britain is responsible for 2.4 per cent of all hacking attempts worldwide, according to figures for the first three months of this year compiled by IT security firm the NCC Group.

Anger over invites to Jubilee lunch

There was controversy over the guest list for the Queen's Jubilee "Monarchs' Lunch" at Windsor Castle. Autocratic rulers from Bahrain and Swaziland were among attendees, but the Foreign Office said invitations were issued to all of the world's sovereigns. MORE

De Botton seeks the thinking man's porn

Philosopher Alain de Botton is to bring together leading figures from pornography and the arts to identify a "new pornography" which is ethical and "fit for thoughtful, good human beings", including children. His initiative is part of his School of Life movement, which offers advice on leading fulfilled lives.

President's guerrilla past leads to apology

The Rio de Janeiro state government has said it will apologise to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for the human rights abuses she suffered during the country's 1961-1985 dictatorship. Rousseff is a former leftist guerrilla who spent three years in prison during the dictatorship.

Qatada may be freed by end of the month

Abu Qatada could be freed on bail by the end of the month. The Jordanian, described as Osama bin Laden's top man in Europe, will have his bail application heard by an immigration judge on 28 May. The radical cleric is being held in a high security prison while he fights deportation to Jordan.

Island nation joins fight against piracy

Mauritius has agreed to prosecute Somali pirates, helping overcome one of the main hurdles in cracking down on the piracy that has hit international shipping. Mauritius has agreed with Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland to accept suspected pirates for prosecution and trial from June.

Warsi takes aim at 'minority' of men

The Muslim cabinet minister Baroness Warsi has hit out at the "small minority" of Pakistani men who see white girls as "fair game". In outspoken comments following the Rochdale grooming scandal, she urged Muslim community leaders to act to isolate such men.

Two protesters shot dead in Damascus

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad shot two protesters in the capital, Damascus, and fired in the air to break up demonstrations in Aleppo, activists said. It was the second consecutive day of street protests in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, visited by UN monitors on Thursday. MORE

Condemned killer fights for hip surgery

A condemned killer's fight to receive surgery for agonising hip pain has given Kentucky officials a headache. Robert Foley, 55, was convicted of killing six people between 1989 and 1991, and officials are struggling to justify spending thousands of dollars for surgery on a man they plan to execute.

Student fees to blow out national debt

Higher university fees could raise the national debt by up to £100bn over the next two decades, researchers say. Students at English universities are eligible for government-backed loans to cover fees of up to £9,000 a year, and the total debt will build up until sufficient repayments kick in.

Trayvon killer may have called for help

An FBI expert has found crucial evidence in the Trayvon Martin case was inconclusive, saying it was impossible to tell if the voice screaming for help belonged to the black Florida teenager or to George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watch captain who shot him. MORE

UN nuclear chief to sign deal on access

The UN nuclear agency chief will visit Tehran to sign a deal allowing his organisation to resume probing Iran's nuclear programme. The visit by Yukiya Amano will allow both sides to agree on access to sites, information and officials for the International Atomic Energy Agency investigation.

Fry and Laurie to reunite in ghost film

Stephen Fry and former comedy partner Hugh Laurie are to reunite in a new animated film based on The Canterville Ghost, a short story by Oscar Wilde. The actors, who met at Cambridge University, have collaborated on numerous shows including Jeeves and Wooster and A Bit of Fry and Laurie.

UN 'did not want to embarrass dictators'

Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed the UN barred him from shooting footage for his film The Dictator in its New York headquarters. He told the UN: "This is a pro-democracy movie". But the organisation claimed filming was problematic, as it represents "a lot of dictators". MORE

Monmouth signs up to be first 'Wiki' town

Monmouth in South Wales is to be the world's first "Wikipedia town" in a collaboration with the web's most popular encyclopaedia. The Monmouthpedia aims to cover all aspects of local life, including people, places and wildlife. Wikimedia UK, its charity arm, said it will be the first of many such projects.

Italian Proms kingis back for more

An Italian man who has attended every single Proms season for the past half century has told i that the BBC and the Royal Albert Hall are his "real family". Giancarlo Stoppini, who lives near Milan, has secured tickets for 55 of this year's BBC Proms. MORE

Bust-up rumoured as Van Halen delay tour

Van Halen's fractious history of bust-ups seemed to continue yesterday with the postponement of more than 30 concert dates in the band's US summer tour. Rolling Stone magazine reported that a source with knowledge of the tour said: "The band is arguing like mad. They are fighting."

Country singer is not getting any younger

The Associated Press has discovered documents that show country-music legend Loretta Lynn is three years older than she has led people to believe. The documents show Lynn is 80, not 77. The new age calls into question the story she told in her autobiography that she was married at just 13.

Templates the trick to Green's shoe line 

Sir Philip Green's daughter has spoken of the creative process behind designing her new Topshop shoe collection. "My girlfriends and I sat and spoke about shoes," said Chloe Green. "Everything kind of started from there." But she admitted recently to simply colouring in templates. MORE

Ladyboy brightens up Brighton contest

A Thai competitor who sailed through the early rounds of Brighton's Next Hot Model has revealed that she's actually a man. Thai ladyboy Angkookrat Warangnam, 26, had wowed the judges with her looks. An organiser said that "nobody twigged".

Zoo has first jaguar cubs for 30 years

San Diego Zoo in California has unveiled its first newborn jaguar cubs in 30 years. The cubs, born three weeks ago, weigh around 5lbs each. The word "jaguar" derives from the South American native term "yaguara", meaning "animal that kills in a single bound".

Football brings clash of cultures to Munich

As Bayern Munich host Chelsea this evening in the Champions League final, the two cultures they represent could not be more different. Munich, a city of sturdy workers and sausage-based cuisine, could be overwhelmed by the sight of so many wealthy, fashion-conscious Londoners. MORE