The News Matrix: Saturday 19 November 2011


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Earth is getting hotter and wetter

Heatwaves will be longer, hotter and more frequent, and rainfall will be heavier during the 21st century because of global warming, a UN report on extremes of climate said yesterday. Tidal surges are also likely to be made worse by sea-level rise, the study warned. MORE

Pornography probe over nude Ai photo

The assistant of outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is being investigated by police for allegedly spreading pornography online, the artist said yesterday. Zhao Zhao was called in for questioning over a nude photo he took of Mr Ai and four women, the artist said. MORE

UK opens talks with opposition in Paris

Britain has formally opened talks with the Syrian opposition movement as international pressure continues to mount against the beleaguered regime of Bashar al-Assad. Frances Guy, a former ambassador to Beirut, met members of the exiled opposition in Paris yesterday. MORE

Huge crowds gather for Islamist-led rally

Tens of thousands returned to Tahrir Square for a rally with Islamists at the forefront to protest against what they say are attempts by the country's military rulers to designate themselves as the guardians of a new Egypt. It was one of the largest rallies in recent months. MORE

Two Met officers probed over gun

Two Scotland Yard officers are being investigated over their response to a firearms offence in the run-up to the shooting of Mark Duggan, which sparked the summer's riots. The pair were asked to look at an assault involving the gun allegedly found at the scene of Duggan's shooting.

Soldiers died trying to rescue comrade

Two soldiers were killed trying to rescue an injured colleague in Afghanistan, an inquest heard yesterday. Cpl Matthew Stenton, 23, of the Royal Dragoon Guards, and L Cpl Stephen Monkhouse, 28, of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, were awarded Military Crosses for their bravery.

Captain admits lying over Wood's death

A yacht captain has admitted lying to police about the death of actress Natalie Wood, above, 30 years ago. He blames her then-husband, Hart to Hart star Robert Wagner, for her drowning off Southern California. Detectives reopened an inquiry into her death on Thursday. MORE

Tories bid to scupper same-sex unions

Conservative peers are attempting to scupper plans to allow same-sex couples to hold civil partnerships in churches. Tory peers say that the new law would not properly protect faith groups from being "compelled" to register civil partnerships against their beliefs.

Sentencing put off as judge knew witness

Lecturer Brian Dodgeon, who admitted possessing Class A drugs at his home where a schoolgirl died, could not be sentenced as the judge at Isleworth Crown Court in west London knew one of his character witnesses. The case will be passed to another judge for sentencing on 2 December.

Suu Kyi poised to stand in elections

The party of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has decided to register legally so it can take part in future elections. It signals the party's confidence in recent political reforms by the military-aligned government that took power in the November 2010 election. MORE

Teacher training applications fall 30%

Applications for teacher training courses have fallen by almost 30 per cent, according to official figures. Modern foreign languages, chemistry and English are among the subjects worst hit – despite the Government's promise of bursaries from 2012 for science and language teachers.

Johnny Vaughan quits Capital show

Breakfast show host Johnny Vaughan is to leave 95.8 Capital FM after almost eight years. Vaughan, a former host of TV's Big Breakfast, is leaving immediately. Co-host Lisa Snowdon will carry on with a temporary replacement.

Portugal rejects US bid to extradite killer

A Portuguese court rejected a US request to extradite a US-born murderer and alleged hijacker, who was arrested in Lisbon in September after 41 years on the run, his lawyer said. Convicted in 1963 for murdering a gas station owner, George Wright escaped from jail in the US in 1970.

Speed of light exam passes the first test

An experiment showing it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light has passed a serious test. Scientists have excluded one of the sources of error that could have led to a mistake when they announced in September that a beam of sub-atomic particles had travelled faster than light. MORE

Watchdog warns of toys' hidden dangers

A Power Rangers "samurai mega blade" and a Godzilla figure with dagger-like attachments are some of the most dangerous toys lurking in stores this holiday season, according the Boston-based World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH), a consumer watchdog group.

Man set up drugs deal with police

Text messages mistakenly sent to a Nebraska state trooper led to the arrest of a 23-year-old man on marijuana possession and other drug charges. The trooper started getting text messages last week from a person who was looking to buy drugs and a meeting place was set up.

RSPCA swamped by 'wild' guinea-pigs

An animal rescue centre has been inundated with guinea pigs, including 50 from one home. The large influx at the RSPCA's Ashley Heath Centre, near Ringwood in Hampshire, came from an owner who had allowed the pets to run wild in their garden, leading to the unwanted breeding.

Man behind 'Danger Mouse' passes away

Mark Hall, co-founder of the studio behind the Danger Mouse cartoons, below, has died of cancer at the age of 74. Mr Hall, whose Cosgrove Hall animation company was behind such children's favourites as Jamie and the Magic Torch, Count Duckula and Chorlton and the Wheelies, died on Friday at home in Manchester. He first worked with his partner Brian Cosgrove in the late 1960s.