The News Matrix: Saturday 25 February 2012


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Pub wins legal battle to show football

A pub landlady has won a legal battle to overturn her conviction for using foreign decoders to show Premier League football matches. The ruling threatens to undermine exclusive agreements between the Premier League and BSkyB and ESPN for broadcasting matches. MORE

UN watchdog fears weapons programme

The UN nuclear watchdog has said that it continues to have serious concerns there are military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme, in a report leaked yesterday. Iran has rapidly ramped up production of enriched uranium over the last four months, the IAEA said.

Warning after attack on Asian takeaways

Police have warned of "robust" action for anyone seeking to "take advantage" of racial tensions in a town where Asian takeaways were attacked. Officers were hit with bricks in Rochdale on Thursday night. The disturbance has been linked to a trial in Liverpool of an Asian gang. MORE

Man admits starting furniture store fire

A man has admitted starting a massive fire which destroyed a family-run furniture shop during the riots in London last year. Gordon Thompson, 33, of Croydon, south London, pleaded guilty to arson and being reckless as to whether life was endangered at House of Reeves in Croydon. MORE

Spelman's son loses privacy court bid

The High Court has refused to continue a privacy injunction won by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman's 17-year-old son Jonathan, preventing the publication of personal details by a newspaper. The order will continue until 4pm next Friday to let him challenge the ruling. MORE

Boy, 9, charged with shooting girl, 8

A nine-year-old boy has been charged with shooting a pupil in a primary school. Police in Bremerton, near Seattle, said the boy had put his backpack on his desk and a gun inside had accidentally discharged. The bullet hit Amina Kocer-Bowman, eight, who is in a critical condition. MORE

Gillard leads as Rudd officially joins race

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is ahead of rival Kevin Rudd by a margin of two-to-one, according to the latest polls ahead of a leadership ballot on Monday. Mr Rudd threw his hat in the ring yesterday, but in reality he has been campaigning since he resigned as Foreign Minister on Wednesday.

Watchdog will look into payday lending

Payday lenders are to be investigated by the consumer watchdog amid fears they are preying on the vulnerable. The Office of Fair Trading will carry out spot checks of 50 major lenders and look into concerns that people are being given loans without proper checks. MORE

Founder Harrison steps down from A4e

The Prime Minister's former "family champion", Emma Harrison, has announced that she is stepping down as the head of her welfare-to-work firm A4e. Ms Harrison said she was leaving as she did not want the "continuing media focus" on her to be a "distraction" for the company. MORE

Man cleared of killing wife on honeymoon

Gabe Watson has been acquitted of the murder of his wife Tina on a honeymoon scuba diving trip to Australia by a court in Birmingham, Alabama. A judge halted the trial due to lack of evidence to prove Watson, 34, intentionally drowned his wife to claim a life insurance policy.

Lib Dem chief wishes NHS bill was dead

The Government's health reforms suffered a new setback yesterday when Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron said his party should have killed them off last year. He said that the health bill should have been "dropped" or "massively changed" at an earlier stage. MORE

Lucan's watch is a clue he fled to Africa

A watch thought to have belonged to missing Lord Lucan is further proof he fled to Africa after his children's nanny was murdered in 1974, says an antiques dealer. Cedrick Lincoln, 58, from Tamworth, Staffs, said he paid £5,000 for the watch last week to a dealer who bought it in South Africa.

Jeb Bush lambasts GOP contenders

Jeb Bush, seen by some as a Republican candidate-in-waiting for the 2016 presidential season, has abandoned party decorum to lament this year's contenders, whom he likened to a "circular firing squad" scaring away independent voters with right-wing rhetoric that plays on their fears. MORE

Smugglers hid drug stash in bag with fish

Two men have been jailed for trying to smuggle cocaine from Colombia to Nottingham in bags of tropical fish. Olaf Urlik, 33, and Norbert Jarzabek, 32, were jailed to 11 years after admitting conspiracy to import Class A drugs. The cocaine was dissolved in bags within bags holding the fish.

Battersea power station goes on sale

Battersea power station, in south London, is to go on sale for the first time. It has been vacant since 1983, but permission for a £5bn redevelopment was secured last year. It is hoped that restoring the building will create 25,000 jobs and 16,000 homes.

UK paparazzi rile survivor's nurses

Swedish hospital staff have accused the British paparazzi of behaving "outrageously" in their hunt for an exclusive photograph of a 44-year-old man who survived weeks without food in his snowbound car at temperatures as low as -30C. MORE

Jewish anger at Anne Frank baptism

Anne Frank, one of the worlds most famous victims of the Holocaust, has been posthumously baptised by the Mormon Church, it is claimed. Angry Jewish leaders said the church had agreed to stop baptising Holocaust victims. Mormons believe baptism allows deceased people a way to the afterlife.

The 'God particle' professor gets award

Physicist Peter Higgs has been honoured by the city which he has called home for half a century. Professor Higgs, 82, emeritus professor of physics at Edinburgh University, was given the Edinburgh Award 2011 at the City Chambers. The Higgs boson, or "God particle", is named after him.

Rocky the lobster is a heavyweight champ

A 12kg lobster, measuring 1m long, has been released back into the sea after being caught in a shrimp net in Maine. Nicknamed "Rocky", the male was about the size of a three-year-old child, below, with claws big enough to snap a man's arm. State law prohibits the killing of lobsters bigger than 5in.

Lloyd Webber has his eye on Profumo

A scandal that rocked Britain could be the subject of a new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. He said the 1963 Profumo affair could feature in his next production. He is particularly interested in Stephen Ward's role in the affair between Christine Keeler and War Secretary, John Profumo.

Flat tyre scuppers £42,000 getaway

Thieves who robbed a warehouse used by a courier service were forced to leave much of their loot behind in the getaway car after it suffered a flat tyre. The gang abandoned the car on a road in Madrid, leaving most of the bounty, worth an estimated €50,000 (£42,000), on the back seat.

Whole town could be yours for£278,000

An entire village, including tennis courts, a swimming pool, stables and a village hall is up for sale for just £278,000. The village of Courbefy, 30 miles from Limoges, once was home to 200 people but has been empty since 2008 after farming declined and attempts to lure tourists failed.

Starlings ‘banned’ from North Devon

Residents in North Devon have branded the council's decision to chop down trees and bushes in Barnstaple that house 1,000 starlings as "ludicrous". The council said the birds' droppings are potentially poisonous and could cause salmonella and toxoplasmosis.