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The News Matrix: Saturday 26 November 2011



Dow deal spurs India to threaten boycott

Indian athletes are threatening to boycott next summer's Olympics over a controversial sponsorship deal with Dow Chemical Company and the firm's connection to the 1984 Bhopal disaster, in which up to 15,000 people died when poisonous gas leaked from a Union Carbide factory. MORE

Footballer Bannan banned from driving

Aston Villa footballer Barry Bannan was banned from driving for 18 months yesterday after admitting four offences – including driving with excess alcohol – following a motorway crash last month. The 21-year-old midfielder was also fined £4,500 at Nottingham Magistrates' Court. MORE

Navy recaptures six 'Papillon' escapees

Six inmates from the last island penal colony in the Americas were recaptured as they tried to to swim to freedom in an escape reminiscent of the 1973 movie Papillon. The Mexican navy said that inmates used empty water tanks to help stay afloat as they swam 60 miles. MORE

Bargain-hunting day marred by violence

Violence marked the annual Black Friday stampede to America's shopping malls. Attempted robberies outside two Walmart stores ended with a shopper at each being shot and wounded, while 15 people were hurt inside another when a woman pepper-sprayed shoppers.MORE

Occupy  movement plans to tour UK

Demonstrators who have camped outside St Paul's Cathedral have written to church leaders proposing a "touring occupation" of British cathedrals. Campaigners propose marching from each cathedral to government buildings, where demonstrators would air their grievances. MORE

New Catholic Mass sparks unholy row

A new version of the Mass will go live in Catholic churches in the English-speaking world on Sunday – and will infuriate many churchgoers. One senior theologian said: "The process (new version) managed to offend everybody involved who has any intellectual or moral integrity." MORE

Welsh leader's wife targeted by NOTW

The wife of Rhodri Morgan, Wales' former first minister, has been told by Scotland Yard that her phone was hacked by the News of the World. Julie Morgan's phone was accessed illegally in 2005-2006, when she was an MP and her husband was head of the Welsh Assembly.

Assad defies Arab League on observers

Syria's regime has defied an Arab League deadline to allow an observer mission into the country, opening the way for the pan-Arab body to impose sanctions. The deadline passed as Turkey warned it would join sanctions if President Assad did not end a crackdown on opponents. MORE

Two die in clashes between army units

Heavy fighting between army units shook Sanaa yesterday, killing two soldiers in the start of a power struggle days after President Saleh agreed to step down. The clashes pitted security forces against troops from the First Armoured Division, who have joined the protesters. MORE

Australian boy, 14, jailed over cannabis

A Bali court jailed an Australian boy, 14, for two months for possessing marijuana – a lighter sentence than prosecutors wanted. Australia had asked for leniency given his age and welcomed the fact he would probably be back home by Christmas. MORE

Heathrow worker stole from luggage

A Heathrow Airport baggage handler was jailed for six months yesterday for stealing from passengers' luggage. Alan Bardall, 52, stole two laptops, a camcorder and aftershave while he was scanning luggage tags to ensure it was being sent to the right destinations.

Rain threatens historic Congo poll

Campaigning in the Democratic Republic of Congo lurches to a riotous and uncertain finish this weekend, with authorities warning that rain could still delay a historic vote. The prize is control of a war-ravaged swathe of central Africa, home to £16 trillion worth of mineral reserves. MORE

Crunch time for climate change deal

Governments are attempting to strike a new climate change deal to replace the 1997 Kyoto treaty when it expires on 31 December. There is a chance that long-running UN climate talks could collapse at the two-week meeting which begins on Monday in Durban, South Africa. MORE

Michael cancels tour due to pneumonia

George Michael has pulled the plug on the rest of his tour as he battles "severe" pneumonia. The singer, who is being treated in hospital in Vienna, Austria, has been told by doctors to take "complete rest" and the remainder of his scheduled shows have been put on hold.

New ITV roles for Chiles and Bleakley

Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley are to be dropped from ITV1's Daybreak, it was finally confirmed yesterday. It follows days of rumblings – played down as "speculation" – that they were to be axed from the show. ITV said they would focus on other "peak-time commitments".

Parliament fined over smoking ban

State smoking inspectors have fined Parliament after a raid found overflowing ashtrays on the premises – but no illicit smokers. The labour inspectorate said that in addition to the fine it had closed the assembly's lounge and restaurant for two weeks over breaches of a smoking ban.

Waltzing 'Matilda' wins over the critics

Tim Minchin is the toast of the West End after critics praised his contribution to the musical Matilda, which opened on Thursday. His lyrics and music have turned the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of the classic Roald Dahl novel into a box-office smash-hit. MORE

Thousands queue to see Virgin Mary relic

Hundreds of thousands of Muscovites spent hours queuing this week, some overnight, to see a religious relic they believe is part of a belt worn by the Virgin Mary. It is being displayed for a week only, and interest has been so high queues have stretched for miles. MORE