The News Matrix: Saturday 7 January 2012


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The Independent Online

Rebekah Brooks' PA becomes arrest No 17

Rebekah Brooks' former PA has been arrested by police investigating phone hacking at The News of the World. Cheryl Carter was arrested yesterday on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice. It was the 17th arrest under the probe into mobile phone interceptions. MORE

Royal Yacht pumped after springing leak

Emergency services had to pump water out of the Royal Yacht Britannia after she began listing while being moved to be repainted. The 412ft vessel, now a tourist attraction in Edinburgh, was returned to vertical and pulled to a dry dock in Port of Leith, a spokeswoman said.

Calls to re-open 1998 murder probe

Prosecutors in Scotland have been urged to re-examine the murder of an Asian man by a white gang 13 years ago. Surjit Singh Chhokar, 32, was stabbed in Lanarkshire in 1998 but no-one was ever convicted. Yesterday the police chief who led the original inquiry called for it to be re-opened. MORE

Tinker Tailor and Marilyn battle it out

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is set to go head to head with the Marilyn Monroe biopic My Week With Marilyn (left) in this year's Baftas, each picking up 16 nominations in the longlist announced yesterday. Others vying for honours include the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady. MORE

Mitt Romney might have lost Iowa race

Mitt Romney is celebrating victory in Iowa's caucus, but did he really win? He officially beat Rick Santorum by eight votes, but reports from the state yesterday suggested that a typo in one county led to Mitt Romney winning 22 votes, when in fact the real actual total was just two. MORE

Up to 3,000 killed in inter-tribal violence

As many as 3,000 people are feared murdered, and hundreds of children are missing, after a recent escalation in violence in South Sudan. Local officials say the government in the world's newest country has been unable to stem clashes between local tribes. MORE

US rescues fishing boat as tensions rise

US military officials say the Navy has rescued an Iranian fishing boat that had been commandeered by suspected Somali pirates. The rescue comes amid escalating threats from Iran that it could block the Strait of Hormuz in response to stronger economic sanctions against Tehran. MORE

Miliband calls for directors' pay curb

Ed Miliband announced plans to curb excessive pay in boardrooms last night, in a move designed to trump David Cameron, expected to reveal his thinking on high pay this weekend. The Labour leader called for a halt to "stratospheric pay awards" for the top 0.1 per cent of earners. MORE

Bomb kills 25 in bus attack in Damascus

The Syrian government yesterday claimed a suicide bomber had attacked a busy intersection in Damascus, in an attack that left 25 dead. The bomb hit a bus carrying police and civilians. The bus was left riddled with shrapnel, and spattered with blood. MORE

Businessman jailed over £111m scam

A company director who hatched a £111m scam, allowing him to enjoy a luxury lifestyle with a yacht and racing cars, was jailed for nearly nine years yesterday. Max Fraser, from Leicestershire, tricked over 20 financial institutions, including high street banks, to loan cash over seven years.

Credit rating falls to junk status

Credit rating agency Fitch downgraded Hungary's credit rating to junk status yesterday, citing a standoff between the government and international lenders the IMF and the EU over rescue loans. Hungary's currency, the forint,has fallen to all-time lows during two consecutive days.

800 sites for families in new £47m scheme

Plans for almost 800 permanent sites for traveller families across England will be announced today to diffuse local tensions revealed in the Dale Farm evictions. In a £47m initiative, new UK locations will be found for travellers, preventing them having to put caravans on unauthorised land.

Asylum for jailed ex-PM's husband

The Czech Republic granted asylum to the husband of Ukraine's opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko yesterday as her party said Kiev was stepping up pressure on the family. Oleksandr Tymoshenko, 51, sought asylum in Prague late last year after his wife was jailed for abuse of office. MORE

Girl runaway mystery solved

Police appear to have finally resolved the mystery of Jakadrien Turner, a 14-year-old runaway who was deported to Colombia, despite having no documentation. When arrested two years ago, Turner gave her name as a Colombian immigrant. MORE

'Vice' ban lifted on massage parlours

A ban on luxury spas at hotels and massage parlours in the Maldives has been lifted after pressure from the country's tourism industry, a week after it was imposed to help curb perceived vice. "We have lifted the ban and all the services will be available for tourists," President Nasheed said.

Tokyo's brush with good fortune

From small children to octogenarians, thousands of people from across the country came together in Tokyo on Thursday for the annual national calligraphy contest. In the New Year ritual, people write down their good luck characters using traditional horse-hair brushes and charcoal ink.

Coin explaining the offside rule 'is wrong'

An Olympics 50p coin that explains the football offside rule has got it wrong, it has been claimed. The coin shows two players, one apparently offside and the other in an onside position. But, because of an intricacy to the rule introduced in 1995, both players could be considered onside.

Tessa's daughter tipped for success

Labour MP Tessa Jowell's daughter is tipped for success after signing to major label Island Records. Jess Mills, daughter of the former minister and corporate lawyer David Mills, will headline London's Koko venue next week. Her debut album is due for release in early summer.MORE