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The News Matrix: Saturday 9 February 2013


Clashes mar funeral of murdered leader

The funeral of a murdered Tunisian opposition leader was marred by clashes yesterday between police and gangs of young men. Huge crowds chanting anti-government slogans converged on the cemetery where Chokri Belaid, a left-wing politician, was buried. MORE

Suspect 'enjoyed last night of freedom'

The man accused of murdering two policewomen after luring them to an address in Greater Manchester ordered beer and cigars before setting the trap, a court heard. Dale Cregan allegedly wanted to enjoy his "last night of freedom" before killing PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes. MORE

Artificial bone could heal broken limbs

Artificial bone created using stem cells and a new lightweight plastic could soon be used to heal broken limbs, according to scientists. The use of bone stem cells combined with a degradable rigid material inserted into shattered bones can encourage real bone to regrow, they found.

France accused of funding Islamists

A former US ambassador to Mali has alleged France paid a $17m ransom to free hostages seized from a French mining site – cash she said that ultimately funded the al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants its troops are now fighting. French officials denied paying any ransoms. MORE

Probe follows claims of abuse at RAF base

Allegations of the sexual abuse of children at a former Royal Air Force base in Berlin are being investigated by the RAF police. A man in his early 60s, from London, has been interviewed over the claims and the investigation is ongoing. The allegations date back to between 1981 and 1989.

News International apology to victims

News International offered apologies to 17 victims of the News of the World's illegal phone hacking in the High Court yesterday, among them Hugh Grant and the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson. They were also among 144 individuals to receive "substantial" damages. MORE

Amish leader jailed for haircut attacks

The ringleader in a series of unusual hair – and beard – cutting attacks on fellow Amish religious followers in the US was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison. Before his sentencing, Samuel Mullet Snr told the judge that he was ready to take the punishment. MORE

Jail for thieves who mislaid £2m of loot

Two thieves who stole Chinese artefacts worth £2m from a museum but could not find where they had stashed them have been jailed. Lee Wildman, 36, and Adrian Stanton, 33, received nine and eight years respectively for raiding Durham University's Oriental Museum last Easter.

Newt arrests police HQ development

Construction of a new multimillion-pound police HQ has been halted to protect a newt hibernating on site. Durham Constabulary began the work last October, but it has come to a standstill after a great crested newt was found. The creature is endangered and protected by law.

Police hunt ex-cop accused of 3 murders

A massive manhunt was under way in the California mountains last night for fired policeman Christopher Dorner, accused of three murders. He has declared war on law enforcement officers and their families in a rambling Internet manifesto. MORE

Measles cases hit an 18-year high

The number of people infected with measles has soared to an 18-year high, with more than 2,000 confirmed cases last year. The total was driven by two prolonged outbreaks of the highly-infectious illness in the north-west and South-east of England last year. MORE

Make students read Rand, says senator

A Republican senator has introduced legislation to require Idaho students to read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and pass a test on it to graduate from high school. John Goedde said he was merely protesting at recent state education rulings and does not plan to go ahead with the bill. MORE

UK factory in early triumph at Oscars

Jennifer Lawrence may have another fortnight to wait before she finds out if she's a winner, but 90 workers at a lens-making factory in Leicester have already bagged an Oscar statuette. Cooke Optics will be honoured at the Scientific and Technical Awards in Los Angeles. MORE

Games organisers earned £2.1m

Organisers of the London 2012 Olympics were paid £2.1m in the year-and-a-half leading up to the Games. Locog chief executive Lord Deighton received £1,049,992 for the 18 months. Lord Coe said London 2012 was "on track" to break even when its accounts are filed.

'No Deal' winner charged with fraud

A mother of two who won £95,000 on TV's Deal Or No Deal has been charged with benefit fraud. Caroline Banana, 40, of Stoke-on-Trent, is accused of failing to disclose her winnings. Claimants must inform the Department of Work and Pensions if their bank balance exceeds £16,000. MORE

Iconic Delacroix painting is defaced

A woman has defaced Eugene Delacroix's painting Liberty Leading the People with a black marker pen in an outpost of the Louvre gallery in northern France. Police arrested a 28-year-old woman on Thursday for writing "AE911" across the bottom of a painting so closely identified with the French Republic that its image once graced the 100-franc note.