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The News Matrix: Thursday 13 October 2011

Murder-trial jury visits Yeates flat

The jury in the Joanna Yeates murder case was yesterday given a tour of her last route home before a visit inside her flat, left just as it was when she was killed on 17 December, including Christmas decorations. Jurors were later shown the grass verge where her body was discovered buried in snow.

Israeli prisoner swap raises concerns

Some Israelis yesterday questioned the cost of a deal for the release of Gilad Shalit, the Jewish soldier held in Gaza for five years. Israel and Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza, agreed to exchange 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for his freedom. One Israeli said it showed “terror pays”. MORE

HMRC head under pressure to resign

Britain’s top tax official, who last month insisted he “did not do a deal” with Goldman Sachs, faced demands to quit last night after an HMRC agreement spared the bank a multimillion pound tax bill. Dave Hartnett was accused of lying to the Treasury Select Committee. MORE

Stranded cargo ship breaking up in ocean

A cargo ship that has spilled hundreds of tons of oil since striking a reef off New Zealand’s coast appeared to be breaking up in heavy seas. A crack was apparent from the deck to the waterline of the Liberian-flagged Rena, which ran aground on 5 October 14 miles offshore.

Hollande gets Royal seal of approval

Former French leadership hopeful Ségolène Royal yesterday put aside personal rancour to back her former romantic partner François Hollande as Socialist candidate for the 2012 presidential election. MORE

Rebel forces take control of Sirte

Libya’s revolutionary fighters were in control of Sirte last night with only a small pocket of Gaddafi loyalists still holding out. Fighters searched for the last snipers and civilians still remaining in the shell-scarred city. Colonel Gaddafi’s home town has been under attack by forces loyal to Libya’s interim government, the National Transitional Council, for almost a month. MORE

Hillary Clinton plans to leave job next year

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she wants a private life after ending her tenure in President Barack Obama’s administration. Although she believes Mr Obama will be re-elected next year, she has confirmed that she will not put herself forward to serve.

Groups call for halt on Shetland oil well

BP’s planned oil well near Shetland should be halted, four of Britain’s biggest green groups say. The RSPB, Greenpeace, WWF and Friends of the Earth want Energy Secretary Chris Huhne to refuse consent for the North Uist well. MORE

Cuts blamed for drop in college students

There has been a “significant drop” in the number of students staying on at college after their GCSEs as a result of Government cuts to the education maintenance allowance, according to a survey published today of 182 institutions. MORE

Marathon effort to save Hastings pier

A woman walked up and down 52 piers around Great Britain to raise money for one in East Sussex that needs restoration. Susan Mackie from North Yorkshire completed the challenge in four months, and hopes the money she raised will help to rebuild Hastings Pier, which was devastated by fire last year.

FBI arrests man over naked stars’ pictures

The FBI has arrested a man over the alleged hacking of Hollywood stars’ phones and email accounts which saw naked pictures of actress Scarlett Johansson leaked online. Agents on the case, which has been dubbed “Operation Hackerazzi”, have reportedly been trailing the suspect for months.

Actor’s deep anxiety over Hallowe’en

A London Dungeon actor has admitted a chronic fear of Hallowe’en. Frankie Spires, 26, had an anxiety attack during rehearsals for this year’s Halloween feature and could not continue. He said he can “cope with historic horror no problem,” but that his aversion to the annual festival was possibly rooted in childhood.

The tale behind Jobs’ turtlenecks

Steve Jobs’ trademark black turtleneck sweaters came from a failed attempt to introduce a corporate dress code at Apple. Jobs had asked Issey Miyake to design staff uniforms. When they rejected them, he asked the designer to send him some turtlenecks to wear himself for product launches. MORE

Christmas-tree scented mince pie

The Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal caused a sensation with a Christmas pudding that contained a whole orange last year and he looks set to repeat the feat by designing a mince pie that smells like a Christmas tree. The puff pastry mince pies have a sprinkle of pine-scented sugar and will be available in Waitrose.

Man ‘stole from bookies in disguise’

A man suspected of carrying out armed robberies in fancy dress has been named by police. Martin Joseph Reilly, 53, is believed to have robbed £20,000 from 11 bookmakers. He is seen here pulling down his balaclava at Ladbrokes in Eastbourne. Firms in Essex, London and Hampshire have also suffered armed robberies.

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