The News Matrix: Thursday 15 December 2011


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Liège killer may have feared prison

Nordine Amrani, the killer who murdered three people in a gun and grenade attack on shoppers in the Belgian town of Liège, may have been unbalanced by a fear of returning to prison, according to his lawyer. Earlier, police found the body of a woman in a garage next to his house. MORE

Police seal off village as protest escalates

Roads to the fishing village of Wukan in southern China's Guangdong province have been sealed off by police after the deterioration of a stand-off between authorities and locals. The protests are over government land seizures and an activist's death in police custody. MORE

Fairtrade enjoys eco-friendly year

Fairtrade chocolate, solar panels and eco-friendly cars boosted sales in the last year despite the economic gloom. Spending rose from £43bn to £46.8bn, an annual increase of 8.8 per cent. MORE

Islamists hopeful in second-round poll

Islamist parties were aiming to consolidate their lead as the second round of voting in Egypt's parliamentary elections began yesterday. The Muslim Brotherhood is expected to be the biggest winner, as much of the voting is taking place outside the more cosmopolitan cities. MORE

Tens of thousands flock to Hamas rally

Hamas mounted a show of strength with tens of thousands attending a rally in the centre of Gaza City yesterday. The ruling Islamic faction triumphantly declared itself bolstered by the Arab Spring and the exchange by Israel of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. MORE

Tube workers set for Boxing Day strike

Sales shoppers could face travel chaos on Boxing Day as Aslef revealed plans for four days of strikes over bank holiday pay. Tube members will stage 24-hour walk-outs on 26 December, 16 January, and 3 and 13 February after failing to agree additional payments. MORE

One in five children aged 11 is obese

Almost one in five 11-year-olds is now obese, according to figures from the National Child Measurement Programme. Data collected from one million pupils shows that 19 per cent of children in their final primary school year are medically overweight, and the problem is almost twice as common in deprived areas.

Hard-up students turn to prostitution

A-Level and university students are turning to prostitution, escort work, gambling and medical experiments to fund their education, according to the National Union of Students; 20 per cent of women working as lap-dancers are studying for degree courses, the union says. MORE

Guide warns about gold-for-cash scams

Greece has published guidelines to protect its austerity-hit citizens from being ripped off by pawn shops buying their family gold and silver. The consumer protection agency issued the unusual notice as new pawn shops spring up across Athens to meet demand for instant cash in Greece's contracting economy.

Driver slip-up spills £80,000 of olive oil

A lorry driver who spilled £80,000 worth of olive oil on to Colchester's Tudor lanes by blindly following directions on his satnav has been handed a £40 fine. Daniel Gyongyosi, 47, was making a delivery to Waitrose when he ignored warning signs and also caused £15,000 damage to a 17th-century house.

Rowers go from life raft to lap of luxury

Two trans-Atlantic rowers whose boat was capsized by a freak wave have had a dramatic reversal of fortune. Briton Tom Fancett and Dutchman Tom Sauer spent 10 hours adrift in a tiny life raft before they were rescued by Crystal Serenity, a luxury cruise liner offering "international, contemporary cuisine". MORE

Royals to travel the world in celebration

The Royal Family will mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee by touring the world, Buckingham Palace announced yesterday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's trip to Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu is likely to attract the most interest. Tuvalu has not had a major royal visit in decades.

Mosaic has that winning aroma

A mosaic made with a million coffee beans by the Albanian artist Saimir Strati entered the Guinness World Records this week as the world's largest coffee bean mosaic. Strati used 140kg of beans, roasted to varying degrees, to portray five musicians, including a Japanese drummer and a US country music singer.