The News Matrix: Thursday 22 December 2011


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The Independent Online


Muslim affair baby must be adopted

A Muslim man who had a baby with an unmarried woman has been told that his daughter must remain with an adopted family. The Court of Appeal in London ruled that otherwise there was too great a risk that the child could become the victim of a so-called "honour killing".

Teenager killed by man cleaning rifle

An Amish girl in Ohio has been killed by a stray bullet let off by a man cleaning his rifle more than a mile away. Rachel Yoder, 15, was riding her traditional horse and buggy home after a Christmas party when struck by the bullet. Her brother found her when he saw the horse circling her body.

VAT waived on Military Wives song

The Government is to waive the VAT on sales of the Military Wives choir single 'Wherever You Are', handing the money to charity. The single is currently on course for the Christmas number one slot, selling more than the rest of the top 20 combined.

Surgeon turns donor to save his mother

Surgeon Asim Syed, 32, has given up a kidney to save his mother's life, in what is believed to be the first time a transplant specialist has become a donor. Mr Syed, who has performed more than 100 operations at Hammersmith Hospital, London, became a patient in his own unit. MORE

PM tells Kurds to hand over politician

Fears of sectarian strife in Iraq were heightened as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki demanded that the Kurds hand over a fugitive Sunni politician to face criminal charges. The Sunnis have accused the Shia-dominated government of marginalising their interests and have boycotted parliament. MORE

Cameron plans to tackle trouble spot

Britain plans to deepen its involvement in Somalia next year amid fears the country is becoming a hotbed of radicalisation for young British Muslims. David Cameron who describes the country as “a failed state that directly threatens British interests,” will convene a summit in London in February to discuss options from humanitarian aid to military missions. MORE

Man wins then crashes supercar

A man who won a $380,000 Lamborghini in a competition crashed it just six hours after collecting it. David Dopp, from Las Vegas, was taking friends and family for rides in the green Murcielago Roadster when the vehicle crashed through a fence and came to rest in a field.

Learner driver jailed over death of girl, 9

A learner driver who killed a nine-year-old girl after crashing during her first driving lesson has been jailed for two years. Beatrice Mawamba, 34, crushed Shamirah Grant to death and also injured two other girls, one seriously, after careering down a narrow alleyway into a grassy courtyard in Leeds.

Baroness explains v-sign gesture

Tory peer Baroness Trumpington has explained the two-fingered gesture she gave to Lord King, in response to his remarks about Second World War veterans getting "pretty old". The Baroness, who worked at the code-breaking facility Bletchley Park in the war, said the two are still "jolly good friends".

Boat laden with missiles is stopped

Sixty-nine surface-to-air missiles hidden in containers marked "fireworks" and 160 tons of explosives were seized on a British-flagged ship bound for China. Authorities impounded the cargo after it was discovered while M/S Thor Liberty was in port at Kotka in Finland. MORE

Troops ‘massacre’ an entire village

Syrian troops surrounded a restive village and massacred all those trapped inside – at least 100 people – in a barrage of rockets, tank shells, bombs and gunfire, witnesses and opposition groups said yesterday. The attacked on Tuesday pushed the death toll for two days of fighting to 200.

Police chief hoping for a blue Christmas

A Portuguese police chief has been suspended after wishing Coimbra town hall workers a happy Christmas – and sex life. His email showed some scantily-clad women and concluded: “What I wish from the bottom of my heart, is that you have incredible sexual relations, live a merry and happy life, work hard and get well paid.”

Phone muggers guilty of murder

Two street robbers have been convicted of murdering Keith Soons, 36, who was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver. Soons went to "remonstrate" with the two men after they stole his iPhone. Jurors at Bristol Crown court found Michael Sexton, 28, and Richard Smith, 27, guilty after six hours of deliberations.

Children's fire deaths 'preventable'

An inquest has found that the death of four children at a blaze in Hulland Ward, Derbyshire, in January could have been averted with better fire prevention measures. Coroner Robert Hunter ruled that lives could have been saved if a fire guard had been in place at an open fire and smoke detectors had been functioning.

Too late to keep bird flu test results secret

It is already too late to keep secret details of controversial experiments that created a potentially deadly new strain of bird flu, despite fears the information could fall into the hands of terrorists. The US government asked scientists not to publish some details of their work, but biologists said information had spread too far to be contained. MORE

Putin’s rival freed to fight another day

Alexei Navalny, a corruption-fighting lawyerwho has emerged as the figurehead of the opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was released from jail yesterday after being held for his role in protests. His release came as the parliament chosen in an election which has faced accusations of vote rigging opened its first session.

Melissa is the new screen queen

Melissa Rosenberg, 49, has become the world's highest-grossing female scriptwriter thanks to the success of the Twilight series of films, which have contributed the lion's share of the $2.56bn in revenue her films have generated, surpassing Linda Woolverton's The Lion King. MORE

Workers' overtime pay plummets

Paid overtime hours have plunged by a quarter since the financial crisis, a TUC survey has found. The number of hours has fallen from 54 million in 2007 to 41 million this year, with a "major impact" on take-home pay.