The News Matrix: Thursday 22 September 2011

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The Independent Online

New revelations challenge NI version

Up to 12 News International executives were told in 2006 that the Metropolitan Police had evidence that more than one News of the World journalist was implicated in phone hacking. The new information challenges NI’s account that it did not have evidence of this until 2008. MORE

Prosecutor slams online poker giants

The US has upped the stakes in its opposition to online poker, with the Manhattan district attorney describing Full Tilt Poker as a “global Ponzi scheme”. “Full Tilt insiders lined their pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers,” Preet Bharara said.

Huge gas find could lead to 800 wells

Up to 200 trillion cubic feet of gas has been discovered outside Blackpool, Lancashire, which could lead to a massive increase in the practice of fracturing rock or ‘fracking’. Cuadrilla Resources, the licence holder, could sink 800 wells to retrieve the gas. MORE

Hikers released after two years in prison

Two American hikers jailed two years ago on charges of spying have been released from a Tehran prison. Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested on the Iran/Iraq border in 2009. A third American arrested with them, Sarah Shourd, was freed last year on bail. MORE

Burglary charges for millionaire’s girl

Laura Johnson, 19, the daughter of a reported millionaire, has appeared in court on charges of burglary after £5,000-worth of electronic goods were found in the car she allegedly drove during the riots. MORE

Hunt is on for men following shooting

Police are hunting for gunmen who opened fire on a car containing three children and their father. The one-year-old boy, two girls, aged nine and 11, and the driver, who is in his forties, were left shaken but uninjured following the shooting in Toxteth, south Liverpool. Merseyside Police said up to three men in their twenties were responsible for the shooting, which took place at 4pm yesterday.

Challenge to planned NHS legal aid cuts

A plan to cut legal aid for patients left physically or mentally damaged by NHS care is being legally challenged by a medical safety charity. Action against Medical Accidents has issued judicial review proceedings against the Government, saying that the cuts are “irrational and unfair”. MORE

Eight-year-olds in cage-fighting video

A video has been released online showing children as young as eight cage-fighting, with no head gear or padding, at a sold-out, ticket-only event in Greenlands Labour Club in Preston, Lancashire. The NSPCC called the footage “disturbing” but organisers defended the event.

Rabbani killing may result in civil war

Afghans gathered to mourn their assassinated former president and chief peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani yesterday, ironically World Peace Day, as fears mounted that his death could deepen ethnic divisions and nudge the country towards civil war.

Coastguards rescue ravine crash couple

A British couple who crashed their motor home into a ravine in the Amazon were rescued after calling a relative who informed coastguard officials in England of their GPS coordinates. Lesley Norris and Bruce Scott were rescued in Brazil. MORE

Four die as typhoon batters Tokyo

A powerful typhoon struck Japan yesterday, pummelling the Tokyo area with heavy rain, disrupting public transportation and leaving four people dead, before heading towards the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. MORE

Highland Toffee maker goes under

The sweetmaker behind Highland Toffee has gone into administration, putting more than 100 jobs at risk. Grant Thornton has been appointed administrators of the parent company, New McCowans. The company has not ceased trading but production has stopped pending discussions.

Beer festivalgoers ‘short-changed’

A consumer watchdog says Oktoberfest revellers are being short-changed on beer at the Bavarian beer festival. In a test of 100 “Mass” mugs conducted by the more-than-century-old “Association Against Fraudulent Pouring” not one was full, the organisation said.

Third of under-10s have mobile phones

Nearly a third of children aged ten or under now have their own mobile phone according to a new survey of 2,000 parents, with one in ten having a smartphone. The security firm Westcoastcloud found 69 per cent bought devices to keep in touch with their children when they were out.

Robot nominated to carry Olympic torch

A robot has been nominated to take part in the Olympic torch relay for the London Games. James Law, of Aberystwyth University, has put forward the 3ft-tall iCub robot to mark the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science, in 2012. MORE