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The News Matrix: Thursday 24 November 2011



'No efforts made' to stop re-offending

The Chief Inspector of Prisons has told i that the reason there are more inmates than ever is because no effort being made to address the problem of re-offending. Nick Hardwick said the official attitude is to "whack them all in this kind of Victorian warehouse". MORE

UN's damning verdict on new regime

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has given a damning verdict on the state of human rights in Libya in a report for the UN security council. Mr Ban notes that there are about 7,000 people, including women and children, locked up without any recourse to a judicial system. MORE

Michael in hospital with pneumonia

George Michael is in hospital suffering from pneumonia, his publicist said. The singer was scheduled to appear in Vienna as part of his Symphonica tour on Monday but cancelled two hours before the concert was due to start.

President Saleh in deal to step down

Yemen's embattled president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has finally signed a deal to step down from power. Saleh, 69, became the fourth dictator to fall during the Arab Spring. But sceptics fear that his deal to hand over to his deputy will leave his hated regime in power. MORE

Leaked emails were 'taken out of context'

The emails between global warming researchers leaked earlier this week raise no new climate issues, according to the university at the centre of the controversy. The University of East Anglia's Professor Edward Acton said climate sceptics had taken their meaning "out of context". MORE

New US ambassador comes as surprise

A former journalist who fought Pakistan's blasphemy law has been appointed the country's new ambassador in Washington, surprising observers who expected to see a pro-army official installed. Sherry Rehman's appointment is likely to be welcomed in Washington. Her predecessor, Husain Haqqani, resigned over claims that he sought US help against his country's military. MORE

Lawrence forensic expert admits error

A forensic scientist yesterday told the Stephen Lawrence murder trial she made a crucial error in labelling evidence. Yvonne Turner said early 1990s practice was far removed from current procedures. Scientists now wear masks, hairnets and disposable coats to avoid contamination – but she did not even wear gloves. MORE

Woman microwaves neighbour's kitten

A Torbay woman took revenge on her neighbour by microwaving their 10-week-old kitten to death, a court heard yesterday. Gina Robins, 31, was angry that Sarah Knutton had reported her abusive partner to the police. Magistrates found Robins guilty of causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal.

Wallaby killer is hunted by police

Police are hunting the killer of three wallabies in the last six weeks. But rather than searching in their native Australia, the investigation is centred on Brent Lodge Animal Park in west London, where an intruder has broken in on two occasions.

Man jailed for 'rude texts' about queen

A 61-year-old man who sent rude text messages about the Thai queen has been jailed for 20 years under the country's increasingly draconian lèse-majesté laws. Ampon Tangnoppakul was convicted of sending the messages to a government official. MORE

Benton the dog is really called Fenton

The father of the boy who filmed the dog formerly known as Benton chasing deer in Richmond Park says the canine is actually called Fenton. The YouTube video of his owner shouting his name is nearing a million views.

M&S back in Paris after 10-year absence

Percy Pigs and Per Una are making their return to Paris today as Marks & Spencer returns to the Champs-Elysées after a 10-year absence. The store's previous closure resulted in protests and the opening of a book of condolences. MORE

Mayor in African race row steps down

Darren Scully, the mayor of the Irish town of Naas, who said that he would not represent "black Africans" who lived in the area because of their attitude has stepped down after a chorus of condemnation from the country's political establishment. MORE

Sorkin to script film on life of Steve Jobs

The man who brought the story of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to the big screen is to adapt Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs as a screenplay. Aaron Sorkin (below), who won an Oscar for his work on The Social Network, has been asked by Sony to write the script for the film about the Apple founder. MORE