The News Matrix: Thursday 4 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Ex-Egyptian leader Mubarak in court

Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years, appeared in a Cairo court yesterday accused of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters during the country’s uprising in February. Lying on a stretcher – he claims to be suffering from cancer – Mubarak pleaded not guilty. MORE

Public services to make records public

The Government is planning a “transparency revolution”, which will require hospitals, schools and other public bodies to make their performance records public. Thousands of pieces of information about public services will be thrown open to public scrutiny. MORE

Teenager dies in Thames tragedy

A teenager died after falling into the River Thames yesterday. Ben Woollacott, 19, came from five generations of Thames boatmen. It is believed he was hit by a propeller after falling into the river while unmooring a ferry owned by his father’s company, Cruise London.

Bomb is strapped around girl’s neck

There was chaos in one of Sydney’s most upmarket districts last night as police removed a suspected bomb strapped to the neck of the 18-year-old daughter of a well-known businessman. It took experts 10 hours to remove the device from Madeleine Pulver. MORE

Landlord sues Faye Dunaway over flat

Actress Faye Dunaway is being sued by her New York landlord who claims she rarely lives in the flat, which is subject to a rent ceiling. The suit says she pays $1,048 a month, about half the market rate for the area. MORE

Holidays 4U goes into administration

Tour operator Holidays 4U has collapsed, leaving 2,000 people waiting for a refund. The Brighton-based holiday company will go into administration under the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing Scheme, the first task of which will be to return 300 people currently in Turkey on holidays booked with the firm, which also traded as Aegean Flights. MORE

‘Today’ programme helps Radio 4 figures

A record audience is tuning in to the Today programme, while Chris Moyles and Chris Evans have shed listeners, figures from the Rajar radio body have revealed. Radio 4 has 10.85 million weekly listeners, boosted by Today, which attracted a record audience of 7.18 million in the last quarter.

Assad troops tighten grip on dissident city

Fears for the people of Hama grew yesterday as government troops entered the city’s main square and showed no sign of scaling back attacks on the opposition centre. Foreign reporters are banned, but it is thought that more than 100 people have been killed since Sunday. MORE

Cuts put pressure on NHS waiting times

NHS Trusts in England will struggle to keep waiting times low and some will be unable to reach targets in the fight against hospital infections, according to a new report. The regulator, Monitor, said it was due to financial pressures caused as Government budget cuts mount. MORE

‘Aussie Taliban’ tries for literary success

The “Aussie Taliban” David Hicks should not be permitted to make money from sales of his new book, which details his six years in US-run prisons after he was caught fighting for insurgents in Afghanistan, the Australian government says. MORE

Salmonella variant infects many Britons

A potentially deadly, drug-resistant form of salmonella has already infected hundreds of Britons, scientists say. The S. Kentucky “superbug” may have developed due to the use of antibiotics in chicken and turkey farming. MORE

Low IQ browser story was a hoax

A widely publicised story that claimed users of the Internet Explorer web browser were of low intelligence has been exposed as a hoax. The BBC, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph all ran with the bogus story, which turned out to be a publicity stunt by a price-comparison website.

Warm weather gives a boost to brewers

Warm weather and strong exports in the first six months helped German brewers reverse a long decline in beer production. The volume of beer produced in Germany in the first half rose on an annual basis for the first time in four years, up by 1 per cent to 4.946 billion litres, new data shows.

Scientists unearth second moon theory

The Earth may have once had two moons that collided several billions of years ago, explaining why one side of our moon is mountainous and the other relatively flat. Scientists at the University of California yesterday used computer models to demonstrate their theory. MORE

A tale of two famous No 10s

Football’s most famous number 10 enjoyed a kickabout at another famous 10 – Downing Street. Brazilian star Pele dropped in for a game in the Prime Minister's garden with a group of youngsters. MORE

Bradman’s family wins legal battle

After six years of legal wrangling, Sir Donald Bradman’s family has agreed compensation over a case relating to the “Mickey Mouse-style” commercialisation of the cricketing legend’s legacy. The case – against a law firm which assigned the name to a charitable trust – was settled out of court. MORE

Smartphone users use them more often

Ofcom says more than a third of adults and some 60 per cent of teens who own smartphones say they have become “highly addicted” to their devices. The media watchdog also found that smartphone users make more calls and send more texts than those with normal handsets. MORE

Postman is guilty of racist Murray scrawl

A postman who defaced posters at a Royal Mail sorting office has been convicted of racial abuse for branding tennis star Andy Murray a “useless Jock”. Darren Swain, who called himself “the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Post Office”, was caught when handwriting experts identified him. MORE

Temple offers fake funeral ceremonies

A Thai temple has started offering funeral “rehearsals” to worshippers, where they can even lie down in a coffin. Pram Manee temple, 107km from Bangkok, holds two of the rituals every day, at 9:09am and 1:09pm, since the number nine is believed by Thais to bring good luck.