The News Matrix: Tuesday 13 December 2011



No 10 receives visit from King of Bahrain

The Bahraini King Hamad al-Khalifa was welcomed to Downing Street yesterday, less than a year after Bahrain's security forces turned on democracy protesters, killing scores. The King said that he wanted the UK's help in reforming Bahrain's police and judiciary. MORE

IPCC: ‘Mistake’ to say Duggan shot at cops

It was "a mistake" to announce that Mark Duggan, whose death sparked widespread rioting, had been involved in a fire-fight with officers, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has admitted. Mr Duggan was shot and killed by police officers in north London on 4 August. MORE

Rooney’s wife target of blackmail plot

Coleen Rooney was subjected to a £5,000 blackmail plot involving hundreds of personal family photos – some of them allegedly showing her England footballer husband Wayne Rooney "pissed or stoned and on all fours". The images were on a camera on hers that was stolen.

I’ll fight Putin next year, says billionaire

After a week that shook Russian politics, a billionaire said yesterday he would stand against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the presidential election in March. Mikhail Prokhorov, the owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, said Russian society was "waking up". MORE

‘Call of Duty’ beats ‘Avatar’ in $1bn race

Video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has become the fastest-selling entertainment product of all time after reaching the $1bn sales barrier in just 16 days, one day quicker than the film Avatar. MORE

Murder inquiry open after family killings

Detectives in Leeds are trying to establish why a devoted family man would kill his wife and two sons before taking his own life. Richard Smith, 37, is believed to have killed Clair, 36, nine-year-old Ben and one-year-old Aaron at their Pudsey home. Police have launched a murder inquiry but are not searching for suspects.

Children ‘held in cells without reason’

Tens of thousands of "innocent" children as young as 10 are held overnight in police cells each year, research suggests. A University of Sheffield study found that the majority were not charged with an offence, and could have been bailed or placed in emergency foster care.

President supports constitution change

President Paul Kagame said yesterday that he had no problem with calls for Rwanda's constitution to be changed to allow him to run for a third term, arguing that his people had a right to express their opinions. Human rights groups have raised concerns about rising political repression. MORE

Methane emissions shock Arctic study

Unprecedented quantities of methane gas have been bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean, according to Russian scientists. The plumes of greenhouse gas – 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – were seen by a team surveying the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. MORE

Blackwater gets all philosophical

The security firm once known as Blackwater is changing its name for a second time. The new name, Academi, is inspired by Plato's Academy in ancient Greece. As Blackwater it faced allegations that its private guards in Iraq were too quick to shoot.

Google buys Nasa hangar for its 8 jets

One of the world's biggest buildings, the eight-acre site of Hangar One, which once housed massive airships, has been sold by Nasa to Google, the search engine giant, for $33 million. Google's founders will use it to house their eight private jets. MORE

Song contest final loses its ‘X’ appeal

Sunday's X Factor final, won by girl band Little Mix, attracted four million fewer viewers than last year's. An average of 13.1 million people tuned in to the two-hour broadcast, far shy of the 17.2 million who saw Matt Cardle triumph over Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction in 2010.

Man fakes own mother’s obituary

Authorities say a US man published a fake obituary for his living mother in a ploy to get paid bereavement time off from work. Relatives called the Jeffersonian Democrat newspaper in Pennsylvania after the obituary appeared. Police charged 45-year-old Scott Bennett with disorderly conduct.

First winner fails to return at 87

The first-ever winner of the Eurovision Song Contest has failed in her attempt to make a comeback in the annual pop song festival. Lys Assia, 87, won the Eurovision contest in the year of its inception, 1956.

Woman gives birth in shop doorway

A woman from Bristol gave birth in a shop doorway after midwives sent her out for lunch. Sarah Plews, 35, was eight days overdue with her second daughter when she arrived at St Michael's Hospital having contractions. She was told she should relax and go get some food.

Torch-bearers set two world records

Thousands of people from 50 countries have set two world records by parading with 3,777 flaming torches in Indonesia's capital Jakarta. Guinness World Records acknowledged records for the largest torch-lit image formed by people and for the largest torch-lit parade.

PM counts cost after breaking tribal taboo

It's a tribal taboo that ought not to be broken and when it is, the cost can be high. Zimbabwean radio reports that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been fined two cows, two sheep and 10 yards of cotton cloth for breaking a rule forbidding marriage talks during a 'sacred' period.

Historic castle goes on market for £1.8m

The castle that the English used to imprison Robert the Bruce's son in the 14th century is on sale for almost £2m. King David II of Scotland was captured and locked in Northumberland's Ogle Castle before being sent to the Tower of London. The nine-bedroom building is on sale for £1.8m.

After 33 days, pair wash up on atoll

After drifting for 33 days, two fishermen from Kiribati washed ashore on a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands. They then discovered that descendants of an uncle of one of them, feared drowned in the 1950s, were living on the atoll. The uncle had ended up there after getting lost fishing.