The News Matrix: Tuesday 17 July 2012


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Pride, prejudice and perversion

They may have been ahead of their time, but Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters would no doubt be shocked by news that their classic tales are to be given the "Fifty Shades" treatment. Total-E-Bound Publishing is giving some of Britain's best-loved literary titles an erotic makeover by adding "missing" scenes.

Mattress dominoes record toppled

An army of 1,001 Chinese volunteers has set a new Guinness world record for "mattress dominoes". The volunteers, most of whom were domino lovers, first carefully arranged and leaned against 1,001 mattresses in an empty section of a shopping mall in Shanghai. It was 10 minutes before the last one came down to finish the rally.

Taliban bans polio vaccinations

The health of hundreds of thousands of children has been put at risk after the Taliban announced a ban on a polio immunisation campaign in tribal areas to protest against US airstrikes. Pakistan is one of three countries where the disease is endemic. It usually infects children living in unsanitary conditions. MORE

Thurman gives birth to baby girl

Actress Uma Thurman, star of movies such as "Kill Bill" and "Pulp Fiction," has given birth to her third child, a girl, the actress's manager confirmed yesterday. The baby is Thurman's first child with partner Arpad Busson. Thurman already has a daughter, 14, and a son, 10, with her ex-husband, actor Ethan Hawke.

Dementia patients given wrong drug

Doctors in some areas of England are still "inappropriately over-prescribing" anti-psychotic drugs to dementia patients, according to data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre. In the north-west 13 per cent of dementia patients are being prescribed the drugs, designed to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, which can have serious side effects for dementia sufferers.

Mau Mau sue over British 'torture'

Three elderly Kenyans who claim they were brutally tortured during the Mau Mau uprising began a battle to sue the Government yesterday. When faced with an armed independence movement in the 1950s, Britain's colonial authorities responded with lethal force.

Army steps up its interest in Games

Army chiefs have been sent to the headquarters of G4S, i has learned, in a move that marks an escalation in the military's involvement in the Games. It follows the security firm's failure to fulfil its £250m contract to guard athletes and spectators during London 2012. MORE

Ex-officer charged in Politkovskaya plot

A former police officer was charged yesterday with helping to organise the killing of a crusading journalist in 2006. Anna Politkovskaya's murder came to symbolise the muffling of free speech and the corruption of the judiciary during Vladimir Putin's 2000-2008 presidency. MORE

Fighting continues inside Damascus

Government troops and rebels clashed inside Damascus for a second day yesterday, causing plumes of black smoke to drift over the city's skyline in some of the worst violence in the tightly controlled capital since the country's crisis began 16 months ago. MORE

Online activist is deported to Thailand

An activist locked up for nearly two months because he campaigned for the rights of stateless people is being deported to Thailand. Human Rights Watch criticised the "unlawful expulsion" of Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, saying it was part of a wider crackdown on dissent. MORE

46 days of unpaid overtime per year

A "harmful" culture within British industry is leading managers to work 46 days of unpaid overtime a year, go into work ill, and suffer increased levels of stress, according to a report. A survey of 1,000 managers by the Chartered Institute of Management also showed a number of "negative" management styles had emerged.

Clarkson clocks up a cool £3m with BBC

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is reportedly the BBC's top earner for the past year. The accounts of BBC Worldwide, its commercial arm, suggest he earned around £3m from profits paid to shareholders. MORE

Man, 90, in first parachute jump

A Maine man who learned how to use a parachute as a Navy pilot during the Second World War has finally made his first jump – at age 90. Lester Slate, of Exeter, jumped out of a plane for the first time on Sunday at Pittsfield Airport.

African Union elects first female leader

Doctor and diplomat Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa has won a vote to become the first female head of the African Union Commission. The ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma defeated incumbent and rival Jean Ping of Gabon, who had headed the 54-member organisation since 2008. MORE