The News Matrix: Tuesday 20 December 2011


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The Independent Online


Man faces prison for burying fiancée alive

A man who fired a Taser at his fiancée and buried her alive has been found guilty of attempted murder and is facing a jail term. Marcin Kasprzak, 25, put Michelina Lewandowska, 27, in a cardboard box and buried her in woods near their home in Huddersfield, West Yorks.

Probe into dingo baby death case

A new inquest is to be held into the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain from Ayers Rock in 1980 – likely to be the final act in a drama that has seen her family fight for decades for recognition that a dingo killed their baby. The coroner has receiving fresh information about dingo attacks. MORE

Islamist sues UK over torture claim

A Libyan Islamist is suing Britain for its role in his rendition into imprisonment and torture at the hands of Muammar Gaddafi's regime. Abdelhakim Belhaj stated he has waited in vain for the British government to apologise for his seven years of incarceration. MORE

Coulson bullied journalist out of job

A former News of the World sports writer told the Leveson Inquiry yesterday how his mental health suffered when Andy Coulson bullied him out of his job. Matt Driscoll derided News International's claim to be a compassionate firm as "almost laughable". MORE

Imran Khan closer to political dream

Cricketing legend Imran Khan took a stride closer to becoming Pakistan's next leader after a slew of prominent politicians joined his party. He is now the country's most popular politician, according to recent polls. MORE

Banking reforms will be diluted

Not all of the recommendations on banking reform made by the Vickers commission will be implemented by the Government, George Osborne confirmed yesterday. The report said British banks should hold a loss-absorbing buffer of between 17 and 20 per cent of their total assets, but some institutions will be exempt. MORE

Arrest warrant for Sunni leader

The Iraqi government has issued an arrest warrant for the country's highest ranking Sunni official, vice-president Tareq al-Hashemi, accusing him of links to terrorist attacks. A spokesman said confessions by the official's bodyguards linked him to attacks against Shias. MORE

British man was victim of flash floods

A British man has died in the flash floods that have claimed hundreds of victims in the southern Philippines, the Foreign Office has confirmed. The island of Mindanao was hit by12 hours of sustained rainfall last week, causing landslides. Around 143,000 people have been affected.

Regime does deal with Arab League

Syria signed an Arab League initiative yesterday that will allow observers into the country as part of an effort to end the nation's increasingly bloody crisis. The signing came as reports emerged that dozens of army deserters were shot dead as they tried to flee their base. MORE

Serial killer Neilson, 75, dies in prison

Serial killer, the Black Panther, has died at 75. Donald Neilson, who was told he would never leave jail, killed three sub-postmasters during robberies and brutally murdered a teenage heiress, Lesley Whittle, in 1975.

Parents deny 'honour' killing

Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed have pleaded not guilty to murdering their daughter Shafilea in a suspected honour killing. The pair appeared at Manchester Crown Court after they were charged with Shafilea's murder in September.

Virgin Media sorry for swearing glitch

Virgin Media has apologised after users of its on-screen programme menus saw words such as "Arsenal" and "Charles Dickens" asterisked, with warnings about the content. The TV provider blamed its profanity detector designed to protect viewers for being overly-efficient. MORE

Ofcom inquiry into Clarkson jibe

Ofcom is investigating Jeremy Clarkson's comments about striking public sector workers. The TV watchdog received 800 complaints – on top of the 21,000 made to the BBC directly – after the Top Gear presenter claimed on the 30 November episode of The One Show that striking workers "should be shot".

Scientists uncover secret of the Shroud

Italian government scientists have claimed to have discovered evidence that a supernatural event must have formed the image on the Turin Shroud. They claim that they could only recreate the scorch marks on the cloth by using modern ultra violet lasers. MORE

Butterflies confused by warm weather

Many butterfly and moth species have been appearing at odd times after getting confused by this year's damp summer, according to Butterfly Conservation. Sightings of common species were down 11 per cent in the 2011 Big Butterfly Count.

A place to spend a pretty penny

A toilet studded with 72,000 pieces of Swarovski crystal and valued at £80,000 pounds has gone on display in Tokyo. Kazuo Summiya, director of the showroom, said it was designed to please the "god of toilets".

Heroin stash found at archive office

A pouch containing 19 sachets of heroin has been found at the National Archives by a scholar poring over old government records. The mysterious "off-white" powder was found in a 1928 Foreign Office file from the British Consulate in Cairo detailing a criminal case involving narcotics.

Reluctant crusade of ex-PM's daughter

Eugenia Carr never wanted to be in politics and was happy running her restaurants and living with her British husband in Kiev. But the jailing of her mother, Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has propelled her daughter into the public arena. MORE

Police called out to their own party

Police in Hartlepool were called out to their own Christmas party on Thursday night. Three patrol cars and police dogs were sent to the Staincliffe Hotel as an event was held for Cleveland Police's detectives. The call-out was over an argument between one of the officers and a woman.

Little Mix's sales fail to hit the high notes

Little Mix's cover of Damien Rice's "Cannonball" sold 210,000 copies in its debut week – the lowest for an X Factor victor's first song since 2004. Despite hitting No 1 in Sunday's singles chart, the track sold less than half of 2010 winner Matt Cardle's first week tally of 439,000.