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The News Matrix: Tuesday 20 November 2012


NI 'illegally bought Saddam photos'

Questions have re-emerged over how News International obtained pictures published in 2005 of Saddam Hussein in his underwear, shown in The Sun and the New York Post. The Daily Beast says News Corp, holding company of News International, illegally bought the photos from a US official. News Corp last night declined to say whether it had used bribery to acquire the photograph. MORE

Go green, investors tell Chancellor

An alliance of investors has urged the Government to cut the country's reliance on gas to battle climate change. The group, which includes institutions controlling £13trn of assets, urge the world's largest economies to engage in "a new dialogue on climate-change policy". MORE

Couple accused of elephant cruelty

Film of a circus elephant kicked and hit with a pitchfork was shown at the trial of a couple accused of causing unnecessary suffering. Bobby and Moira Roberts, who deny the charge, allegedly kept the elephant chained to the ground in Polebrook, Cambridgeshire. The trial continues.

MPs 'rent and let' scheme targeted

MPs could be banned from claiming expenses for renting a home while letting out another property they bought with the help of their parliamentary allowances, under changes being considered by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.  MORE

Man sentenced for trick-or-treat blunder

A man from Oldham who mistakenly gave a police officer's trick-or-treating children bags of cocaine was given 130 hours of community service yesterday. Donald Junior Green, 23, fished in his pockets for a bag of Haribo sweets to give to the children but instead pulled out cocaine. MORE

Bercow in second Twitter breach

Sally Bercow has named a girl whose identity is protected by law in a child-abduction case, hot on the heels of linking ex-Conservative Party treasurer Lord McAlpine to a paedophile scandal, both on Twitter. MORE

Hobbit protest after deaths of horses

Animal rights protesters plan to picket the UK premiere of The Hobbit after news that three horses died unnecessarily during filming. The film opens next month, but now whistleblowers claim poor welfare standards on location in New Zealand contributed to the preventable deaths of more than 20 animals. MORE

Paltry knowledge about poultry

Urban chicken-keepers risk spreading diseases through ignorance of animal welfare, according to the Royal Veterinary College. There has been a boom in backyard coops, popularised by celebrities such as Jamie Oliver and Billie Piper. But many owners have limited awareness of poultry diseases.

Drunk savaged as he tries to ride crocodile

A drunk who climbed into a crocodile enclosure in the town of Broome and tried to ride its 16ft resident has survived. Michael Newman, 36, scaled a fence before trying to mount the 1,800lb crocodile, which bit him. He needed surgery for serious leg wounds. He had earlier been kicked out of a pub in the town.

Petraeus biographer 'devastated' by affair

Paula Broadwell, the writer whose affair with David Petraeus precipitated the CIA director's resignation, has said she is "devastated" by the scandal and "deeply regrets the damage that's been done to her family and everyone else's". Ms Broadwell, Petraeus's biographer, has said she is "trying to move forward". MORE

Kitten rescued after three days in statue

A stray three-week-old kitten has been rescued after being stuck for three days in a statue of Abraham Lincoln. It is not known how the kitten managed to get inside. Staff at the President's Hall of Fame in Clermont, Florida, were alerted by muffled miaows. The kitten was treated for dehydration but is expected to recover.

Almost left on his uppers...

A Texas man donated a pair of shoes to a charity shop, not knowing they contained his life savings. A worker at the shop uncovered the wad of 33 $100 bills and his boss set it aside for seven days. A woman came in to claim the cash, explaining that her husband didn't know she had stashed the cash in his spare shoes.

AC/DC flick open online switch

Rock giants AC/DC have become one of the last major bands to agree a deal to have their back catalogue released digitally. The band had held back on allowing their music to be sold as downloads. Now the group have cleared their entire catalogue – dating back to 1976 debut High Voltage – for online sale.