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The News Matrix: Tuesday 24 May 2011

Tory peer ‘horrified’ to be prosecuted

A Tory peer accused of expenses fraud believed he was entitled to the money as most other members of the Lords claimed the full amount. Lord Hanningfield said he was “horrified” to find himself being prosecuted for the alleged offence.

Three dead in street fighting in capital

Security forces and opposition tribal fighters exchanged fire in the Yemeni capital yesterday, after President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign an agreement urging him to step down. At least three people were killed in the gun battles. MORE

Gang stab father and son on doorstep

A father and son were stabbed on their doorstep as they protected a teenager from a gang. Martin Thompson, 52, and Edward, 18, were seriously injured in the incident in Birmingham on Saturday.

Activists oppose ‘fracking’ expansion

Environmentalists are dismayed that MPs have given the go-ahead to the expansion of off-shore drilling techniques that involve blasting shale rock to retrieve natural gas, known as “fracking”.

Christians demand rights in new society

Egypt’s 10 million Copts are demanding that Christians are no longer treated as second-class citizens in post-revolutionary Egypt, fearing they are in danger of anti-Christian violence after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. MORE

Teenage hitman faces a life sentence

A teenager believed to be Britain’s youngest hitman is facing life in jail after being convicted of shooting a young mother in a contract killing. The killer was just 15 when he was paid £200 to murder 26-year-old Gulistan Subasi. MORE

Woman wins £6m for facelift mistake

Penny Johnson, who was left with a facial twitch after a facelift operation, has won a record £6m payout. Plastic surgeons have criticised her claims that the surgeon “played god” by carrying out experimental surgery on her, and the size of the award granted for damages to her self-confidence that caused her IT firm to collapse. MORE

Tornado slams into mid-western city

A huge tornado hit the US city of Joplin, Missouri on Sunday, leaving at least 89 people dead and countless more injured. Doctors and nurses had to rush patients away from hospital windows before the twister hit, while shopping malls, churches, schools and homes were crushed. MORE

Former president’s remains exhumed

Forensic experts yesterday began examining the remains of the former Chilean president Salvador Allende to get to the bottom of whether he was murdered in 1973 as his presidential palace was attacked. MORE

Hunt is on for terror duo after attack

Pakistan is conducting a manhunt for the two terrorists who escaped after attacking the Mehran naval base in Karachi, in a raid that lasted for 17 hours and left 10 security personnel dead. MORE

‘No Caesarean before counselling’ call

NICE has recommended that expecting mothers requesting a Caesarean birth should be referred for counselling before permission is granted, saying in most cases there is no reason for it. MORE

Odd punishment for flouting safety rules

A judge in Ohio has ordered a couple to stand in a paddling pool wearing life jackets and hand out water-safety brochures at a festival as punishment for rafting on a flood-swollen river without life jackets.

Putting the boot into ‘Wellywood’

Plans to greet visitors to Wellington with a giant white “Wellywood” sign celebrating New Zealand’s booming film industry have backfired, infuriated residents and threatening legal action by Hollywood. MORE

Race for Olympic tickets goes abroad

Britons desperate for tickets to the Olympics are trying to buy them from overseas allocations. Website sales in foreign countries increased dramatically over the weekend, after 1.8 million people applied for tickets in the UK.

‘Handbag heroine’ up for bravery award

A 71-year-old “handbag heroine” clobbered five men with her handbag and thwarted their attempt to rob a jewellers in Northampton in February, a court heard yesterday. The judge recommended Ann Timson for a bravery award.

Lucky the penguin getsacustom shoe

Alame penguin has been given a new lease on life, thanks to a custom-made shoe. Staff at Santa Barbara Zoo asked a local firm to make a shoe for “Lucky”.

Dylan admitted ‘heroin addiction’

Bob Dylan admitted to being suicidal and having a heroin addiction in a newly discovered interview by his friend Robert Shelton. It forms part of a new edition of Shelton’s book No Direction Home.

Illicit moon rock seller is arrested

A woman who tried to sell what she said was a rare piece of moon rock for $1.7m was detained when her would-be buyer turned out to be an undercover Nasa agent. The grey rocks are illegal to sell.

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