The News Matrix: Tuesday 29 November 2011


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Muslim Brotherhood expected to win poll

Enormous queues of voters turned out yesterday as Egypt's first democratic vote in decades appeared to pass off without violence. The Muslim Brotherhood is expected to fulfil a decades-old ambition of rising to power after years of persecution by successive regimes. MORE

UN body accuses army of torture

A United Nations commission of inquiry said yesterday that Syrian military and security forces had committed crimes against humanity including murder, torture and rape, and the government of President Bashar al-Assad bore responsibility. MORE

Teacher spared jail over flight grope

A teacher who assaulted an air steward avoided a jail sentence yesterday. Katherine Goldberg (left), 25, was under the "alcohol-induced illusion" that the man was her boyfriend on a flight to Heathrow. MORE

Call for HIV tests in high-risk areas

Universal testing for HIV should be introduced in areas with the highest rates of the disease, the UK's public health agency has said. The Health Protection Agency says testing would help to reduce the number of those infected who do not know it, estimated at around 20,000. MORE

Commanders deny opening fire on Nato

Nato air strikes which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers lasted almost two hours and continued after commanders pleaded with coalition forces to stop, Pakistan's military has said. They also denied claims from Afghan officials that the initial firing came from their side of the border. MORE

Health and safety rule book reduced

More than 100 health and safety regulations are set to be scrapped under moves to free companies from the burden of "needless bureaucracy", falling from around 200 to under 100. But the Government plans unveiled yesterday faced criticism from unions and safety experts, who accused ministers of putting employees' wellbeing at risk.

Peter Hain may have been hacking target

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain has been told by police that his computer may have been hacked by private detectives working for News International. Officers from Operation Tuleta said other senior Northern Ireland civil servants may have also been hacked.

Woman arrested after rant on tram

British Transport Police investigating a video (above) that shows a woman shouting racist abuse and remonstrating with other passengers on a tram in south London have arrested a 34-year-old woman from New Addington.

Gingrich wins New Hampshire support

Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich won the endorsement of New Hampshire's biggest newspaper, which turned its back on establishment favourite Mitt Romney with just six weeks before the state becomes the first in the country to nominate a candidate.

Applications for university drop 15%

University applications are slumping even further behind the levels for last year, with lecturers blaming the decision to increase tuition fees to up to £9,000 a year. Figures showed a 15.1 per cent drop in UK candidates. A similar comparison last month revealed the figure was 12.9 per cent. MORE

Kansas teen won't apologise for tweet

A teenager who wrote a disparaging tweet about the Republican governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, has refused a demand from her school for a written apology, saying it would be insincere. Mr Brownback's office contacted the school after seeing a tweet in which Emma Sullivan, 18, said the governor "sucked".

Gary Barlow suffers weekly fear factor

X Factor judge Gary Barlow admits he is terrified every week as he waits to see how well the show has done in the ratings. This year it has slipped behind BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing in the Saturday night battle for viewers. The Take That star told Grazia magazine he was also "really nervous" about appearing on the live shows.

Wyclef Jean defends charity's finances

The hip-hop musician and relief worker Wyclef Jean, has robustly defended his personal charity against allegations of misspending millions of dollars donated after last year's earthquake. The singer was responding to a New York Post article questioning what it called the "dubious" finances of his aid agency, Yele. MORE

Speaker's portrait and arms unveiled

A portrait of Commons Speaker John Bercow is to hang in Speaker's House after being unveiled yesterday – at a cost to the taxpayer of £37,000. The painting, by British artist Brendan Kelly, depicts the Speaker mid-action in the Commons chamber. The Commons said a £22,000 commission was paid for the portrait, while £15,000 was spent on "framing and heraldic painting."

Heading a ball can damage the brain

Heading a football too often can lead to brain damage, scientists have warned. Research by the Radiological Society of North America found that players who frequently headed the ball had brain abnormalities similar to those found in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

School buses gift sparks huge outcry

China's donation of school buses to Macedonia brought derision online, where people have called the gift ill-considered given the country's poor safety record. News of the donation sparked a torrent of criticism, with 500,000 posts on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter MORE

Professor denies child porn on plane

A professor pleaded not guilty yesterday to viewing child pornography on his laptop during a flight from Salt Lake City to Boston. Police say Grant Smith, from the University of Utah, was in first class when another passenger allegedly saw images on his laptop.

President changes pants for campaign

South Korea's President, Lee Myung-bak, has told the nation that he has started wearing thermal underwear so he can keep the thermostat down and conserve energy. He said his pants were "a little uncomfortable" but bearable for the nationwide power-saving campaign.