The News Matrix: Tuesday 31 January 2012

 

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Speeding fines to hit the £100 barrier

Speeding fines are set to rise to up to £100 under plans to help fund compensation for the victims of crime, Kenneth Clarke has announced. The Justice Secretary said payouts will be aimed at the most serious injuries. The scheme will also help British victims of terror attacks abroad. MORE

Man admits £38m 'Ponzi' scheme fraud

A man has admitted organising what could be the biggest "Ponzi" scheme in the UK, paying bogus returns to existing investors with money paid in by new investors. Southwark Crown Court heard how Kautilya Nandan Pruthi, 41, persuaded his victims to invest £38m between 2005 and 2008.

Family jailed for 'honour killings'

Three members of an Afghan family have been found guilty of killing three teenage sisters and another woman in what the judge described as "cold-blooded, shameful murders" to end a case that has shocked Canadians. Prosecutors said the daughters were killed because they defied rules on dating and going online. MORE

Help us find mother's killer, plead family

The son and daughter of a pensioner murdered at her cottage appealed for help to bring her killer to justice yesterday. The body of retired teacher Betty Yates, 77, was found at her home near Bewdley, Worcestershire, on 4 January. She is believed to have been killed two days earlier. MORE

Romney in Florida comfort zone

With hours to go before the key Florida primary today, Mitt Romney looked set to win a comfortable defeat over his closest rival, former house speaker Newt Gingrich, with a comfortable lead in polls. MORE

Colonel's son, 13, dies from shot in the head

The 13-year-old son of a US Air Force colonel died in hospital after shooting himself in the head. Police were called to a house in Souldern, near Bicester, Oxfordshire, on Sunday morning. The boy was taken to hospital but died yesterday with his family at his side. The US Air Force said the teenager's death was "a tragic accident".

'UN team can extend nuclear mission'

Iran's top diplomat has offered to extend the visit of UN nuclear inspectors and expressed optimism their findings would ease tensions. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi's comments underscored the country's efforts to display cooperation with the IAEA team. MORE

Former security head sentenced to death

Major Hamza al-Mustapha, feared right-hand man to Nigeria's former military dictator, was yesterday sentenced to death over the 1996 killing of an opposition candidate's wife. Al-Mustapha, who served General Sani Abacha, was found guilty of ordering the killing of the wife of businessman and politician Moshood Abiola.

RBS chiefs feel the heat over bonuses

Senior executives at Royal Bank of Scotland were last night under pressure to forego their annual payouts – due to be announced later this month – after an announcement by chief executive Stephen Hester that he would not accept his £963,000 bonus this year. The Prime Minister said yesterday that he expected any RBS bonuses to be "responsible". MORE

Scorsese takes lead in award campaign

Not content with 11 Oscar nominations for Hugo, Martin Scorsese has launched a campaign for Blackie the Doberman to be nominated for the 'best dog in a theatrical film' gong at this year's Golden Collar Awards. MORE

Jail for Rooney blackmailers

Two men have been jailed for attempting to blackmail Coleen Rooney, wife of England footballer Wayne Rooney. Lee Platt, 29, and Steven Malcolm, 42, demanded £5,000 from Mrs Rooney for the return of her stolen camera.

Theatre-goers pile in for plays

Ticket sales across London's theatres have hit an all-time high for the eighth year in a row, lifting box office takings to a record £528.3m in 2011. Musicals such as Les Miserables remained popular, but the biggest growth was in plays, with hits including War Horse and Jerusalem. MORE

Ugg! School bans fur-topped boots

A Pennsylvania school has banned pupils from wearing fur-topped boots, saying students use them to hide forbidden items such as mobile phones. Pottstown Middle School said pupils should instead wear lace-up boots, which usually have a more snug fit. "Mobile phones are a problem," said a school board official.

Beckham voted world's top hunk

David Beckham has been ranked the "hottest hunk" in the world, beating Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds to the top spot. The Heat magazine poll was compiled from reader votes and a panel including a modelling agency boss and celebrity photographer. The men were judged on talent, dress sense, sex appeal and personality.

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