The News Matrix: Tuesday 7 February 2012

 

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The Independent Online

Taxpayer has to find £200bn for projects

Long-term spending commitments of £200bn are a ticking timebomb for taxpayers, the Government's own spending watchdog warns today. The Commons Public Accounts Committee criticised the Treasury for not keeping a grip on the "spend now, pay later" projects. MORE

Tears as court hears tirade from Breivik

Survivors and relatives of those killed in a mass-murder rampage wept and ridiculed the smiling attacker in court as he defended his acts by issuing a tirade against immigration. Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people, said he had carried out the massacre to prevent Norway's cultural destruction.

Merkel backs Sarko's re-election campaign

German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election campaign yesterday, flanking the French President in two TV appearances. Her appearance raised eyebrows in France, where there is a feeling that Berlin is calling too many shots in the eurozone crisis. MORE

London shooting victim is named

A man shot dead near a London Underground station was yesterday named by police. Ali Armagan, 32, was blasted by at least one gunman as he sat in a car in Langham Road in Turnpike Lane on 1 February. The victim, a Turkish national from Hackney, was shot at least six times.

Paisley hospitalised with heart problems

The Rev Ian Paisley has been admitted to intensive care with heart problems. The 85-year-old former Belfast First Minister and head of the Democratic Unionist party was taken to a Belfast hospital on Sunday. MORE

Call for tough new anti-stalking law

A new anti-stalking law is needed to stop the criminal justice system failing victims whose calls for help are not taken seriously, giving tormentors confidence to extend their harassment, an all-party inquiry reports today. It found most victims were unhappy with the way authorities handled their complaints and police and prosecutors were ill-equipped to cope. MORE

Putin promises more power for the people

Russia must give its people more political power but should not hastily follow foreign recipes for democracy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said yesterday, a month before the presidential election. But he announced no reforms, signalling he intends to keep a firm grip on the political system. MORE

David Miliband will not join front bench

David Miliband will not return to frontline politics in a bid to avoid the "daily soap opera" which would accompany him joining his brother Ed on the front bench. Although he is said to be frustrated at Labour's slow progress, he says he would be a distraction rather than a help.

Underdog Santorum hopes to turn tide

Rick Santorum has lost four straight contests in the race to be Republican presidential candidate, but the next election in Minnesota is looking like more fertile territory for him, with its small contingent of highly conservative and evangelical caucus-goers. MORE

One in seven shops empty on high street

One in seven shops were empty on the high street at the end of last year, according to a new report. However, rising unemployment and weak consumer confidence mean the situation is likely to worsen this year, says the Local Data Company.

Prime Minister quits over spending cuts

Prime Minister Emil Boc has quit, joining a list of European leaders felled by fury at the kind of spending cuts that prompted weeks of mass protests in Bucharest against IMF-backed austerity. Protesters welcomed his departure. MORE

Cornish vineyard aims for quality mark

A Cornish vineyard has become the first British firm to apply for protected status for one of its wines. Camel Valley Vineyard in Bodmin is applying for Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) recognition for its Darnibole wine, the EU equivalent of France's AOC mark.

Hole-digging contest draws hundreds

Over 1,000 people gathered on the outskirts of Tokyo to dig their way to victory in the Japan All-National Hole Digging Competition at the weekend. The annual contest drew 259 teams to test their hole-digging prowess and claim awards that included one for the deepest hole.

Top designers to talent scout Britain

Five leading designers are going on tour to encourage fashion design across Britain. Julien MacDonald, Matthew Williamson, Giles Deacon, Christopher Kane and Gareth Pugh are all due to take part in the Fashion Fringe Road Show – a talent scouting and mentoring scheme set. MORE

Parking is fine due to no parking fines

Authorities are giving parking violators in Potsdam a break by issuing tickets without fines. The tickets, put on carelessly parked cars, include a fine of €0 and the message "Glück gehabt!!!" (Lucky you!!!) The approach is designed to admonish motorists without hitting them in the wallet.

British acts dominate sales on home turf

British stars are dominating the UK charts with their highest share of sales for 15 years, with Adele leading the pack. British acts dominated with 53 per cent of album sales in 2011, up 4 per cent on the previous year. Coldplay, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran and Amy Winehouse all boosted sales.

Super Bowl breaks TV-audience record

A record 111.3 million US viewers watched the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots 21-17 in the Super Bowl on Sunday, just beating the 2011 TV audience for the game. Sunday's Super Bowl was the most-watched TV programme in US history. MORE

Record-breaker has a lot of bottle

Irishman Richard Donovan, 45, says the carbs from a bottle of beer helped him become the only man to run seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days. He ended in Sydney to clock four days, 22 hours, three mins.

Five orcas named in slavery lawsuit

A federal judge in San Diego has heard a case that could determine whether animals enjoy constitutional protection against slavery. Lawyers for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals yesterday outlined a lawsuit against Sea World, in which they name five captured orcas as plaintiffs.

Events planned to mark Dickens' 200th

The 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens will be celebrated across the country. Royal Mail will unveil a set of new stamps featuring illustrations from Dickens' works. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will lead celebrations at Westminster Abbey.

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