The News Matrix: Wednesday 07 December 2011


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The Independent Online


Charities profited from HSBC scam 

The HSBC-owned care fees adviser that was fined £10m on Monday for selling inappropriate investments to thousands of pensioners used a government-funded service to attract vulnerable customers. The Firststop Advice receives an estimated £200,000 each year from the public purse. MORE

55 killed in suicide bomb attacks

At least 55 killed in 'unprecedented' suicide bomb attacks. Afghan President Hamid Karzai cancelled his trip to the UK yesterday after a suicide bomb blast at a Shia shrine in Kabul, killing at least 55 people and igniting fears of new sectarian violence in the Sunni-majority country. MORE

'Racist abuser' weeps in the dock

The woman who was allegedly filmed hurling racist abuse at fellow passengers on a busy tram broke down in tears as the video was played in Croydon magistrates' court.

Miliband's economic policy fails to impress

Labour MPs are pressuring Ed Miliband to change the party's stance on the economy over fears they're failing to win the political argument over cutting the deficit. "We need a rethink," said one MP, who claimed the strategy of borrowing even more was not working. MORE

Knox plans to sell her prison story

Amanda Knox plans to sell her story after her conviction for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher was quashed. Ms Knox, 24, has hired Robert Barnett, a lawyer who masterminded lucrative book deals for Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, to act for her. MORE

Retail giant used 'false images'

The retail giant H&M has faced criticism for using computer-generated bikini models on its website. The heads of real models are Photo-shopped on to digitally altered images of a mannequin, sparking fears that the fashion chain is promoting unrealistic body images. A spokesperson said the practice was common in the fashion industry. MORE

Argument over TV remote led to killing

A dental nurse who stabbed her husband in a row over what to watch on television was jailed for 10 years for manslaughter yesterday. Leonora Sinclair, 50, from north London, wanted to see Harry Hill's TV Burp while 73-year-old Lloyd was insistent on watching the football. MORE

Motorists urged to beware of the snow

Drivers navigating icy roads across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England are warned to take extra care. The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for Scotland, where more snow is due to fall tomorrow. Gales of 92mph are also forecast for central Scotland.

Holocaust survivors get pension deal

More than 66 years after the end of World War II, around 16,000 Holocaust survivors will now receive belated financial compensation from reunited Germany under a new hard-fought deal between the Jewish Claims Conference and officials from Chancellor Angela Merkel's government. MORE

Undercover cop busts prosecutor

The lawyer in charge of prosecuting activists preparing to storm the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in 2009 could be fired after failing to unravel the role of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy. A report says he failed to adequately interrogate police on Kennedy's role in the plot. MORE

Tripoli to 'disarm' by end of the month

Residents of the Libyan capital must hand over their weapons to authorities by the end of the month, the leader of the city's council has said. Clashes between revolutionary factions have continued since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in August, despite residents' calls to lay down arms.

Di Rupo sworn in as unlikely new leader

Belgian voters have finally chosen a prime minister after record 535 days of caretaker government. Elio Di Rupo, sworn in yesterday by King Albert II, is the first openly gay leader of a European Union country and the first French speaker since 1979 to lead the country. Sixty per cent of Belgians are Dutch speakers. MORE

PM named top footballer in poll

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has been named Bulgaria's footballer of the year in a national poll, ahead of Manchester United's Dmitar Berbatov. Mr Borisov, who plays for an amateur third division side, took 44 per cent of the vote in a protest against the dire state of the national team.