The News Matrix: Wednesday 11 April 2012


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Regime disregards ceasefire deadline

Syria's disregard of the deadline for a ceasefire sparked international outrage yesterday, with pressure mounting for tougher measures to end the bloodshed. Syria's foreign minister said the regime was committed to the plan and pullbacks had begun, but 65 more deaths were reported. MORE

Trayvon killer appeals for cash

The man who shot black teenager Trayvon Martin has launched a website to solicit donations. George Zimmerman did not go into details about the teenager's death, but said he was involved in a "life-altering event". Martin was killed in February in Sanford, Florida.

Philanthropists slam tax dodge claim

Charity donors have rubbished David Cameron and George Osborne's claim that philanthropists give money to good causes as a way of dodging tax. Former Philanthropist of the Year, Richard Ross, said the Government was using a "sledgehammer to crack a nut". MORE

BBC spends £850k on staff travel

The BBC has spent almost £850,000 ferrying staff between London and the North West in the eight months since taking up residence at its MediaCity HQ. Some £642,706 was lavished on train fares, while taxis and flights cost £160,373 and £45,157 respectively. MORE

Breivik is not insane, psychiatrists decide

Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist who confessed to killing 77 people in a bomb-and-shooting rampage in Norway, is not criminally insane, psychiatrists said in a new assessment. MORE

Abu Hamza extradition granted

The radical cleric Abu Hamza will be extradited to the US after the European Court of Human Rights rejected claims that a lengthy detention across the Atlantic would constitute torture. The extradition of a further four terror suspects, including alleged terrorism fundraiser Babar Ahmad, was also approved by the court.

Communist purge claims new victim

Police in China have accused the wife of purged Communist leader Bo Xilai of murdering a British businessman. Gu Kailai is suspected of killing Neil Heywood in Chongqing last November. Reports then claimed he had died of alcohol poisoning. His body was cremated without an autopsy. MORE

Human rights activist jailed

Ni Yulan, a Chinese human rights defender left wheelchair-bound after police mistreatment, was sentenced yesterday to 32 months in jail for fraud and "unruly behaviour". She and her husband were arrested a year ago during a dragnet to prevent Arab Spring-style unrest. MORE

Prince shoots himself in the foot

Spain's Royal Family found itself embroiled in a row over the use of firearms by minors yesterday after King Juan Carlos's 13-year-old grandson accidentally shot himself in the foot with a small-bore rifle. Felipe Juan Froilan, fifth in line, suffered "a minor accident" when the gun misfired.

Teachers caught canoodling!

The hunt is on for a mystery couple who were spotted canoodling at the teachers' union's annual conference. The lovebirds, who have not been identified, were spotted sharing an intimate moment on the balcony of the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay over the weekend.

Tory MP rejects hosepipe claims

Junior Environment Minister Richard Benyon has rejected claims in a Sunday tabloid that a hose on his 20,000-acre Berkshire property was "gushing" with water despite the current hosepipe ban.

Police protection fees to boost coffers

Struggling under the pressures of austerity, Greek police have begun offering a €30 (£25) per hour "cop-for-hire" scheme for private companies or citizens seeking protection at special events. Revenues from the service are to be used to fund police equipment and boost the state budget.

Light pollution prevents stargazing

Britain's skies are "saturated" with light pollution, campaigners have warned. A survey by the Campaign to Protect Rural England showed only 47 per cent of participants were able to distinguish more than 10 stars in the major constellation of Orion.

Boy takes initiative– and the wheel

A 13-year-old schoolboy from Washington state averted disaster on Monday when he took control of a bus after the driver lost consciousness. Jeremy Wuitschick rushed down the aisle and grabbed the wheel, steering the bus to the side of the road. The driver is now in hospital.

Beach Boy doctor in drugs disgrace

A Californian doctor who co-wrote a song performed by the Beach Boys has surrendered his medical licence amid allegations by the Medical Board of California that he prescribed medications for himself. Dr Donald Jay Altfeld co-wrote the song "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena" - AP