The News Matrix: Wednesday 11 July 2012


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The Independent Online

Ministers agree new package for Spain

Eurozone finance ministers agreed yesterday to the latest in a series of packages aimed at stemming Spain's financial crisis, by bringing forward some previously committed aid to the country's ailing banks and giving the government more time to cut its budget deficit. The strings attached include yet more austerity measures for a country struggling with recession. MORE

Wealthier visitors to be fast-tracked

Separate passport desks for people from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan will be set up at Heathrow Airport in a bid to reduce queues. The Immigration minister Damian Green's fast-track scheme angered immigration campaigners. MORE

Court ruling closes parliament

Egypt's highest court has ruled against a decree by the Islamist President recalling the country's dissolved parliament. The ruling came hours after the 508-seat chamber held a brief session after being reconvened by President Mohammed Morsi. MORE

Former leader Olmert cleared of corruption

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was yesterday acquitted of two of the corruption charges that drove him from office. Olmert was convicted on a lesser charge of breach of trust, but the not-guilty verdicts prompted allies to suggest he could be heading for a comeback. MORE

Gunman 'shot at noisy neighbours'

The Clacton-on-Sea gunman who shot dead a policeman before killing himself was an unpaid worker at a gun club, acquaintances have revealed. Peter Reeve, 64, began shooting at neighbours over disputes over noise and parking. Locals said he was on medication for depression. MORE

Officials fired over exam marking errors

Four exam board officials have been fired after mistakes in marking GCSE and A-level papers that could have resulted in students missing out on university places. A further 78 officials were reprimanded as OCR admitted that more than 100 students were given the wrong grades.

Warlord jailed on child soldier charge

A Congolese warlord was sentenced to 14 years in prison by the International Criminal Court yesterday. Judges found Thomas Lubanga guilty in March of recruiting and using children in his militia, sending them to kill and be killed during fighting in Congo's eastern Ituri region in 2002-2003. MORE

More women in their Forties having babies

The number of births to women in their forties in 2011 was three times higher than in 1991, figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed. The rate reached 30,000– a rise of 6.7 per cent. In keeping with national trends since the mid 70s, the number of births to women under 20 fell by 8.7 per cent. MORE

Trump tees off on his hard-won gold links

US Tycoon Donald Trump has hailed his victory over local residents, environmentalists and wind farm manufacturers after striking the first ball on his new Aberdeenshire golf course.

Islamists attack heritage site

Islamist militants have destroyed two tombs at the famous 14th century Djingareyber mosque in Timbuktu, classified by Unesco as a world heritage site. About a dozen militants arrived in an armoured truck, fired in the air to intimidate people and started smashing the tombs. MORE

Hyde Park Eighties show cancelled

A Hyde Park concert featuring Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and a host of Eighties stars due to take place today has been cancelled after heavy rain turned the park into a mudbath. Disappointed Hit Factory show ticket holders would have seen the reunion of Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue.

Universal signs up Fifty Shades of Grey

The team behind The Social Network will produce the film adaption of the erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced that Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti will reteam for the adaptation of the novels by EL James about a student's relationship with a businessman. MORE

Alligator bites off teenager's arm

A 3m-long alligator bit off a teenager's arm below the elbow as he swam in a Florida river. Kaleb Langdale, 17, survived the encounter on Monday in the Caloosahatchee River, but doctors were unable to reattach his arm. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission official said the alligator had been killed.

Peter O'Toole 'chucks in' film career at 79

Peter O'Toole has retired from films and stage at the age of 79. The Lawrence of Arabia star said it was "time for me to chuck in the sponge" as "the heart for it has gone out of me". The British actor was nominated eight times for an Academy Award without ever winning, but was handed an honorary Oscar in 2003.

Mystery woman's identity revealed

South Korean intelligence sources claim to have uncovered the identity of the glamorous young woman pictured with North Korea's young supreme leader Kim Jong-un in recent days. They say she is Hyon Song-wol, a local pop singer who fronted the Bochonbo Electronic Music Band, renowned for hits in the 2000s. MORE