The News Matrix: Wednesday 18 January 2012


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Pinochet judge goes on trial for corruption

Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish judge known for his attempt to extradite General Pinochet, has gone on trial in the first of three cases. The initial suit, which sees the judge facing a possible 17-year suspension, alleges he ordered illegal police recordings in a corruption case. MORE

Yemen: Presidential poll may be postponed

The upcoming presidential elections could be postponed due to continued unrest. The suggestion, made by Yemen's Foreign Minister, is likely to enrage protesters who have been demanding the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh after 33 years in power.

Hislop puts Leveson right about the law

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop rejected calls for statutory regulation of the press at yesterday's Leveson Inquiry, claiming practices such as phone hacking and payments to police are already illegal. He also condemned the closeness of senior politicians to News International executives. MORE

Nomads 'moved to barren villages'

Ethiopia has forcibly move thousands of semi-nomadic people to barren villages under its "villagization", a Human Rights Watch report claims. The country hit back by slamming the rights group, which also said it suspects that the people may have been moved to attract investors. MORE

Philip in first official date since heart op

The Duke of Edinburgh has attended his first official engagement since his heart operation. Prince Philip, 90, attended a fund-raising dinner at Cambridge University last night in aid of the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Baby deaths hospital under investigation

An investigation has been launched into emergency care provided by an NHS trust already at the centre of a storm over the deaths of newborn babies. Detectives stepped in after a number of infants – reportedly at least seven – died at Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Cumbria, part of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

Miliband warns he will not back down

Ed Miliband warned he will not back down over Labour's tougher commitment to spending cuts. He faced the biggest challenge to his authority as union leaders vented their anger over Labour's call for the Coalition's public sector pay constraint to be extended to protect jobs. MORE

Legalising same-sex unions being mulled

Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, has said the island's lawmakers will consider legalising same-sex civil unions this year. A prominent gay rights activist, Ms Castro said a preliminary proposal to modify the country's Family Code is being studied.

Unemployment rate set to rise

The unemployment rate is expected to rise in figures released today, with analysts warning that the jobless number could peak at 2.9 million in 2013. The data is expected to show a rise from last month's 2.6 million as an organisation representing small businesses said brutal redundancies are afoot.

EU advised to resist settlement expansion

EU diplomats have told the European Commission to consider measures to limit support for illegal Israeli settlements. They said a surge in settlement expansion in East Jerusalem was one factor undermining the Palestinian presence in the city. MORE

Driver fights for life after crash on M5

A driver was fighting for his life last night after a lorry collided with several cars on the M5. The accident happened just after 5pm between junctions 10 and 11 near Cheltenham. One man had life-threatening injuries and five other people were hurt.

Morality police turn their sights on Barbie

The nation's "morality police" are cracking down on the sale of Barbie dolls to protect Iranians from what they see as pernicious Western culture eroding Islamic values, according to shopkeepers. The ban is part of what the Iranian government calls a "soft war" against decadent influences.

Silence is golden for Bafta nominations

The Artist, a silent film which pays tribute to 1920s Hollywood, has scored 12 Bafta nominations. The Iron Lady is in contention for four awards, including a nod for Meryl Streep as Best Actress. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, starring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth, got 11 nominations. MORE

Farc sells cattle to finance insurgency

President Juan Manuel Santos has said that the Farc rebel group was increasingly selling its cattle to finance South America's longest-running insurgency. The rebels are reeling after years of a US-backed military offensive that has led to a drop in income from trafficking cocaine.

Panda recovers from bout of colic

One of the UK's two giant pandas is making a steady recovery from a bout of colic that saw him removed from show at Edinburgh Zoo. Yang Guang, above, is "brighter and more active" and eating lots of bamboo.

Spring/Summer row is resolved

A feud between the world's fashion capitals was resolved yesterday when the British Fashion Council and the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced the spring/summer 2013 collections will begin in New York on 6 September, followed by London on 14 September.

Call for Olympics to offer a golden fleece

A week after a New Zealander achieved the enviable feat of becoming the first woman to shear more than 500 lambs in eight hours, one of the country's farm lobby groups has publicly called for sheep shearing to be recognised as a demonstration sport at the Olympics. MORE

Not fair, cries robber who was turned in

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a man who held a Kansas couple hostage, then sued them for breach of contract for turning him in. Jesse Dimmick said he had an oral contract with Jared and Lindsay Rowley, whom he confronted with a knife after breaking into their home.

Stop talking and get on with work

Most people spend at least an hour every day gossiping at work, mainly about colleagues. A survey of 2,000 UK adults by Florida's Department of Citrus showed that social network sites Facebook and Twitter were the main source of rumours and conversation topics.