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The News Matrix: Wednesday 18 January 2012

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.

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Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?