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The News Matrix: Wednesday 20 June 2012


Greek parties will form a government 'soon'

Parties promised yesterday to form a coalition government soon which will seek concessions from the country's lenders on its austerity programme. Officials indicated the New Democracy, Pasok and Democratic Left parties were making progress towards forming a government. MORE

Farm fertiliser threat to UK's wild flowers

Many of Britain's best-loved wild flower species are disappearing because of nitrogen pollution from car exhausts and farm fertilisers, experts are warning. Birds-foot trefoil, harebells and eyebright are being crowded out by more robust plants such as nettles and grasses. MORE

Mubarak reported to be ‘clinically dead’

The former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was reported to be “clinically dead”, according to Reuters. He had suffered a heart attack and went into a coma yesterday. Mubarak, 84, had been in a prison medical wing since being jailed for life on 2 June for his role in the deaths of protesters.

UK halts shipment of attack helicopters

A ship believed to be carrying attack helicopters to Syria is on its way back to Russia after Britain intervened to halt the shipment. The Russian-operated MV Alaed's London insurer, Standard Club, also withdrew its coverage. EU sanctions control the transfer of arms to Syria. MORE

Assange asylum bid at Ecuador embassy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walked into the Ecuadorian embassy in west London last night seeking political asylum. Mr Assange, 40, is facing extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of sex crimes.

Murky world of undeclared interests

A Conservative peer has been acting as an adviser to a European lobbying firm for five years without declaring it to Parliament, an investigation has found. Lord Plumb has been associated with the lobbyists Alber and Geiger since 2007. But, despite sitting on the Lords' EU Select Committee until May, Lord Plumb does not declare his involvement in the Lords' Register of Interests. MORE

Court disqualifies PM from office

Pakistan has been plunged into fresh turmoil after the country's Supreme Court disqualified the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani from office. The court ruled Mr Gilani's conviction two months ago for contempt rendered him ineligible to hold on to his position.

May considers 'legal high' restrictions

The Home Secretary Theresa May said she was looking at introducing tighter restrictions on "legal highs". The Government's drug adviser yesterday called for a policy similar to the US where constituent parts of the drugs are illegal. MORE

Police probe 1,000 in ticket scandal

Police investigating the Olympics ticketing scandal have drawn up a list of 1,000 people and 30 websites they suspect are involved in the black market trade ahead of the Games. Officers are working with US authorities to stop illegal sales.

PM in trouble over plagiarism claims

Romania's Prime Minister is in hot water over allegations that he plagiarised parts of his doctoral thesis. But Victor Ponta has rebuffed calls resign, saying the claims are politically motivated. Plagiarism charges have recently forced several other politicians to resign.

Vatican blames journalists for leaks

The Vatican's second highest-ranking official blamed the media for fuelling the scandal over leaked documents. Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told an Italian Catholic weekly that journalists reporting on the leaks scandal are "pretending to be Dan Brown".

Couple who cleaned up helped clean-up

A couple helped clear up their flood-hit village unaware that they were millionaires after scooping a £2.1m lottery win. Robin and Lesley Palmer, from Swillington, Leeds, did not check their numbers for six days after winning a share of the jackpot on 9 June. Flash floods struck the following night.

Tyson aims for a KO on Broadway

Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will team up with the film director, Spike Lee, to bring his one-man show to Broadway next month. Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is a raw confessional on the highs and lows of the boxer's life.

Kardashian blamed for society's woes

Stars are prematurely sexualising young pupils, a leading head teacher says. "Almost everything that is wrong with Western society today can be summed up in that one symbolic photo of Miss Kim Kardashian on the front of Zoo magazine," said Dr Helen Wright, of St Mary's Calne.

Radio DJ sets record for longest hosting

A Belgian radio DJ has set a new world record for the longest hosting of a radio show, stretching over eight days and seven nights. "Now I can only think of one thing – sleep, sleep, sleep," Peter Van de Veire said at the end of his 185-hour stretch on Monday.

Candidate's 'sex appeal' for voters

Sex sells – at least that's what Mexico's ruling party candidate is hoping as she seeks to rescue her fading chances in Mexico's upcoming presidential election. Josefina Vazquez Mota has appealed to women voters to use their wiles to ensure their husbands vote on 1 July.

British talent triumphs at awards

BBC drama Sherlock has been named best mini-series at a US awards ceremony. Its lead actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, took home Critics' Choice Television Award for best actor in a mini-series, while presenter Cat Deeley won best reality show host for So You Think You Can Dance.