The News Matrix: Wednesday 23 May 2012


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The Independent Online

OFT warns Wonga over threat letters

The Office of Fair Trading has hit out at payday loans firm Wonga for accusing some of its own customers of fraud. Letters were sent to defaulting customers suggesting they could be reported to the police. The watchdog said the firm must not adopt such "aggressive" tactics again. MORE

'How, not whether' says Lib Dem leader

It is a question of "how, not whether" gay marriage is legalised, according to Nick Clegg. The Lib Dem leader promised that the Government legally allow gay marriage despite dissent from Tory backbenchers. The issue was thought to have been sidelined after heavy local election losses. MORE

The Hump's song slumps

Engelbert Humperdinck's Eurovision song has crashed out of the charts after selling just 3,442 copies. "Love Will Set You Free" dropped from No 64 to 76 on Sunday. Retailers have said the failure could be down to a lack of available CDs. Older fans prefer to buy physical copies, but downloads account for 99.7 per cent of the UK singles market.

May sparks anger with Asbo reforms

Theresa May's decision to retain the power to lock up children as young as 14 in reforms of the Asbo system has angered Liberal Democrat ministers and children's groups. Asbos are to be replaced by "easier to enforce" criminal behaviour orders and crime prevention injunctions. MORE

Hundreds take to streets in protest

Debilitating power cuts have pushed hundreds of protesters on to the streets in the biggest public demonstrations since the Saffron Revolution five years ago. Several members of Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party were detained. MORE

Orange pulls plug on women's prize

The Orange Prize for Fiction is looking for a new name and a new sponsor after the telecoms company announced it was ending its support for the award. This year's prize, presented next week, will be the last with the name, as Orange focuses on film partnerships. The novelist Kate Mosse, who co-founded the prize for female fiction, said the award would be developed with a new partner.

Farmworker guilty of supremacist murder

A 29-year-old black farmworker was yesterday found guilty of murdering white supremacist Eugene Terre'Blanche in 2010 – a killing which had sparked fears of a return to early post-apartheid racial tensions in South Africa. MORE

Election marks full circle of revolution

The country's revolution will have come full circle today as millions of voters head to the polls for a presidential election, which could radically alter the face of the Middle East. It's been a year since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak. MORE

Drug driving on the rise, says RAC poll

More young motorists are driving after taking drugs, an RAC survey has claimed. The poll said 13 per cent of 17 to 24-year-olds had driven under the influence, or had been driven by someone under the influence, of drugs in the past year.

Last Olympics tickets on sale

The final 500,000 Olympics tickets go on sale at 11am today on the London 2012 website, available to purchase by anyone, regardless of success or otherwise in previous ballots. General £10 park admission tickets will also be available.

Inventor of the first remote control dies

Eugene Polley, inventor of the first wireless TV remote control, has died, aged 96. The engineer died of natural causes on Sunday at a suburban Chicago hospital, said a spokesman for Zenith Electronics. Polley's 1955 Flash-Matic pointed a beam of light at photo cells in the corners of the TV screen.

Fears over Lebanon after kidnapping

Syrian rebels kidnapped 12 Lebanese Shia pilgrims yesterday, fuelling fears that Lebanon is getting drawn into the chaos next door. The Shias were on their way home from a religious pilgrimage in Iran when rebels intercepted their vehicles in Syria's Aleppo province and abducted the men, reports said. MORE

Painting of Zuma's genitals defaced

President Jacob Zuma sought a court order yesterday to have a painting depicting the his genitals removed from an art gallery, but two men took matters into their own hands by defacing the portrait with gobs of paint. The painting by Brett Murray went on display in a Johannesburg gallery this month. MORE