The News Matrix: Wednesday 28 December 2011


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The Independent Online

Jobless total to reach highest since 1994

Unemployment will increase to 2.85 million in 2012, while the workforce will fall by 120,000 as jobs continue to be lost in the public sector, a new study from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development predicts. It says the jobless total will reach its highest since 1994. MORE

China strikes deal for 87m barrels of oil

The Afghan government has signed a deal with state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, which will see it tap into 87 million barrels of oil. Developing the project in northern Afghanistan will take considerable investment in a country that has been ravaged by war. MORE

TV chef critical after fire wipes out family

An Australian celebrity chef who has appeared on Ready Steady Cook was fighting for his life last night after a house fire killed his entire family. Matt Golinski's wife, Rachel, and their three daughters died in the fire in their Sunshine Coast home in the early hours of Boxing Day.

Tory majority want Britain to leave EU

A majority of Conservative Party members want Britain to leave the EU. A poll of 1,566 party members, by the ConservativeHome website, shows 54 per cent believe the UK should leave the EU and sign up to a free-trade agreement, a view shared by a minority of Tory MPs. MORE

Prince Philip joins Queen after heart op

The Duke of Edinburgh has joined the Royal Family after leaving hospital. A smiling Prince Philip, 90, was driven to Sandringham after having a coronary stent fitted in his heart.

Huge protests as Arab League arrives

Thousands of protesters marched into the Syrian city of Homs to show Arab League observers the reality of the nine-month long uprising against the government: 100,000 people were reported to have taken part in the protest just hours after at least 10 people were killed in the area. Homs has endured heavy shelling in recent days, but locals say tanks swiftly left before the observers' arrival.

Prison virginity tests to be banned

Prison virginity tests in Egypt are to be stopped after one victim took her case to court. Samira Ibrahim was arrested during a protest in Tahrir Square in March, and was forced to undergo the test while in detention. The practice sparked condemnation of the military rulers. MORE

Swedish journalists jailed for 11 years

Two Swedish journalists have been jailed in Ethiopia for 11 years for supporting terrorism. Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were arrested in July in the Somali region of the country. Amnesty International has called for their immediate release. MORE

Craig lays into Blair for schmoozing

As if the ire of the anti-Iraq movement were not enough, James Bond has taken a swing at Tony Blair. Daniel Craig has singled out the former Prime Minister as the leading figure in a world of politicians "trying to cosy up to celebrities". "Blair started it," Craig told Men's Journal. MORE

Newspaper pays out to recipe victims

A Chilean newspaper has been ordered to pay over £80,000 to victims of a hazardous recipe. Santiago-based La Tercera will pay out to 13 readers who sustained burns when trying out the newspaper's churros recipe. One woman received £30,000 for suffering severe burns.

48,500 new homes for Brontë moorland

The windswept West Yorkshire moors which inspired the Brontë sisters' classic works are being threatened by moves to develop the land into new homes. Bradford Council is consulting on proposals to build 48,500 new homes, many in Haworth where the sisters lived. MORE

£720m is paid out in record jackpot year

Hundreds of lottery winners claimed a total of £720m in a record year for payouts. The biggest-ever jackpot of £161m was won by Colin and Chris Weir in the EuroMillions draw in July, and 229 millionaires were created. Men were luckier than women, picking up 60 per cent of the jackpots.

Bankrupt rapper told to sell name

A bankrupt rapper has been ordered to sell his assets – including his name. Young Buck tweeted on the court ruling: "If somebody gonna sell my name, better call my momma. It belong to her!" MORE