The News Matrix: Wednesday 6 February 2013


54 countries aided in US renditions

At least 54 countries co-operated with the United States' rendition programme in the wake of 9/11. A report by the Open Justice Initiative showed that even countries labelled as being in the Axis of Evil assisted with the global kidnap and torture of terror suspects without legal process. The UK shared intelligence with the CIA that led to the capture of individuals who were rendered. MORE

1.5 million children suffer neglect in UK

Every day in Britain there are 1.5 million children deprived of food, care and education, a report has shown. Teachers, police officers and social workers said they regularly come into contact with neglected children. Neglect is a factor in 60 per cent of infant deaths or injuries. MORE

PM to respond to Mid Staffordshire report

The NHS is bracing itself for today's publication of the Francis report into the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal. It is estimated between 400 and 1,200 patients were killed in care at the hospital between 2005 and 2008 and Prime Minister David Cameron will respond to the report's findings.

Opposition MPs get hard labour

Three former Kuwaiti opposition politicians were sentenced to three years' hard labour yesterday for insulting the country's ruler in the latest crackdown on political dissent in the nation. The charges stem from speeches made at rallies opposing changes to Kuwait's voting rules.

Gang-rape victim's companion testifies

The man attacked when he tried to stop the gang rape of a 23-year-old student in Delhi went to court yesterday to testify against the five men charged with her murder. Awindra Pandey, 28, declined to speak to the media, but his father said: "My son will go to any lengths to ensure that the guilty are punished." MORE

Pompeii restorer held for corruption

Police in Italy have arrested a former restorer of Pompeii on corruption charges. A further five are being investigated, among them the former commissioner responsible for dealing with the site's slide into dereliction. Italy declared a state of emergency in 2008 at Pompeii after archaeologists complained about the crumbling site.

Syria tops agenda for talks with Iran

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, below, visited Egypt yesterday, becoming the first Iranian President to do so since his country's Islamic revolution in 1979. In a 20-minute chat, he and the Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, discussed ways to end the bloodshed in Syria – a civil war in which they back opposing sides. MORE

Olympic ban for pregnant athlete

A windsurfer who concealed the fact she was pregnant to go to the London Games to see her husband has been banned for life by Portugal's Olympic committee. Carolina Borges will never represent Portugal again. She travelled to London, then emailed to say she was quitting before her RS-X event had started.

GlaxoSmithKline backs data campaign

The UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline stunned the medical world yesterday by announcing it would back a campaign to publish all clinical trial results. The move comes after it was hit with a £1.9bn fine in the US, in part for withholding safety data about its diabetes drug, Avandia.

Water bills to rise by an average of 3.5%

Water bills in England and Wales will rise by an average 3.5 per cent this year. The 14 million homes served by Thames Water face the highest rise and average bills of £343. The water regulator Ofwat said increases were needed to fund a £25bn investment in sewage plants and mains water. MORE

Sir David: I've cried over animals' fate

Sir David Attenborough has cried over the fate of animals in his programmes. "You can't watch a young gazelle being attacked by a cheetah, say, and eaten alive without being deeply moved," he told Radio 5 Live.

Chadian troops take last rebel-held town

Soldiers from Chad have taken Kidal, the last remaining major town in northern Mali under the control of Islamist rebels. The conquest, involving 1,800 Chadian troops, marks the end of the first phase of the French military's Mali campaign. Paris must now decide whether to pursue the fighters into the mountains. MORE

'Spider-Man' scales Habana Libre

The man known as the French Spider-Man has scaled Cuba's famous Habana Libre without ropes or a safety net. Alain Robert, 50, took just half an hour to climb 27 storeys. However, the crumbling structure proved a challenge. "You know it can be rusty, the concrete can be damaged. So it's a bit scary," he said.