The News Matrix: Wednesday 9 February 2011

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Another Murdoch paper in hack claim

A second News International newspaper has become embroiled in the phone hacking scandal. Scotland Yard is to investigate The Sun after former union boss Andy Gilchrist claimed his messages were intercepted during a strike. MORE

Manchester left with only one public loo

Manchester will soon have only one public toilet when the first round of public-spending cuts closes all others in the city. The facilities at the Town Hall have two attendants, a parents’ rooms and oak doors, and will be the only one to remain. MORE

Islamists attack churches and court

Islamists attacked churches and a court yesterday to demand a harsh sentence for a Catholic man accused of blasphemy. The protests came during the country’s “inter-faith week”, aimed at promoting tolerance.

Daughters fatally stabbed their father

Retired antique dealer Antoni Robinson, 61, from Old Colwyn, north Wales, was stabbed 15 times as his daughters and their boyfriends tried to rob him. Asheigh, 19, and Holly 16, were convicted of murder with Gordon Harding, 20, and Sacha Roberts, 19.

£9,000 annual fee to go to Cambridge

Cambridge has become the first university to announce it plans to charge the maximum £9,000-a-year fee for all of its courses. Cambridge plans to offer means-tested reductions to students whose families earn less than £25,000 a year. MORE

Taylor’s lawyer ‘storms out of court’

The trial of the former Liberian president Charles Taylor, accused in The Hague ofwar crimes, descended into farce yesterday when his British lawyer stormed out of the courtroom after judges refused to accept a 600-page summary of the case. MORE

Cameron’s personal popularity at lowest

David Cameron is no longer “Teflon man”, according to The Independent’s latest “poll of polls”. There has been a fall in support for the Tories but this is the first indication that Cameron is being dragged down himself. MORE

Critics’ web of scorn for ‘Spider-Man’

The critics usually hold fire until at least the opening night before they go for the jugular, but in the case of Spider-Man, the costliest Broadway show ever, they couldn’t wait to pan it. The show is in “equal parts exciting and atrocious… constantly see-sawing between the galvanising and the lame,” said one. MORE

Regime fails to appease reformers

The Egyptian government failed to reinforce its new-found commitment to political reform yesterday, as a huge crowd packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Protesters cheered activist Wael Ghonim after his release from 12 days of detention. MORE

Lily Allen spends £60,000 on security

Lily Allen is spending £60,000 on home security after the Daily Mail published details of her property on itswebsite. Allen is suing the Mail for up to £100,000 damages. MORE

Warlord claims Moscow bombing

Doku Umarov, the notorious Chechen warlord has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing last month at Moscow’s main airport. He called for more attacks.

Chicken kills man

A man attending an illegal cockfight in central California died after being stabbed in the leg by a bird that had a knife attached to its own leg. Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, was declared dead at a hospital about two hours after he was stabbed.

President finally quits smoking

The First Lady, Michelle Obama, says her husband has finally quit smoking. Mrs Obama made the comments in an interview with reporters at the White House yesterday. Barack Obama, who had discussed his nicotine addiction, has always wanted to quit.

Japanese prefer Glaswegian brogue

Glaswegians have the most attractive accent for the Japanese, according to a new study. The accent came out on top for social attractiveness to Japanese people learning to speak English, a survey by Northumbria University found. Those questioned listened to six varieties of English. MORE

Octogenarian thief continues her career

The country’s notorious octogenarian thief is not ready for retirement. The 84-year-old woman – “Flying Gizi”– whose criminal record dates to the 1950s, is again in custody for suspected theft. Gizella Bodnar has been convicted of over 20 crimes and has spent nearly 18 years in prison.

Super fan crosses world for Packers

The man who might be Australia’s greatest Green Bay Packers fan returned to the US to watch them win the Super Bowl on Sunday. In 2007, Wayne Scullino quit his job and sold his home in Sydney to follow the team. He was in Dallas for the big game with another fan’s spare ticket.

Witches will have to follow the law, too

Proposed laws would require witches to get a permit, provide receipts to customers and make it possible to fine or even imprison one whose prediction turns out to be false. A bill has just started its way through parliament in the country, where witchcraft has long been part of the culture.

Picasso sold for £22.5m

A painting by Pablo Picasso sold for £22.5m at auction last night. La Lecturewas expected to fetch between £12m and £18m at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art sale in London. The painting depicts the artist’s young lover Marie-Therese Walter asleep in an armchair.