The Saturday Matrix: Saturday 6 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Security forces kill 10 as protests go on

Protesters again took to Syria’s streets yesterday, and security forces again fired on them ruthlessly, killing at least ten people. The six-day assault on Hama appears to have done little to intimidate protesters. In Damascus, crowds chanted: “Hama, we are with you until death.”

Man jailed in Baby P death case released

The first of the three people jailed over Baby P’s death was released from prison yesterday, sources said. Jason Owen, 39, was serving six years for causing or allowing the death of 17-month-old Peter Connelly four years ago. His release comes at the halfway point of his jail term.

Shell gets permission to drill off Alaska

The government has granted Shell provisional permission to drill oil exploration wells off the coast of Alaska. But environmentalists are fiercely opposed to the plans and warn that drilling in the Beaufort Sea could lead to a Gulf of Mexico-style oil spill. MORE

Disabled boy’s £6.6m negligence payout

A boy left with profound disabilities as a result of medical negligence during his birth has been awarded a package worth around £6.6m. Leo Whiten, now aged seven, was left with severe brain damage as a result of his delivery at London’s St George’s Hospital in 2004. MORE

Five officers found guilty of violations

A jury yesterday convicted five current or former police officers of civil-rights violations over shootings after Hurricane Katrina. Prosecutors said police shot six unarmed people, killing two, on a New Orleans bridge less than a week after the 2005 storm.

M25 crash delays UK summer getaways

Motorists departing for weekend breaks and summer holidays faced lengthy delays after a lorry hit a motorway’s central reservation, leaving three people injured. Several vehicles were caught up in the collision on the M25 in Surrey, which caused some long tailbacks.

18 boat children in refugee ‘swap’

Julia Gillard’s Labour government is preparing to deport up to 18 children to Malaysia, 13 of them unaccompanied. They were among 55 migrants who landed on Christmas Island on Thursday in the first boatload to arrive since Australia agreed a refugee “swap” with Malaysia.

Gaddafi denies son died in Nato air strike

The fate of Khamis Gaddafi, 28, one of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, remained unclear yesterday after rebels claimed he was killed in a Nato airstrike. Tripoli rejected the reports, accusing rebels of drawing attention away from alleged civilian deaths in Nato’s attack on Zlitan. MORE

Oxfam GB suspends staff for misconduct

Staff working for Oxfam GB in Haiti have been suspended amid allegations of misconduct, the charity said last night. An internal investigation has been launched into the alleged actions of a “small number” of its workers in the Caribbean country. They are not thought to be British nationals.

Anti-Islamic blogger is unmasked

An anti-Islamic blogger who was praised by the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik was unmasked yesterday. The Norwegian newspaper VG revealed “Fjordman’s” identity as Peder Jensen, 36,who has written pieces accusing Muslims of planning to take over Europe.

Mandies during police shootout

A minicab passenger was shot dead by police after an apparent exchange of gunfire. The man, named locally as Mark Duggan, 29, died at the scene in Tottenham, north London. An officer may have had a lucky escape in the incident on Thursday – a radio was found to have a bullet lodged in it.

Woman well after six hours stuck in shaft

A woman has been rescued after spending six hours trapped down a well shaft. Paramedics and firefighters were called to a burial park in Colney, Norwich, at about 2.30am yesterday. A 34-year-old woman had fallen 33 feet down a well and said she had been there since 9pm.

US jets intercept OAP’s plane

Two US fighter jets intercepted an aircraft over Chicago after it flew into airspace declared out of bounds during a visit by President Barack Obama. Pilot Myrtle Rose, 75, was unaware of the ban.

Keith towork on the manor reborn

Penelope Keith is to feature in a television series about the restoration of a country house. The four hour-long episodes will see a team of historians, experts and volunteers refurbish 500- year-old National Trust property Avebury Manor in Wiltshire.

‘Killer shrimp’ threaten rivers

“Killer shrimp” top the list of the 10 worst alien invaders of Britain’s waterways, which officials say are costing billions of pounds to tackle. Also on the list are crayfish, mink and several species of pond plant which have escaped from gardens and parks Invasive species cost the UK economy about £1.7bn a year.

Urban dog cull proposals dropped

Pet dogs are free to roam the streets of Jiangmen again after accusations of animal cruelty forced officials to scrap a planned cull. The southern Chinese city had planned to clear dogs from its downtown area following a spate of canine attacks.

‘Jonnie Marbles’ gets two weeks less in jail

The comedian who threw a foam pie at Rupert Murdoch has had his jail sentence reduced on appeal from six weeks to four. Jonathan May-Bowles, 26, pleaded guilty last week to assaulting the 80-year-old media tycoon at the Commons phone hacking inquiry.

Bratz bests Barbie in legal battle

The makers of Bratz dolls have won $309m in damages from Barbie manufacturer Mattel after a jury rejected claims that the idea for their line of sassy hiphop-inspired toys was stolen.

Man indicted for mass spamming

A 40-year-old man from Las Vegas has been indicted for sending more that 27 million spam messages to Facebook users in under six months between 2008 and 2009, despite being banned from the social networking site.

A fashion solution that is pure jeanius

An invention unveiled in New York aims to prevent the trend for low-slung jeans from hampering wearers’ ability to walk. Brothers Irese and Mark Davenport designed Snagz Jeans, which snap into special boxer shorts, after seeing how their teenage children’s walking was hindered.

Police rescue driver besieged by pigs

Police were called to rescue a woman and her two-year-old child after their car was besieged by a herd of pigs in Germany. The woman raised the alarm as 20 “relatively large” pigs surrounded her VW Golf after she had driven into a field outside a village near the Danish border.