World News



British Queen celebrates



Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted for the illegal publication of transcripts of wire-tapped conversations in a newspaper owned by his media empire.

A Milan court on Thursday sentenced him to one year in jail, although he is unlikely to be put behind bars during a possible appeal.

The verdict carries no impact on Mr Berlusconi's eligibility to participate in a new government.


Sickness benefit will be stripped from claimants who refuse to get treatment for their problems under a crackdown to be tested in a £25 million Government trial.

Ministers want to extend the concept of "conditionality" used to force the jobless to seek work to welfare payments for those with health complaints as well.

A series of pilots around the country for what is being touted as a "tough love" approach by Downing Street sources will be announced before Christmas.

Chancellor George Osborne is seeking ways to slash a further £10 billion from the welfare budget by 2016/17 on top of £18 billion of cuts already announced.

Under the proposals claimants would be expected to attend regular sessions with a health care professional who could require them to attend therapy and other treatments to help them recover.

It is unclear exactly what conditions would be caught but No10 suggested drug and alcohol addicts who failed to attend rehab courses would be among them in the initial trials.

Funding for the pilots has been agreed, they said.


Venerable US magazine Newsweek announced Thursday its last print edition would be December 31, saying it would turn all-digital to cut costs in an increasingly challenging media environment.

"We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it," wrote Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of the online Newsweek Daily Beast Company, in a statement posted on the Daily Beast website.

"This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism -- that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution."

Brown acknowledged the merger of the print edition and the online Daily Beast operations, called "Newsweek Global," would require layoffs.

She said the all-digital publication "will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context.

It will be available on the web and on tablets via a paid subscription, with "select content" available on The Daily Beast website.


Dame Marjorie Scardino - the first woman to head a FTSE 100 company - is to step down as chief executive of Penguin books and Financial Times owner Pearson.

Dame Marjorie's departure at the end of the year will leave just three female chief executives among London's top 100 public companies as she will be replaced by John Fallon, head of Pearson's international education arm.

The 65-year-old transformed Pearson when she joined as chief executive in 1997 from a diverse conglomerate, owning a range of unconnected businesses from Alton Towers to Thames Television, to a more focused "learning" company.

Announcing her departure, the American-born British citizen said: "It has been a privilege to be part of such a great company for a small part of its history."

Angela Ahrendts at fashion group Burberry, Cynthia Carroll at miner Anglo American and Alison Cooper of Imperial Tobacco will be the remaining female chief executives on the FTSE 100 Index.

The Government-commissioned Lord Davies review, published in February 2011, recommended that firms listed on the FTSE 100 Index should aim for a minimum of one in four female board members by 2015.

A voluntary code, developed in response to the Lord Davies review, was implemented in July 2011 to set out key principles of best practice for executive firms.

The number of women in the boardroom's of the UK's top companies increased in the past year, according to a progress update from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in July this year. Women now make up 16.7% of FTSE 100 Index, up from 12.5% at the time of the Lord Davies report, and 10.9% of FTSE 250 boards, up from 7.8%.

French magazine Closer said its editor Laurence Pieau had received death threats for publishing pictures of Prince William's wife Catherine sunbathing topless.

"We have received more than 300 insulting emails of which several contain death threats," Closer said, adding that it had notified the police.

Fourteen of the most violent messages addressed to Pieau were handed over to the police. One vowed to "never let her stay in peace."

After their debut in the French weekly, the photos of the British Duchess of Cambridge have appeared in magazines in Denmark and Sweden, Ireland's Daily Star and Italy's Chi, which like Closer is owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mondari media group.

The pictures were taken when the royals were vacationing in southern France at a chateau owned by Viscount Linley, the son of Princess Margaret, the deceased sister of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

After publication, Pieau defended them saying they were not in the "least shocking".

"They show a young woman sunbathing topless, like the millions of women you see on beaches," she told AFP.


News Corporation has reported a loss in its quarterly results, with the company facing ongoing legal charges over the phone-hacking scandal.

The firm's net loss was 1.6 billion dollars (£1 billion) for the three months to the end of June, compared with a net income of 683 million dollars (£436.2 million) in the same period last year.

Publishing profits fell to 139 million dollars (£88.8 million), from 270 million dollars (£172 million).

The company's full year results included a 224 million dollar (£143 million) charge related to "the costs of the ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of The News of the World". This included a 57 million dollar (£36.4 million) charge in the last quarter.

Commenting on the results, News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch said the company was in a "strong" position which would be enhanced by plans to split the company into two parts - separating its entertainment businesses from publishing assets including The Sun and The Times.


Weakened security laws allowed a suspected terrorist to get close to the venue for the Olympic Games five times in recent months, Labour has said.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper demanded to know whether the incidents posed a threat to London 2012 safety and pointed the finger at watered-down Government anti-terror measures.

Court papers show that the 24-year-old, known as CF, was arrested and faces criminal proceedings after the authorities found he took trains through the Olympic Park despite being banned from the area.

His movements were picked up because he has to wear an electronic tag as part of restrictions imposed on him by an order under the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act - referred to as a "Tpim".

CF's lawyers insist that he only used the route to visit a solicitor dealing with his legal challenge against the order - due to be heard by the High Court on Monday - and had been wrongly advised that was OK.

But Labour said the fact that he was able to be in the capital at all - after being ordered under the previous anti-terror regime to stay out of the capital altogether - highlighted a serious problem.

Tpims replaced the control orders system previously used to restrict the movements and contacts of individuals thought to pose a risk to the public but who cannot be tried for reasons of national security.


A prison officer and two other people have been arrested in connection with the police probe into corrupt payments to officials by journalists.

Two men aged 46 and 37 and a woman aged 50 have been held at addresses in south-east London, Surrey and Kent.

They are being questioned at separate south London police stations, Scotland Yard said.

The Metropolitan Police said the 46-year-old prison officer was arrested at his south-east London home on suspicion of corruption, conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.


Alan Turing, the Second World War codebreaker widely regarded as the father of modern computing, may not have committed suicide but died as a result of an accident, an academic has claimed.

Evidence gathered after the death of the scientist from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41 in 1954 was "overlooked" and he could have died as a result of inhaling the poison he used in amateur experiments rather than deliberately ingesting it, according to Professor Jack Copeland.

Prof Copeland, director of the The Turing Archive for the History of Computing and author of a new biography of the academic to be published shortly, spoke as events took place around the country to celebrate the centenary of the under-appreciated scientific genius's birth.

"From the records I have been able to obtain, it seems to me very obvious that the inquest was conducted in a very superficial way," he said. "The coroner didn't really investigate the evidence at all, he just jumped to the conclusion that he committed suicide. He seems to have been very biased from the statements in newspapers at the time."

The coroner in Turing's death case ruled he committed suicide "while the balance of his mind was disturbed", adding: "In a man of his type, one never knows what his mental processes are going to do next."

Turing, who was gay, was found guilty of gross indecency with another man in 1952. To avoid prison, he agreed to receive injections of oestrogen for a year, which were intended to reduce his libido in a process known as "chemical castration".

Copeland, a Professor at the University of Canterbury Christchurch in New Zealand, will talk about Turing's death at an event in Oxford.


Hebrew graffiti thanking the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler for the Holocaust and denouncing Zionism were sprayed inside the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, an AFP correspondent said on Monday.

Seven giant slogans, including one which read: "Thank you Hitler for your wonderful Holocaust that you arranged for us, it's only because of you that we got a state at the UN" were sprayed in Warsaw Ghetto Square near the sculpture depicting the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

More graffiti was sprayed next to the cattle car memorial, which remembers how millions of Jews were transported from all over Europe to the Nazi death camps.

Other slogans read: "The Zionist leadership wanted the Holocaust" and "If Hitler hadn't existed, the Zionists would have invented him."

Another said: "The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people," fuelling suspicion that a small fringe of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who are virulently opposed to the state of Israel, were to blame.

The red, white and black graffiti was written in both formal Hebrew characters as well as in hand-written script and signed "The global cynical mafia."

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed basic details of the incident, and said an investigation had been opened.