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Brief Reports

Housing action groups have criticised the new law against squatting this week, saying that it would lead to more homeless people living on the street. But Justice Minister Crispin Blunt defended the law, pointing out that homelessness was at the lowest level for 28 years: ‘Two harsh winters have seen to that. Another big freeze this winter and there won’t be any park bench wino dossers left alive at all.’ He added that the government was spending £164m to bring 10,000 empty homes back into use: ‘Put bars on the windows and one-way locks on the doors and bingo, prison overcrowding also solved. Ker-ching.’

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South African prosecutors have provisionally dropped murder charges against 270 miners whose colleagues were shot dead by police. The State Prosecutor admitted in a statement that it was patently absurd to shoot people and then charge their friends with causing their murder: ‘We’ll prosecute the dead miners for committing suicide instead. They don’t have a leg to stand on as they’re dead.’

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Gottfrid Warg, one of the founders of the file-sharing website Pirate Bay, has been arrested in Phnom Penh after an international warrant was issued against him. The website immediately issued a press statement saying that this would not affect operations as there were already proxy copies of Warg on 78 mirror sites in six continents.

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Hollywood actors, directors and scriptwriters went on the rampage last week, burning down a number of cinemas, phone booths and magazine stands in protest at the anti-Islamic film ‘Innocence of Muslims’. Speaking on behalf of the film industry, Steven Spielberg said: ‘Hollywood is united in deep disgust at this film, with its shoddy production values, acting, dubbing, backgrounds, plot and script. This is not the American way. If we decide to piss Muslims off we’ll do it with a hundred million budget and Mel Gibson.’

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British newspapers rushed to condemn the publication by a French magazine of topless images of Kate Middleton as being a ‘grotesque and outrageous invasion of privacy’. The Daily Mail fulminated in a front page editorial: ‘We were offered those pictures too, but honesty, integrity and a profound respect for our wonderful Royals made us turn them down.’ A spokesman for the French magazine Closer retorted: ‘Bolleaux to the Anglais Press. They do not care about privacy and decency, they are merely shitting les briques a cause du Leveson Enquiry and are furieux that nous avons le scoop instead.’