February 4th 2011

Tahrir square battles intensify in Egypt –
At least 7 anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo died after night of violence as they fought to hold Tahrir square against pro-government fighters. Separately Vodafone claims the Egyptian authorities forced it to send pro-government text messages during this week’s protests.

Fry avoids Japan after joke –
Stephen Fry pulls out of going to film a documentary in Japan after comments he made about a survivor of the two atomic bombs during the second world war in the programme QI caused upset. Fry told the story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi who was on business in Hiroshima when it was destroyed by an atomic bomb on 6 August 1945. After surviving and spending a night in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi travelled by train back to his home town, Nagasaki. That city was bombed on 9 August as Yamaguchi was explaining his earlier near death experience to his manager. Fry had commented: “Well, this man is either the unluckiest or the luckiest, it depends which way you look at it.”
Stephen_FryStephen Fry

Pub landlady takes on Sky –
The landlady of a pub in Portsmouth has won a legal battle to show Premier League football in her pub without a Sky TV subscription. Karen Murphy’s imported a Greek decoder to show the games rather than paying Sky TV, which holds the rights in the UK. She has fought the case all the way to the highest European court.

Times Square to become smoker free –
New York city councillors voted 36 to 12 to stop smokers lighting up on municipal beaches and pedestrian areas of Manhattan such as Times Square. The city council banned smokers from restaurants and bars in 2002. Offenders will be fined $50 when the rules come in later this year.