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Pair charged with murder of Matalan’s Jamie Simpson

Two men appeared in court today charged with the murder of Jamie Simpson, the 33-year-old Matalan store clerk who was stabbed to death in a robbery last year.

Haggerston Pool to re-open after council decision

News that Haggerston Pool is to be reopened after nearly a decade of neglect has sparked joy among community figures. Leaders of several groups said they were "absolutely delighted" and "amazed" by Hackney Council's promise, and vowed to come together for "the mother of all street parties" to celebrate.

Hackney cyclists ride through the rain for the East Festival

Hackney cyclists braved the rain for a varied programme of Venezuelan music, East End plays and jazz across the borough yesterday. Some 30 cyclists dashed between three venues to catch the performances as part of Cycle East in this week's East festival.

Hackney helps launch Fairtrade world record attempt

Hackney went bonkers for Fairtrade bananas over the weekend as part of the world's biggest banana-eating event. Residents joined forces with hundreds of other Fairtrade supporters across the country to help break the record for the most bananas eaten during a 24-hour period. Council speaker Ian Rathbone led the borough's efforts in the challenge at the town hall on Mare Street.

Artist at East Festival introduces an ice cream currency

The City may be fretting about sterling's slide against the dollar, but that's no worry for Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas. Ms Cuevas has introduced a new currency to the streets of Shoreditch - the S.COOP - which is being circulated among traders in Petticoat Lane market as an interactive art project funded by East Festival.

Climate change protestor Leila Deen arrested

Climate change protester Leila Deen has been arrested following an incident in which Business Secretary Lord Mandelson was covered in green custard. The Hackney-based campaigner attended a central London police station on Saturday in relation to the attack. Scotland Yard confirmed that Ms Deen, 29, visited the station this weekend "by arrangement".

Hackney support vital to Gordon Brown says spin doctor

Hackney's answer to Alastair Campbell has tipped Gordon Brown to win the next election and described David Cameron's shadow cabinet as inept bunglers. David Kingsley, who worked as a special advisor to the government in the 1960s, said Labour would be able to cling to power at the next Parliament provided boroughs like Hackney maintain their grass roots support.

X-Factor finalist’s brother jailed for murder after stabbing

The brother of X-Factor finalist Rachel Hylton has been jailed for life for murdering a student in an attack of "horrifying and merciless ferocity". Khryie Hylton, 17, from Hackney, admitted stabbing 20-year-old Yusufo Miiro nine times in the head and chest last July in an east London towerblock. An Old Bailey jury heard how Hylton was seized with jealousy when he found out Mr Miiro, a promising criminology student, had been seeing his former girlfriend, 18-year-old Rochelle Sinclair.

Councillor speaks out over internet hate campaign

A Hackney councillor has told for the first time how he feared for his family's safety when an image of his house marked out as a rifle target was posted by an online stalker Luke Akehurst (Chatham, Labour) said the hate website set up to criticise him got out of control and he found it "very creepy". The blog, written by an impostor pretending to be the councillor, included modified images and mocking accounts of the 37-year-old's efforts in the council.

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Jewish leader compares strict housing rules to Nazi Germany

A housing association threatened to remove traditional scrolls from the doors of flats in Stamford Hill.