6 Tuesday, 4 August 2009 London Lite NORTHERN ROCK today racked up losses of nearly 725m after thousands more customers plunged into negative equity and struggled to repay mortgages. A staggering four in ten bor- rowers are in negative equity -- meaning 218,400 households with Northern Rock mortgages are in homes worth less than they paid for them. The nationalised bank also said the share of mort- gage customers o v e r t h r e e m o n t h s i n a r r e a r s h a d tripled to 3.92 per cent, or 22,141. Northern Rock -- taken into pub- lic ownership in February last year after collapsing in the financial crisis -- was notorious for dis- astrously loaning up to 125 per cent of home values. The figures revealed for the first time the full extent of Britains sub-prime crisis. Chief executive Gary Hoffman said: The outlook for the UK mortgage and housing market remains uncertain. Northern Rock reported losses of 724.2m for the first six months of the year. It followed losses of 1.36bn in 2008. The bank had to write off 602.2m of bad debts after an 894.4m hit last year. The results cast d o u b t o ve r when, or if, taxpayers will g e t t h e i r money back. The Rock was at the centre of the first bank run in 140 years in September 2007. The crisis forced it to turn to the Bank of England for 26.9bn in emergency f u n d i n g b e f o r e i t w a s nationalised. It today said it owed the Government 10.9bn -- more than the 8.9bn it owed at New Year. ALL eyes were on Kate Moss as she wore the tiniest of hotpants on holiday in St Tropez. The model looked tanned as she strolled through the streets, shopping with her entourage. Joined by rocker boyfriend Jamie Hince, an assistant and a massive bodyguard -- who appeared to be on babysitting duty for Kates daughter Lila Grace -- she tried to blend in with locals and holidaymakers. But as they slipped quietly into the port-side caf Le Senequier, Moss and Hince attracted attention as they appeared to squabble about where to sit. Mortgagearrearstriple World at a glance Al Qaeda plot to massacre Oz troops Plot: officers on one of the 19 raids Joggermauled byhuntdogs A NEW ZEALAND jogger was like a blob of blood after an attack by eight pig-hunting dogs, her husband said. Margit Christensen, 36, curled into a foetal position in the attack, in Arapuni, which saved her life. Triumphant: British rower Sarah Outen Clinton bid to free US journalists FORMER American president Bill Clinton visited North Korea today amid concerns over the countrys nuclear programme and two US journalists being imprisoned there. Mr Clinton was greeted in Pyongyang by officials, including chief nuclear negotiator Kim Kye Gwan. The unannounced visit comes amid tensions over North Koreas nuclear tests and calls from Washington for amnesty for the two jailed reporters. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who work for Al Gores Current TV, were arrested in March on the Chinese-North Korean border. They were sentenced to 12 years of hard labour for entering the country illegally and engaging in hostile acts. Russiansfind cureforpig flu...whisky RUSSIAN football fans travelling to Britain for next months World Cup qualifier are being told to drink Welsh whisky as a disinfectant to ward off swine flu. The head of the Russia national teams fan club gave the advice to the hundreds of fans set to make the trip for the game against Wales. Royal College of General Practitioners chairman Prof Steve Field said that the advice was utter nonsense. BY BO WILSON BritteacherrowsIndianOcean Picture of the day Hotpants Katewows StTropez You must be Joker: a poster showing Barack Obama as Heath Ledger playing The Joker is causing a stir in the US. The image of the President with white face and smudged red lipstick has the word socialism printed beneath it -- a huge insult for an American president. No one has claimed credit, but dozens of the posters have been spotted around Los Angeles and other cities. Supporters of Mr Obama -- who faces increasing negative comment as he attempts to force through his $1trillion health care programme -- called the posters mean-spirited and dangerous. Insulted: Barack Obama A PLOT to massacre soldiers at army bases in Australia has been foiled by security services. Four men have been arrested in 19 raids in Melbourne, allegedly preventing what could have been Australias worst terror attack. Islamist extremists were thought to be about to launch a gun attack on Holsworthy Barracks on the outskirts of Sydney, killing many soldiers and civilians before becoming martyrs themselves. Australian SAS soldiers and their families were also targeted as punishment for their countrys military involvement in Muslim states. Two of the suspects are believed to have travelled to Somalia to train with the al-Shabaab movement, which has been linked to al Qaeda. After seven months surveillance, authorities believed the terrorist group were in an advanced state of readiness and ordered the raids early today. The suspects in custody are Australians of Somali and Lebanese descent, aged between 22 and 26. Australian police acting chief commissioner Tony Negus said the planning indicated the alleged offenders were prepared to inflict a sustained attack on military personnel until they were killed. Bank hits the Rocks with loss of 725m A BRITISH biology teacher spoke today of her delight after becoming the first woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean. Sarah Outen, 24, from Rutland, finished the 4,000-mile journey when she reached Mauritius yesterday. She nearly failed to complete the journey after a 19ft wave capsized her boat as she approached the island. Its been an incredible journey and all a bit mind-boggling, she said of her four- month expedition. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html