Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The News Matrix: Friday 05 July 2013


Nasal spray could end dreaded needle

Scientists in America have pioneered a nasal spray that could do away with painful anaesthetic injections for most dental procedures. The spray, Kovacaine Mist, was as effective as standard anaesthetics in four out of five patients, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo. It could help the 15 million people in the UK who have “dental anxiety”.

Court denies plea  to delay elections

Zimbabwe’s highest court says crucial elections will go ahead on 31 July despite appeals from the former opposition in a shaky coalition to delay the poll. Regional mediators had urged President Robert Mugabe to put off polls until 14 Aug to allow for more democratic reforms.

Market sees first light at end of tunnel

The housing market has shown its first “measureable improvement” for the first time since the financial crisis, according to one of Britain’s biggest homebuilders. Taylor Wimpey said the market has recovered in the wake of easier lending conditions and the Help to Buy plan. MORE

Law allowing castration quashed

Moldova’s Constitutional Court has annulled a controversial law that punished rapists and paedophiles by chemically castrating them. The court ruled the law violated constitutional rules against torture and “cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.”

Singer Bernie dies after long illness

Actress and singer Bernie Nolan has died aged 52 after a long battle with cancer. Nolan was told she was clear of breast cancer in 2010, but discovered last year that it had spread to her brain, lungs, liver and bones. A spokeswoman said: “Bernie passed away peacefully this morning.”

May: drug addicts to get free foil

Drug addicts will be offered free foil to encourage them to take up treatment, the Home Secretary has announced. Addicts use foil as a cooking surface for substances such as heroin so they can be injected. Theresa May said providing foil at treatment centres could facilitate “the journey towards recovery”.

Parents: Get pupils food, not laptops

Raising teachers’ salaries and feeding children should be a priority over spending money on providing pupils with laptops, say parents opposed to the government plan. Kenya has a shortfall of 40,000 teachers, and more than 200,000 teachers are on strike. President Uhuru Kenyatta made the laptop pledge when he was elected.

Mantel ‘delighted’ with RSC’s Wolf Hall

Coupling star Ben Miles has won the role of Thomas Cromwell in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of the Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Author Hilary Mantel said she was “delighted” that “gifted actors” are among the cast, which also includes Lucy Briers as Catherine of Aragon.

Australia helps to save Angkor Wat

Cambodia has joined with Australia in an effort to use the internet to help preserve its fabled Angkor Wat temple complex. A new website, angkorsunsets.com, will give tourists several recommendations for locations in the 160sq-mile complex where they can watch sunsets to avoid a few areas being overburdoned.

Not a sausage left as man eats 69 hotdogs

Champion Joey Chestnut downed 69 frankfurters to devour his own record in New York’s annual hotdog-eating contest. Known as Jaws, he wolfed down the sausages to win the 4 July contest. He takes home $10,000 (£6,570) and a mustard-yellow champion’s belt. The total beat his personal best by one.

Driver trapped in 10ft-deep sinkhole

A sinkhole swallowed a car travelling down a street in north-west Ohio and briefly trapped the driver, who climbed out after authorities gave her a ladder. Sgt Joe Heffernan, of the Toledo police, said a ruptured water main beneath the road may have caused the sinkhole, estimated to be at least 10ft deep.

Statue of Liberty reopens after Sandy

The Statue of Liberty reopened on Independence Day months after Superstorm Sandy swamped its island. The US celebrated in a variety of ways, from a fireworks tribute to fallen firefighters to parades and concerts.

‘Lucky’ newborns worth pretty penny

The Royal Mint will give a “lucky” silver penny to babies born on the same day as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child. The penny will be presented in a pink or blue pouch and will feature a shield of the Royal Arms. Parents whose babies share the royal birthday can apply online for one of the 2,013 coins.