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The News Matrix: Friday 14 October 2011

Tabak partied night after Yeates murder

Vincent Tabak drank champagne at a birthday party the night after killing Joanna Yeates, a court heard yesterday. The 33-year-old was “tired and disinterested” according to guests. Ms Yeates was said to have told friends she was “dreading” spending the weekend alone. MORE

Home sales soar in black pudding town

A new North-South divide has opened up in the property market and this time London and the Home Counties are coming off second best. Bury, the Lancashire town renowned for its black puddings, was yesterday given top hot spot, with sales of homes rising 44 per cent year on year. MORE

Asylum-seekers will not go to Malaysia

Australia’s embattled Prime Minister Julia Gillard has dropped controversial plans to send asylum-seekers to Malaysia. The plan would have seen Australia resettling registered refugees in Kuala Lumpur, However, the government failed to secure the support for key legal changes.

Bookshop owner ‘fostered extremism’

Ahmed Faraz, a bookshop owner, denies distributing extremist literature and DVDs to terrorists including the 7/7 killer Mohammad Sidique Khan, Kingston Crown Court heard yesterday. Faraz is accused of disseminating material with the aim of “priming people for terrorism”.

DSK escapes sex case prosecution

Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not face prosecution for sexual assault, French prosecutors said yesterday, even though the former IMF boss has admitted sexual aggression against writer Tristane Banon. MORE

250,000 women will not have to wait

Almost 250,000 women will not have to wait two more years before they qualify for the basic state pension. Ministers dropped plans to raise the state pension age to 66 for both men and women in April 2020. This would have forced 245,000 women in their fifties to work another two years as the state pension age – 65 for men and 60 for women – is to be equalised at 65 from November 2018. MORE

Gunmen take two aid workers hostage

Gunmen captured two female aid workers at Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp yesterday. Médecins Sans Frontières, which employed the two Spanish women, said one of their drivers was also injured. Officials suspect the kidnappers are members of the al-Shabaab group from Somalia.

Travellers warned of imminent removal

Travellers at Dale Farm have been warned by Basildon Council that they will be cleared from the site “sooner rather than later”. Residents, who argued that the decision to remove them was in breach of their human rights, lost their High Court battle against eviction.

Capture of Gaddafi’s son played down

Claims that rebel forces had captured Muammar Gaddafi’s son Mutassim in the last loyalist stronghold of Sirte were played down by the leading members of the National Transitional Council yesterday. Mutassim Gaddafi was also the country’s former national security adviser.

Ex-footballer Merson in drink-drive arrest

Former England footballer Paul Merson has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving. The Sky Sports pundit claimed to have fallen asleep at the wheel of his Mercedes when he crashed into a lorry at 3am on Monday on the M40 near Warwick.

Branson confirms plot to oust Mugabe

Sir Richard Branson has denied offering Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe a £6.5m bribe to leave office, but has confirmed, in an interview with i’s sister paper, The Independent, that he was one of the leaders of a secret plot to oust the president. MORE

Harry Potter fans angry at site crash

Fans rushing to buy tickets to see the sets, props and monsters from the Harry Potter films have complained after the website crashed on launch day. Disgruntled Potter followers complained on Twitter of a two-hour wait for tickets to Leavesden’s The Making Of Harry Potter attraction.

Golfers very keen to avoid the open... jaws

Golfers had better hope for a hole-in-one when playing at one course in the eastern Australian city of Brisbane – the lake is home to aggressive bull sharks. “It’s daunting,” said golfer Graham Casemore. “If you lose a ball you definitely don’t go in chasing it.”

Detectives may deter taxi drivers’ detours

Curiously expensive detours with taxi drivers through Vienna may be a thing of the past thanks to a new plan to dispatch undercover detectives in the city to hunt down bad practices. The local taxi guild said it wants to bring in the detectives after two studies identified major problems.

Artist’s kit in cave is 100,000 years old

Archaeologists have found a 100,000-year-old set of artist’s materials in a South African cave. It included an ochre-rich mixture stored in two sea shells, perhaps used to decorate bodies and clothing. Also found were charcoal, grindstones, hammerstones and a bone, perhaps a stirrer.

Different face of technology guru

Poet, romantic, consumed by Alice in Wonderland – a Rolling Stone interview with Steve Jobs’ first girlfriend shows a different side to the Apple chief.

Camouflage crook goes on the run

A burglary suspect dubbed “Moss Man” has failed to show up at trial. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Gregory Liascos of Portland, Oregon, who earned the nickname after being arrested in full-body camouflage outside a museum. Police say he was trying to break in.

Freud’s 1952 portrait could fetch £4m

Boy’s Head by Lucian Freud was among contemporary paintings up for auction at Sotheby’s in London last night. The 1952 work by Freud, who died in July, it was expected to go for up to £4m. Freud holds the record for the most expensive artwork by a British artist at £17.2m.

Apologies for teacher’s message

The governing body of a Hull primary school has apologised to parents after a teacher posted an offensive message on Facebook. One remark, printed out and hung on the school’s fence, said: “No wonder everyone is thick... inbreeding must damage brain development.”

App that measures quality of sleep

A new app that aims to improve the quantity and quality of sleep uses brainwaves to track the amount of time spent in different stages of sleep. Called Sleep Manager, the app synchronises with a headset that measures brain activity, eye movement and other signals in sleep.

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Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal