The News Matrix: Friday 2 September 2011

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The Independent Online

Labour ‘must win the commuter vote’

Ed Miliband has been warned by one of his frontbenchers that Labour must sharpen its appeal in the London commuter belt where key marginals could decide the next election. MP Gareth Thomas said the party will not regain power on the back of opposition to spending cuts. MORE

Flash flooding kills more than 100

Flash flooding across Nigeria’s southwest has killed at least 102 people in the past week and 1,500 remain driven from their homes. Heavy rains caused a dam to overflow, sending water crash through settlements in the state of Oyo, damaging bridges and trapping people.

Top official resigns over civilian deaths

The Syrian government has suffered its first defection, after the chief legal officer in Hama resigned in protest at the number of deaths in the town. In a video statement, Adnan Bakkour, the attorney-general of the Hama governorate, said he had evidence of crimes against humanity. MORE

Police to question Britons over killings

Oslo police confirmed that several British citizens could be questioned as part of investigations into the mass killings by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik. The names have emerged through the questioning of British anti-Muslim blogger Paul Ray.

Notting Hill hero maybe penalised

The man who tried to trip a fleeing youth after a man was stabbed at the Notting Hill Carnival fears his bravery may cost him his disability allowance. Valentine Simatchenko is a former Russian policeman. MORE

US troops ‘killed 10 Iraqi civilians’

More than five years after the US military denied claims its troops had executed 10 Iraqi civilians in cold blood, a WikiLeaks diplomatic cable casts serious doubt on the American version of events. A UN complaint suggests that in 2006 US troops killed at least five children and an elderly woman before calling in an air strike to destroy the house where the alleged killings took place. MORE

Paper claims proof of a state scandal

French security services broke the law on the orders of the Elysée Palace last summer to try to halt politically embarrassing leaks, it was alleged yesterday. Le Monde said it had proof of the misuse of intelligence services to protect the “private interests” of the President and his party. MORE

Abortion counselling plan to be opposed

After a week of conflicting signals from the Government, Health ministers will vote against calls to change the advice given to women considering an abortion. The plan, by Tory MP Nadine Dorries, suggested that the number of terminations could be cut by about 60,000 a year. MORE

500,000 take part in earthquake drill

More than half a million people took part in annual drills across Japan yesterday to prepare for disasters. There was a greater sense of urgency this year, as it was the first drill since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in March which killed 20,000 people. MORE

Dinner ladies launch discrimination suit

Thousands of women could win the right to higher pay as the result of a landmark legal case being pursued by a group of Sheffield dinner ladies. The Supreme Court is to decide next month if Sheffield City Council discriminated against women. MORE

Tobacco firms seek research documents

The tobacco industry is targeting the Department of Health to extract information about meetings between government officials and researchers who are investigating the public health implications of new smoking policies. MORE

iPhone test version left in bar – again

Silicon Valley is agog over reports that an Apple employee may have left a test version of the forthcoming iPhone 5 in a tequila bar, sparking a furious hunt. A staff member left a yet-to-be-released iPhone 4 in a bar last year and the person who found the device sold it for $5,000.

New key can control teen drivers’ car use

Parents will be able to “control” their children’s driving using a hi-tech device to be introduced by the UK’s biggest-selling car company, Ford. The MyKey system allows car owners to programme a special key that can limit a vehicle’s top speed and ensures seatbelts are being worn. MORE

Berlusconi party ‘blackmailer’ held

The businessman who allegedly supplied Silvio Berlusconi with women for parties has been accused of blackmailing the Italian premier. Giampaolo Tarantini was detained in Rome yesterday. Mr Berlusconi is not under investigation, and has denied being blackmailed. MORE

Nazi Goebbels’ PA finally speaks out

Brunhilde Pomsel, the 100-year-old former secretary to Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels has spoken out about her time with him after remaining silent on the subject for 60 years. MORE

Ned Kelly’s headless remains identified

The headless remains of Australia’s most famous criminal, Ned Kelly, have been identified, ending a decades-long mystery surrounding the final resting place of a man now seen by many as a folk hero. Kelly, who led a gang of bank robbers in the 19th century, was hanged in 1880. MORE

BBC building voted worst in Britain

Major buildings by three of Britain’s most prestigious architectural practices have been declared to be vile blots on the landscape with the BBC’s £600m MediaCityUK in Walsall winning the 2011 Carbuncle Cup awarded by Building Design magazine. MORE

London restaurant for Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck, the Austrian chef whose restaurants litter the globe, and entertain the likes of the Obamas and Elton John, yesterday opened his 26th fine dining establishment. Cut at 45 Park Lane, London, is his first restaurant in Europe and reservations are highly sought-after. MORE

Seagal accused of killing a puppy

Movie actor Steven Seagal has been accused of killing a puppy as he arrested a man for his reality television show. The dog’s owner wants $100,000 in compensation for the incident which saw Seagal burst into his home for the programme Steven Seagal: Lawman. MORE