The News Matrix: Friday 31 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Wardens multiply as parking spaces go

Councils have increased their number of parking attendants by nearly 6 per cent since 2008. At the same time, 17 per cent of local authorities have reduced their amount of free parking, figures from LV insurance obtained under a Freedom of Information request show. MORE

Hurricane Isaac starts to slow down

Hurricane Isaac's flood waters and gale-force winds are beginning to recede. Although levies protected the centre of New Orleans, residents of some suburbs were less fortunate, with some forced onto the roofs of their houses to escape rapidly rising waters. MORE

Peacekeeping extended in Lebanon

The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to extend the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon for another year, saying the situation there remains a security threat. It also expressed "deep concern" at violations of the 2006 resolution that ended the war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Spies' personal details leaked online

Personnel records of Nigerian spies, including the names and addresses of family members and the phone number of the agency's director general, have been posted online by sympathisers of Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds in bombings around the country.

World 'failing to respond to crisis'

Valerie Amos, the UN humanitarian chief, said the world is failing to respond to a worsening crisis in Mali where food insecurity, political turmoil and conflict have displaced almost half a million people.

More UK babies born to foreign mothers

Record numbers of babies were born to foreign mothers last year, while fewer British women gave birth. More than a quarter of births in England and Wales during 2011 were to mothers born abroad, rising to over half in London. Poland remains the most common country of birth for immigration mothers but China is now also in the top 10.

Primary schools face teacher crisis

Primary schools face a looming recruitment crisis as applications to teacher training courses plummet, experts warn today. Research by an independent think-tank set up by education company Pearson shows that applications have fallen by 17 per cent this year. MORE

Pussy Riot 'linked' with double murder

Two women were found stabbed to death in a Russian apartment with the words "Free Pussy Riot" dubbed on the wall above them, investigators said yesterday, in a dark twist in the saga of the female punk collective at the centre of a political storm. MORE

Are Stones set for anniversary tour?

The Rolling Stones could reunite to mark their 50th anniversary, promising fans "some exciting" news on Tuesday. The announcement came just days after frontman Sir Mick Jagger posted a picture of himself online with the caption: "Had fun in the Paris studio this week." MORE

Mass-massage breaks record

Thailand has long been known as the massage capital of the world and now it has a Guinness World Record to prove it. A record-breaking 641 massage therapists massaged 641 people simultaneously for 12 minutes to win the accolade yesterday.

Cartoon wolf keeps smoking

The lowlife wolf in a classic Russian animated cartoon has been allowed to carry on smoking despite a new law limiting the broadcasting of material deemed harmful to children. Legislators made an exception for Nu Pogodi to preserve the TV classic.

Mail bag surfaces after 46 years

Forty-six years after it went missing, a diplomatic bag containing mail from India has been retrieved – from a glacier on Mont Blanc. Tourists spotted the bag close to the site where an Air India plane flying from Mumbai to New York crashed into the mountain in January 1966.

Norton cashes in on company sale

Graham Norton has sold his television production company to ITV in a deal worth up to £17m. The broadcaster will pay £10m upfront, with the rest dependent upon performance over the next four years. Norton himself is thought to be in line for a £7.7m payout.

Juno readies itself for shot at Jupiter

Nasa's Juno spacecraft fired its engine yesterday for a manoeuvre intended to bring it back towards Earth so it can use the planet's gravity to accelerate towards the outer solar system. The spacecraft is expected to pass Earth in 2013 and arrive at Jupiter in 2016.