The News Matrix: Friday 6 July 2012


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The Independent Online

Bullying can lead to suicidal thoughts

Two fifths of victims of homophobic bullying at school either try to commit or contemplate suicide, a Stonewall report has claimed. The survey of 1,600 gay, lesbian and bisexual young people aged 11- 19 showed more than half have suffered homophobic bullying at school.

Plastic bag use up by 400 million

UK shoppers used 400 million more plastic bags in 2011 than the previous year, waste reduction body Wrap has revealed. Customers used 7.96 billion single-use bags last year, a rise of 5.4 per cent. But in Wales, where a 5p charge was levied against bags, usage dropped by 22 per cent.

Syrian emails will embarrass everyone

WikiLeaks has begun publishing 2.4million emails from Syrian officials that it claims will embarrass not only Damascus, but also its opponents. WikiLeaks spokeswoman Sarah Harrison said the emails dated from August 2006 to March 2012.

First lorries travel reopened routes

The first lorry carrying supplies to American and Nato troops in Afghanistan crossed the Pakistani border yesterday after seven months of the supply route being closed. Pakistan ended the restrictions earlier this week. The reopening is a rare bright spot in relations with the US.

'Lost' Caravaggios may be worth €700m

About 100 drawings and paintings at Sforza Castle in Milan previously thought to hold little value have been proclaimed by experts as forgotten works by renaissance artist Caravaggio – making them worth up to €700m.

Sensors and pilots to blame for crash

A combination of faulty sensors and mistakes by inadequately trained pilots caused an Air France jet to plunge into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, killing all 228 people aboard in the airline's deadliest ever crash, French investigators said yesterday. The report urged better instruction for pilots on flying at high altitudes with help from computers. MORE

Report points finger over nuclear crisis

A parliamentary report has blamed the Japanese government's cosy relations with the nuclear industry for the Fukushima meltdown that prompted the mass shutdown of the nation's reactors. It accuses authorities and the operating company of "intentionally" postponing safety measures to avoid reactor stoppages. MORE

Sex workers to get alerts for 'ugly mugs'

Sex workers will be alerted about people with a history of violence or rape convictions in a new scheme launched by the Home Office. The National Ugly Mugs pilot scheme, which is being trialled in Manchester, will encourage sex workers to stay in touch with police in an effort to keep violent criminals off the streets.

'Premature ignition' ends celebration

After a malfunction that authorities are calling a "premature ignition", a fireworks show above San Diego Bay was over before it was supposed to start. The mishap occurred minutes before the scheduled opening, causing a display planned to last 20 minutes to burn up all at once.

Judge uses Google to convict dog owner

A Taiwanese judge has used a Google maps picture of an unleashed dog to hold a man responsible for his neighbour's bicycle accident. The defendant denied being the owner of the dog, which chased the cyclist and made him fall, and causing injury through negligence. But the judge said the picture showed the dog standing in his yard proved he was its owner.

Singer Rihanna sues for lost earnings

Pop star Rihanna, 24, has sued her former accountants for mismanaging her finances, claiming they earned huge commissions from concert tours that resulted in her losing millions of dollars. The singer is seeking damages from accountancy firm Berdon LLP and two former employees.

First panda born at zoo for 24 years

A panda has been born at a Tokyo zoo for the first time in 24 years. Ueno Zoo says the panda was born to Shin Shin, a seven-year-old taken to Japan from China just before Japan's earthquake last year. Shin Shin only began showing signs she was pregnant last month.

New BBC boss may re-sign O'Reilly

The former Countryfile presenter who won an age discrimination case against the BBC could return after a personal appeal from new Director-General George Entwistle. Miriam O'Reilly, 55, told i that the new BBC boss wanted to discuss working with her again. MORE

Quench your Hirst at fast-food joint

High art and fast food aren't things you would normally pair together, unless it's Warhol-inspired pop art. But Damien Hirst has donated one of his spin paintings to adorn the walls of a refurbished Burger King in Leicester Square to alllow patrons to see his work during the Olympics.

Mayor keeps his 'tache – by a whisker

The mayor of Murray in Salt Lake City put his 18-inch handlebar moustache up for a vote on whether to shave it off or not during a parade, but decided that the vote was too close to call after thousands showed up. Residents signalled their vote by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

Row over origins of Giant's Causeway

Northern Ireland's most famous natural attraction is at the centre of a row after the National Trust took the unusual step of suggesting that the landmark came about as a result of Noah's flood from the Bible story. Scientists believe it was caused by volcanic and geological activity.

Boris busts a move to launch festival

Mayor Boris Johnson launched a dance festival in St Pancras station yesterday morning by joining in with former Strictly Come Dancing judge and West End choreographer Arlene Phillips. If Ms Phillips had any thoughts on the Mayor's efforts, she kept them to herself.