The News Matrix: Friday 7 October 2011

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The Independent Online

Lecturers poised for industrial action

Lecturers and other academic staff will launch a “sustained campaign” of industrial action next week in a dispute over pensions. Members of the University and College Union in 67 universities will “work to contract”. The action could escalate into strikes if the dispute is not resolved.

Fears for migrants after medics pull out

The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières has ended its operations in Thailand after 30 years because officials interfered in its treatment of undocumented migrant workers. Medical professionals fear thousands of migrant workers will now be unable to get medical care. MORE

NI journalists urged to report colleagues

Journalists at News International have been told to call a hotline to report suspicious colleagues in a fresh clampdown on corruption and other illegal activities. This comes after revelations that journalists from the News of the World paid police officers for information. MORE

Wikipedia closes in protest at gag plan

The Italian edition of Wikipedia has closed in protest at a plan to oblige websites to change content within 48 hours if people complained of errors or defamation. It is seen as an attempt to spare Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi further embarrassment after recent revelations. MORE

Palin says she will not seek nomination

The former Alaska governor Sarah Palin says she will not seek the nomination to run for president, leaving Republicans with a two-way – or just possibly a three-way – choice of challenger to Barack Obama. MORE

May and Clarke clash over human rights

Antagonism between Cabinet colleagues Ken Clarke and Theresa May continued yesterday as the Justice Secretary accused Ms May of making “laughable and childlike” comments about the Human Rights Act. After the Home Secretary’s comment on Tuesday that an immigrant had been allowed to stay in Britain because of a pet cat, Mr Clarke reiterated it was wrong of her to make the claim. MORE

Toddler strangled by window blind cord

An 18-month old boy strangled himself on the cord of a blind in his bedroom, an inquest has heard. Rithik Chakrabarti, became entangled in the cord while look out of the window at his home in Poole, Dorset. The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Four hurt as boat hits River Thames pier

Four people were injured after a Thames riverboat hit a pier on Wednesday evening. The clipper struck Tower Millennium Pier at around 7pm, with those injured being taken to hospital for minor injuries. Fifty seven people were on board the vessel, including four crew members.

Fugitive Gaddafi in call for new uprising

Muammar Gaddafi has called on Libyans to take to the streets and wage a campaign of civil disobedience against the country’s new leaders. Gaddafi, whose whereabouts are unknown, made the appeal in an audio recording broadcast on Syrian-based Al-Rai TV, which has been a mouthpiece for the ex-leader.

Phone pics expose life in the fast lane

A Swiss motorist used his mobile phone to record himself driving on a motorway near Geneva at 320km an hour – nearly three times the speed limit. But the offence was only uncovered six months later when he was questioned in another case and investigators found the images on his phone.

Male crickets put mates first

Chivalry is not confined to humans, with male crickets showing gentlemanly conduct towards their mates, according to researchers at Exeter University, who found males allowed mates to enter burrows first, increasing risks of being eaten themselves.

Amish tainted by ‘hair wars’

Violence has flared in an Amish community, with members breaking into homes and cutting off men’s beards and the hair of men and women. Police in Ohio suspect the attacks are part of a spiralling dispute between rival congregations. MORE

Quadruple rainbow captured on camera

The first photograph of a quadruple rainbow has been published in the journal Applied Optics. The image shows “tertiary” and “quaternary” rainbows – which appear on the sunward side of the sky, rather than the opposite side, as with primary and secondary rainbows. The phenomenon was seen in Germany.

Surf’s up for school sports competitions

Hawaii is to become the first US state to offer surfing as a competitive sport in schools. Pupils from Hawaii’s 46 state secondary schools will be able to represent their schools in competitions by spring 2013. The Governor, Neil Abercrombie, said: “The sport is rooted in our culture and way of life.”

Salt and pepper thefts shake airline

Virgin is set to replace the salt and pepper sets in its first class cabins, after repeated thefts of the aeroplane-shaped shakers. First used over 12 years ago, the sets can fetch up to £20 on auction website eBay. Recent pots were stamped with “Pinched from Virgin Atlantic” but this failed as a deterrent.