The News Matrix: Friday 8 April 2011

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The Independent Online

Lib Dems to demand more bank reforms

Nick Clegg and Vince Cable will demand major reforms of the banks as the Liberal Democrats adopt a more “arms-length” policy from the Conservatives. The banking structure could be the next battleground between the coalition partners. MORE

Another earthquake hits the north-east

Japan has been rattled by a strong earthquake, triggering a tsunami warning. Public broadcaster NHK told coastal residents to move to higher ground after a 7.1-magnitude quake. The tsunami warning was later cancelled.

Tough new laws on cigarette packaging

Australia has unveiled the world’s toughest tobacco advertising legislation, which – if it survives a legal challenge by the industry – will force all cigarettes to be sold in plain, olive-green packs covered in health warnings. MORE

Former MP’s £30k mortgage fraud

Ex-Labour minister Elliot Morley admitted yesterday to dishonestly claiming mortgage payments worth more than £30,000. MORE

BBC told to slim its property portfolio

BBC DJ Chris Moyles and director general Mark Thompson could find themselves moving. The corporation’s chief operating officer Caroline Thomson has demanded a 30 per cent reduction in the amount of property that the BBC occupies. MORE

EU plans €80bn bailout for Portugal

European finance ministers today start several weeks of wrangling over Portugal’s €80bn bailout, with Germany demanding a reform programme as the price for rescuing the ailing economy. In Portugal officials warned of tough times ahead. MORE

Hugh Grant secretly recorded hacker

Hugh Grant has revealed that he secretly taped a conversation with Paul McMullan, a former News of the World executive who previously admitted to hacking mobile phone messages before it became illegal. MORE

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in tap water

An estimated 500,000 people in New Delhi are carrying bacteria highly resistant to antibiotics they acquired from drinking water, researchers have found. Tests on drains and public taps across the city found high levels of contamination. MORE

Health Secretary snubs nurse meeting

Andrew Lansley’s promise to “listen” to health professionals over his NHS reform plans has been branded a sham after it emerged he had turned down an invitation to the nurses’ annual conference. Mr Lansley will be the first Secretary of State or Prime Minister in eight years not to address the Royal College of Nursing Congress. MORE

Mau Mau rebel torture ‘hushed up’

Eight British officials accused of having prisoners tortured to death during a colonial war went unpunished even after their misdeeds had been reported, according to a document submitted to a court yesterday. MORE

Under-18s banned from sunbeds

Businesses that allow under-18s to use sunbeds will face fines of up to £20,000 from today. Young people will be stopped from using sunbeds to reduce skin cancer. Figures show that 6 per cent of 11- to 17-year-olds in England use sunbeds.

Fraudster is dealt a losing hand

A man has been jailed after he asked to repay his investment scam victims by playing poker – but lost. Samuel McMaster Jr. was sentenced to 12 years for stealing nearly $450,000 from 23 investors. It was agreed he could play poker to earn enough to pay back his victims.

Aherne safely back on our screens

Caroline Aherne has created her first new comedy series for nine years – a sitcom about night security staff. The ITV1 series The Security Men will feature 1980s comedian Bobby Ball, as well as Dean Andrews from Ashes to Ashes and Brendan O’Carroll, seen recently in Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Camerons off for birthday break

David Cameron flew to Spain with his wife, Samantha, yesterday for a short break to mark her 40th birthday later this month. They travelled with a low-cost airline, without their three children.

Emin defends giving art to state collection

Tracey Emin has hit back at fellow artist Dinos Chapman after he criticised her for donating a work to the Government’s art collection. On the ICorrect website, Emin said: “The collection is for everyone... My donation is actually to the nation.” MORE

FBI linked murders of two hip-hop stars

Documents released by the FBI show the agency took seriously the suggested link between the 1990s murders of two of hip-hop’s biggest stars. Almost 15 years later, the murders of Brooklyn’s Notorious B.I.G. and fellow hip-hop star, Tupac Shakur, remain unsolved.

Prince Harry’s extra day in the Arctic

Prince Harry is to spend an extra day trekking in the Arctic after his journey home was delayed. He rejoined the team of wounded servicemen trying to reach the North Pole while hewaited for a crack to be fixed in the temporary runway.

Last-minute grab for wedding grub

The day before the royal wedding is forecast to be the busiest shopping day of the year so far, according to supermarket Morrisons. It predicts most people will leave it to the last minute to stock up, ahead of the public holiday on Friday 29 April.

Fewer Grammys awarded next year

In a rare case of trophy deflation, the American Recording Academy says that starting in 2012 it will be giving away a mere 78 Grammys – instead of 108 – to the world’s most successful and talented musical artists and bands.