The News Matrix: Monday 11 July 2011

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The Independent Online

Universities to learn tuition fees outcome

The final decision ruling on which universities can charge students the maximum £9,000-a-year tuition fee will be released today. The announcement from the Office for Fair Access will be made outlining which have won approval to charge the fee. MORE

US suspends military aid worth £500m

The US is suspending around £500m in military assistance to Pakistan , a move that will worsen the relationship between the two countries. Links between the two nations have turned increasingly tense since the killing of Osama bin Laden. MORE

Less spent on buses in north than south

It’s grim on the bus up north – as the money’s going south, according to figures out today that suggest a growing north-south divide in transport spending.

US targeting 20 top leaders of al-Qa’ida

The US is seeking to pick off up to 20 top commanders of al-Qa’ida and its affiliates in a bid to cripple its ability to launch terrorist attacks against US interests. The decapitation of al-Qa’ida has become a vital priority for President Obama. MORE

Passenger boat disaster on Volga

Russian officials said more than 100 people are missing and at least one is dead after a passenger boat sank in the Volga River. The vessel with more than 180 people on board went down some two miles from the nearest bank. MORE

Chris Huhne: 30% price rises ‘rubbish’

The Energy Secretary Chris Huhne dismissed fears of energy-price hikes as “rubbish”. A report in The Sunday Telegraph said prices would rise by up to 30 per cent over the next 20 years as a result of firms investing in renewables. But Mr Huhne said: “If we want to get out from under the volatility of world markets, the best way is to get clean, secure, green energy sources.”

Presidential battle takes ‘nasty’ turn

With nine months to go before the first round of voting in a ‘nasty’ presidential election Martine Aubry, the Socialist Party leader, has denounced rumours on the internet about her husband, her health and her private life. MORE

Teenager suffers ear damage in attack

A teenager had the top portion of both of his ears sliced off in an attack early on Sunday morning. Police in Accrington, Lancashire, say the 18-year-old had left a takeaway shop when he was grabbed by his attacker and hauled into a side street.

Council ‘to sack quarter of its staff’

Campaigners have accused Southampton City Council of making plans to sack a quarter of its 4,300 strong workforce. Unite say they have seen a report detailing the cuts over the next three years. Council leaders say the figures are exaggerated.

High-level call for a switch to democracy

Syria’s Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa’s has called for a transition to multi-party democracy. In a country ruled for four decades by an authoritarian family.

JG Ballard’s home in Shepperton for sale

J G Ballard’s home in Shepperton, Surrey, is up for sale. The house where the author penned some of his most famous works is on the market for £320,000 following his death two years ago. He lived in the suburban area for 49 years and raised his three children in the house. MORE

Family of kestrels nests near M25

A family of kestrels has set up nest next door to Britain’s busiest motorway. Brett Erwin, plant supervisor for a construction company, built the birds a nesting box on a concrete silo after he saw them near the site he was working on close to the M25 in Essex. Six chicks have since hatched.

‘Baby bling’ poses a danger to children

Parents who succumb to “baby bling” accessories could be endangering their children, safety experts have warned. Trading standards officials said that dummies decorated with beads and gems could present a choking hazard to babies and young children.

First daughter for the Beckhams

Victoria Beckham has given birth to a healthy girl. A spokesman for David Beckham said the couple are “delighted to announce the birth of their daughter”. She was delivered yesterday morning at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and weighed in at 7lbs, 10oz.

Abu Dhabi goes into the caviar business

The desert city of Abu Dhabi may not seem the most obvious place for caviar production, but it is shipping in sturgeon fish to begin producing the delicacy. A huge complex outside the capital is planning to sell 35 tons of the coveted black roe each year by 2015. MORE

‘Dallas’ to return to TV screens

Stetsons, big hair and big drama are set to return to US television screens next summer with a new series of Dallas. The new season will feature original cast members such as Larry Hagman as J R, but will focus on the Ewing offsprings’ struggles.

Probably the tiniest pub in the world

A group of Cambridgeshire villagers were so angry that time had been called on their village pub they set up an alternative – in a phone box. “The Dog and Bone” opened for one night only to coincide with Shepworth’s annual fete.

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