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The News Matrix: Monday 15 October 2012

'Robin Hood' mayor escapes jail term

Mary Ella Hixon, 91, has been spared prison after stealing $200,000 from the Alabama town where she was mayor for three decades. She gave the cash away.

'Part-time' MPs may face a pay cut

Cutting salaries of "part-time" MPs who have other jobs is among proposals being considered in a review of Westminster pay and pensions to be put out to public consultation.

Man once ate pandas, says expert

A Chinese scientist says that humans used to eat pandas. Wei Guangbiao, head of the Institute of Three Gorges Paleoanthropology in Chongqing, says excavated panda fossils showed the bears "were once slashed to death by man". MORE

Protest interrupts St Paul's service

A year after the Occupy protests, four women from the movement chained themselves to the pulpit of St Paul's Cathedral during evensong yesterday. The women shouted a list of grievances against the cathedral and quotations from the Bible.

'Unacceptable' to use cells for mental cases

It is "unacceptable" for officers to use police cells as holding facilities, according to the man leading an independent inquiry into how the Metropolitan Police deals with mental health incidents. "The cells being used as places of safety are unacceptable," Lord (Victor) Adebowale told i. "My job is to ensure that [the police] response is improved." MORE

Monti pays tribute to Thatcher's impact

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has hailed Margaret Thatcher's decade-long overhaul of the British economy. Talking to i, the technocrat premier said Mrs Thatcher had made "profound changes to British society" in her three periods of office. MORE

Two die as tourist vessel capsizes

Two British women were trapped beneath an upturned catamaran off Cape Town for more than three hours before being rescued, in a tragedy that claimed two lives, including Peter Hyett, 64, from Wales. The boat was carrying 41 tourists when it capsized. MORE

Five Marines face murder charge

The Ministry of Defence has charged five Royal Marines with murdering a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan. The Royal Military Police had arrested nine marines over what has been described as "an engagement with an insurgent". Four were released without charge. MORE

Israeli air strike kills top al-Qai'da pair

Two Gaza militants killed by Israel on Saturday were the senior al-Qai'da affiliates in the Palestinian enclave, sources said yesterday. Hisham al-Saedni and Ashraf al-Sabah, who were killed by an air strikee, were ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists. MORE

The number's up for Johnny Ball

Former Think of a Number presenter Johnny Ball, 74, last night suffered the dubious honour of becoming the first competitor to be voted off this year's Strictly Come Dancing, after a dance-off against Richard Arnold.

Police in Savile case head to Broadmoor

Detectives investigating child abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile will visit the high-security Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in Berkshire today. Scotland Yard will probe the Department of Health's decision to appoint Savile as the head of a task force that oversaw Broadmoor's work in 1988. MORE

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