The News Matrix: Monday 18 February 2013


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The Independent Online

PM puts freeze on ice cream spending

The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has "frozen" his ice cream budget after the newspaper Calcalist showed he spent £2,020 a year on it.

Westwood's stylish advice for Kate

Dame Vivienne Westwood kicked off London Fashion Week yesterday with some advice for the Duchess of Cambridge, calling on her to stop buying so many outfits.

Buddha joins Barbie on the banned list

Buddha statues are being seized from shops in Tehran to stop the promotion of Buddhism in the country. Iran has long fought against Western symbols such as Barbie dolls, but this appears to be a first for the country.

Studios spend big in Best Picture race

The studios behind the Iran hostage drama Argo and presidential biopic Lincoln, the two leading contenders for Best Picture at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, are both estimated to have spent around $10m (£6.4m) on their campaigns. MORE

BBC journalists stage 24-hour walkout

BBC journalists will stage a 24-hour strike today in a row about jobs, threatening disruption to radio and TV news programmes. Members of the NUJ were set to walk out at midnight as part of a campaign against compulsory redundancies. The BBC said it could not speculate on possible disruption to programmes.

Picket lines will be mounted outside BBC offices across the UK, including London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Birmingham.

Bionic hand allows amputees to feel

The first bionic hand that allows the recipient to actually feel what they are touching will be transplanted later this year in a pioneering operation that could herald a new generation of artificial limbs. MORE

Fraud trial could rock government

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman went on trial yesterday on fraud and breach of trust charges, pleading innocent in a case that could have deep implications for the make-up of Israel's next government. Lieberman is the leader of the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu Party. MORE

Call to protect ID of sex crime accused

People accused of sex crimes should have their identities protected until they are convicted, a senior lawyer has said. Under current legislation, people who complain they have been the victims of sexual offences automatically receive anonymity, but suspects do not. MORE

Amazon told to explain 'Nazi' guards

The German employment minister Ursula von der Leyen has demanded explanations from the online retail giant Amazon after a television documentary showed seasonal workers being harassed by black-clad security guards with alleged neo-Nazi links. MORE

Shia leaders demand action after bombing

Members of the Pakistani Shia Hazara community threatened yesterday to hold widespread protests if the government did not arrest within 48 hours the people responsible for a massive bombing at a produce market that killed 84 people in the southwestern city of Quetta. MORE

Rise in food banks alarms UN official

An explosion in the number of people forced to rely on food handouts could represent a human rights abuse, a top United Nations official has warned. The UK's growing food poverty crisis has attracted the attention of Olivier De Schutter, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. MORE

British couple killed in road accident

A British couple have been killed in a road accident in Thailand while on a round-the-world cycling trip. Peter Root and Mary Thompson, both 34 from Guernsey, began their tour in July 2011, and were in their 23rd country when they were run over by a pick-up truck 70 miles east of Bangkok in Phanom Sarakham, Chachoengsao. They had cycled through Europe, the Middle East and China.