The News Matrix: Monday 19 September 2011

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The Independent Online

Dale Farm gets ready for its final battle

The final exchanges in the decade-long fight to clear the UK’s largest traveller site will play out today as bailiffs move in on Dale Farm in Essex with human rights observers camping inside. Lawyers mounted a last challenge against the eviction, set to cost £18m. MORE

Tony Blair flew to Libya to see Gaddafi

Tony Blair twice visited Libya for talks with Colonel Gaddafi in the months leading up to the Lockerbie bomber’s release, it was disclosed yesterday. The Sunday Telegraph reported that documents in Tripoli showed Gaddafi arranged to fly Mr Blair to meetings in 2008 and 2009.

Obama to give high earners a Buffetting

Barack Obama will propose today that people who earn over $1m year should pay tax at the same rate as the middle classes. The President’s plan is expected to be called the “Buffett Rule” after billionaire Warren Buffett, who complained that he is taxed at a lower rate than his secretary. MORE

Strauss-Kahn sorry for ‘moral failings’

The former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn last night apologised to the French people for the “moral failings” which led to his arrest in New York for attempted rape. MORE

Faulty tail may have caused fatal air crash

The death toll from an air race crash has risen to nine as it emerged that the 1940s-model plane appeared to lose a piece of its tail before crashing. Officials are trying to determine what caused the pilot to lose control of the aircraft at Reno’s National Air Championship Races in Nevada.

Parenting classes for ‘stressed’ families

Free parenting classes will be offered to all families with children under five in a pilot scheme announced yesterday by children’s minister Sarah Teather. Vouchers for classes would be handed out to mothers and fathers in trial areas to help parents who feel “under pressure”, she said.

Torture victim granted asylum

A Darfuri torture victim has been granted asylum in Britain after being given a last-minute reprieve from deportation to Sudan, following a campaign by The Independent and i highlighting the violent persecution of the regime. MORE

Gunman kills wife, then shoots vicar

A Florida man shot dead his wife yesterday before bursting into a nearby church and shooting the vicar and his assistant, who were in critical condition last night. A service had just finished when the gunman entered, and parishioners tackled and restrained Jeremiah Fogle, 57.

UBS undervalued loss by $300m

UBS lost $300m more than it initially thought after falling victim to what may be the largest rogue trading scandal to hit the City. The Swiss banking giant had estimated the losses at $2bn when confirming the unauthorised trades last week, but after unwinding the positions of alleged rogue trader Kweku Adoboli, it announced yesterday that the sum was closer to $2.3bn. MORE

In-cell phones put on trial in youth wing

Prisoners could soon have telephones fitted inside their cells, the Ministry of Justice said yesterday. The front-runner for a pilot scheme is HMP Isis, a young offenders’ institute inside Belmarsh jail in southeast London. Inmates will be able to make outgoing calls from landlines.

Buyers ‘gazanged’ by stay-put vendors

House-hunters are more likely to be “gazanged” than “gazumped” in a growing trend of owners deciding not to sell their homes at the last minute. Research by property legal website In-Deed suggests thousands of sales have fallen through this year after home-owners decided to stay put, leaving buyers hanging. MORE

WikiLeaks runs online auction

Signed diplomatic cables, the laptop on which “Cablegate” was compiled and a sachet of coffee Julian Assange smuggled out of Wandsworth Prison are among lots in an auction organised by the proprietors of WikiLeaks to raise funds. MORE

Crick tells why he quit BBC

Michael Crick has turned his fire on his former employer, the BBC, after leaving to join Channel 4. Crick described how he quit Newsnight after nearly 20 years because his bosses on the BBC2 programme wanted him to relinquish his post as political editor and accept another “ill-defined” job. “Things got a bit difficult for me at the end,” he said.

Alligators found at drug dealer’s home

Police got more than they bargained for when they raided the home of a suspected drug dealer in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Along with a pound of marijuana and more than $2,600 in cash they also found two alligators. The animals, each about 2ft (60cm) in length, have been handed over to state wildlife officials.

Doctor Who pipped by Family Fortunes

The Time Lord met his match on Saturday night, coming off second best against Trevor Nelson and Cheryl Baker. Doctor Who on BBC1 was beaten by a narrow margin by ITV1’s All Star Family Fortunes, featuring Nelson and Baker. The Doctor, played by Matt Smith, pulled in 5.2 million viewers, against 5.3 million for ITV1.

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