The News Matrix: Monday 20 June 2011

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The Independent Online

New north-south divide opens up

A Halifax house price survey states that it costs 61 per cent more to live in the 10 economic hot spots – seven of which are in the south – compared to the least successful, in the north of England, the West Midlands, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Voicebox transplant in Britain this year

The world’s third and the UK’s first voicebox transplant could be carried out this year. Surgeons in London have been given the go-ahead for the operation in a bid to help some 1,000 Britons who suffer each year with a broken larynx. MORE

People take to the streets over cuts

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in European cities yesterday, including Athens and Madrid, to protest austerity measures and the economic crisis. MORE

Elderly cared for at home ‘are neglected’

Elderly people who are cared for at home are being neglected, a study has found. Some are left in bed for 17 hours, have had dozens of carers and are denied basics such as a cooked meal or a wash, says the Equality and Human Rights Commission. MORE

Sega customers’ information stolen

Japanese video game firm Sega said yesterday that information on 1.3m customers has been stolen from its database. Names, birth dates, e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords of Sega Pass online network members have been compromised. MORE

Three Britons jailed for importing money

Six foreigners, including three Britons and an American, have been jailed in Somalia for illegally carrying millions of dollars into the country to pay ransoms for the release of vessels held by pirates. They were charged with illegally bringing money into the country, carrying cash intended to pay ransoms and landing without the correct papers. MORE

Officer in court over G20 man’s death

Constable Simon Harwood was due to appear in court today accused of manslaughter in the death of Ian Tomlinson at the 2009 G20 protests. Mr Tomlinson, 47, a homeless newspaper seller, collapsed and died on the fringes of the demonstrations.

Teachers to be given on-the-job training

Teachers will be trained on the job, under a radical shake-up to be announced by Education Secretary, Michael Gove. He plans to set up 100 “teaching schools” from September. Eventually, between 400 and 500 schools will receive this designation.

Sea-weed jet is set to fly at 3,000mph

A new hypersonic sea-weed powered “rocket plane” which travels at a breakneck 3,000mph could cut journey times from Paris to New York to 90 minutes. But passengers might have a bit of a wait before they can travel on the Zehst, which Airbus is hoping to launch by 2050. MORE

Online-dating site ‘hit by virus’

Over 30,000 members have been shed from the online-dating website after it was hit by a virus, its managers said. The website, where members normally have to pass a strict “rating” stage to become a member, inadvertently allowed anyone to join last month.

Oxfam’s punt on Roger Federer

Oxfam will net over £100,000 if Roger Federer wins Wimbledon again before 2019 due to a bet placed in 2003. Nick Newlife from Oxford bet £1,520 that Federer would win seven Wimbledon titles at odds of 66/1. Mr Newlife died in 2009, but left the money to the charity in his will.

Thousands want ban on circus animals

Almost 28,000 people have signed the i online petition urging the Government to ban wild animals from circuses. On Thursday MPs will decide whether to direct the Coalition to bring in a ban. Animal welfare groups want people to urge their MPs to attend the debate.

Rare bat breeds on Isles of Scilly

A research team from the University of Exeter has found evidence of breeding by the rare brown long-eared bat species on the Isles of Scilly for the first time since the 1960s. Biologist Dr Fiona Mathews, who led the team, hopes the find will mean a stable habitat can be built for the bats.

Curtains for Obama impersonator

A Barack Obama impersonator was ushered off the stage at the Republican conference in New Orleans. Organisers cut off his microphone and turned up the music after he mocked the party’s presidential candidates and joked about the president’s biracial roots.