The News Matrix: Monday 21 November 2011


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The Independent Online


Companies should publicise wage gap

Companies should be forced to publish details of the pay gap between executives and average employees as part of a plan to tackle excessive boardroom remuneration. The High Pay Commission is expected to recommend a number of measures to increase transparency. MORE

British soldier killed in bomb blast

A British soldier was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed. The soldier from the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) died in the blast from an improvised explosive device in central Helmand.

Saif's captors say he seemed 'exhausted'

A picture emerged yesterday of the capture of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. After being flown to the mountainous town of Zintan, where he remains under detention in a private house, his captors fed him couscous and tea and refrained from questioning him as he appeared "exhausted". MORE

Grenade attack on Baath party building

Two rocket-propelled grenades hit a building belonging to the Baath party in Damascus yesterday, activists claimed. The attack, the first in the capital, came as the Arab League rejected demands by Syria to amend a plan to halt the crackdown that has killed at least 3,500 people. MORE

Dowler family to appear as witnesses

The Dowler family, left, is to speak at the Leveson Inquiry today. Meanwhile BSkyB has appointed lawyers to trawl through journalists' emails to ensure there is no evidence of illicit news-gathering activities. MORE

Woman stabbed to death in London

Police have launched a murder investigation after a woman was stabbed to death. Officers and an ambulance were called at about 1.55pm on Saturday, following reports that a 20-year-old woman had been assaulted in Ravensbourne Park, Catford, south-east London. She was pronounced dead at the scene. A man aged 21 was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

Mental health care 'unfit for purpose'

Mental health services are unfit for purpose, according to an independent inquiry published today. Seriously ill patients are subjected to assaults, taunts and overcrowding in overstretched hospital wards and others cannot access help from busy crisis teams. MORE

Liverpool airport ground staff to strike

Ground staff at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool are to launch a campaign of industrial action this week, including strikes, in a row over jobs. Members of the GMB union employed by Servisair will walk out on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and on various dates during the month.

Police suspended for pepper spraying

Two police officers were suspended yesterday after a video emerged of an officer casually sauntering up to a group of young protesters at the University of California's Davis Campus and repeatedly pepper spraying them at point-blank range as they sit motionless on the ground. MORE

'Dovish' radio station forced off air

Israel has closed an Israeli-Palestinian radio station in what some say is a politically motivated decision to silence criticism of the Jewish state. The Communications Ministry said Kol Hashalom (All for Peace) station broadcast illegally into Israel. MORE

Falling bird numbers cause alarm

Conservationists are calling for action to save migratory birds including the nightingale, cuckoo and turtle dove. Migratory bird numbers have fallen dramatically, causing concern among experts in Europe and Africa. MORE

TV blamed for most Christmas squabbles

TV is the most likely spark for a festive fallout, according to new survey, with nearly two-thirds of British households (62%) listed television as the main cause of rows over the holiday. Also high on the list: 21 per cent rowed over drunken relatives, according to the poll by Freesat.

Regular sex keeps older people happy

Older people are far more likely to be happy if they keep an active sex life, a survey says. Researchers at the Gerontological Society of America, found 60 per cent of over-65s who had regular sex were very happy, compared with 40 per cent for whom it was a distant memory. MORE

Reeves on Labour leadership job

Tipped as a contender for Labour leadership, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves may not be going for that yet, telling i: "It's an extremely tough job to do." However, the 32-year-old economist is not holding back from attacking the Coalition's economic strategy. MORE

PM brews up a storm in a teacup

Nixon had Watergate but in New Zealand "Cuppagate" is threatening to unseat the PM. A cameraman left a tape recorder running on a café table where John Key was meeting a key ally ahead of elections next week. Precise details of the "teapot tape" have not yet been release. MORE

Bugs and pests are festering

Bugs and pests are coming to a house near you. Cuts to extermination services and unseasonably warm weather have caused a boom for all sorts of creepy crawlies – all trying to make a home in your property. Moths, fleas and mice are some of those on the up. MORE

Women strip off in act of solidarity

About 50 Israeli women have posed nude to show solidarity with Aliaa Elmahdy, a 20-year-old Egyptian who attracted death threats after posting a naked self-portrait on her blog to protest at intolerance towards women. However, the shoot risks further inflaming public feeling. MORE

Water vole scheme goes swimmingly

A scheme to save water voles has been hailed as a success. A team of "habitat heroes" investigated how to protect species in Yorkshire. A survey of the estate in Goole, which has staggered clearance programmes to give voles a chance to escape, discovered 10 new water vole populations.

Only one lime is allowed, chef told

An assistant at Asda in North Tyneside told chef Marisa Zoccolan that buying more than one lime was not allowed because the citric acid could be squirted into someone's eye. Asda said the chef had been a victim of a staff joke, and offered her some complimentary limes.

Animal lovers urge Turkey name change

The Texas town of Turkey has been urged to change its name to Turkofey, a meat-free turkey substitute, before Thanksgiving on Thursday to raise awareness of the plight of the birds. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has offered the town a vegan meal if it complies.