The News Matrix: Monday 26 September 2011

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The Independent Online

Sarkozy loses control of upper house

In a historic defeat, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government has lost its upper house majority. Early results showed the Socialists and their Communist and Green allies took at least 23 seats from the UMP, leaving the senate dominated by the left for the first time in history.

Sikhs protest about turban removal

Sikhs gathered to protest in cities across Europe in anger at airport officials forcing them to remove their turbans for security tests. The protesters say it forces them to breach religious rules and is not necessary given the ability of airport scanners to scan through material. MORE

Women gain right to vote for first time

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has ruled that women will be allowed to vote and run as candidates in local elections for the first time, a victory for those who have long campaigned for equal rights. MORE

Extend hospital visit times says RCN head

Hospital visiting times should be extended so that relatives can have greater involvement in patient care, the head of the Royal College of Nursing has said. Dr Peter Carter sought to clarify earlier comments after he appeared to suggest relatives of elderly patients should help nurse them.

Study finds alcohol is linked to asthma

Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of contracting asthma but heavy drinking makes the condition more likely, researchers have found. Scientists compared alcohol intake with asthma risk over a period of eight years in more than 19,000 twins aged 12 and 41.

Six charged with terrorism offences

Six men from Birmingham have been charged with terrorism offences and will appear in court today. The men, all aged between 25 and 32, were detained after a police operation last week. Four of the six were charged with preparing for an act of terrorism, and two with failing to disclose information. One of the men has additionally been charged with terrorist fund-raising.

Tel Aviv threatens tough repercussions

Israel’s hardline Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, yesterday warned of “tough repercussions” if President Mahmoud Abbas won his UN bid for Palestinian statehood recognition, as Mr Abbas returned to Ramallah. Mr Abbas said he expected the UN to decide on his application within weeks. MORE

Teenager stabbed in north London

A 16-year-old was in a critical condition after being stabbed in north London yesterday, police said. Police were called to Gloucester Road in Tottenham at 5.45pm after reports of a man being assaulted, a Scotland Yard spokesman said. He said no arrests had been made and that inquiries were continuing.

Summer is finally set to arrive this week

Promises of an Indian summer finally look likely to come to true this week – with temperatures expected to hit the 27C mark. Forcasters predict warm sunshine from Tuesday, and Friday and Saturday look set to be the warmest days. The average maximum temperature in south-east England in September is 19.1C.

Catalonia holds last bullfight before ban

Catalonia last night held its final bullfight, becoming the first region of mainland Spain to outlaw the spectacle and – animal rights activists hope – signalling the irreversible decline of the corrida. Nearly 20,000 people were due to pack into Barcelona’s one remaining ring yesterday for a final fight featuring top matadors José Tomás, Juan Mora and Serafin Morin. MORE

Wreck of cargo ship holds a fortune

Silver worth £148m has been found in the wreck of a British cargo ship sunk by a German U-boat during the Second World War. Odyssey Marine, an American underwater salvage firm, will today unveil plans to recover the 200 tonnes of silver on the Gairsoppa, sunk by a torpedo in February 1941.

First gold-vending machine in Beijing

China has installed the country’s first gold-vending machine, giving shoppers the chance to buy their own ingots worth as much as 1m yuan (£101,000). The machine, in Beijing’s busy Wangfujing Street, exchanges cash for gold bars weighing up to 2.5kg. Similar machines already exist in the Middle East, London and the US.

Nanowires may hold key to heart repair

Micro-fine gold nanowires could hold the answer to repairing damage to tissue injured in heart attacks. Researchers at the Children’s Hospital, Boston, believe the gold-enhanced patches, which make the tissue more electrically conductive, should be more effective than those currently used.