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The News Matrix: Monday 28 October 2013

Politician to spend $10m finding bell

A leading Burmese politician and businessman has promised to find the famous, 270-tonne Dhammazedi bell, cast in 1484, which has supposedly lain at the bottom of the Rangoon River since 1608. Khin Shwe believes he will succeed, spending over $10m if that is what it takes.

Airbus slams Boeing 777’s ‘crusher seats

Airline manufacturer Airbus is claiming that Boeing aeroplanes are fitted with “crusher seats” and that making seating just one inch wider can improve seat quality by 53 per cent. The campaign is aimed at the 777, Boeing’s most successful long-haul jet.

True-to-life death of Richard III

Audiences are to see an historically accurate portrayal of the death of Shakespeare’s Richard III for the first time. Archaeologists who discovered his grave in Leicestershire have advised Nottingham Playhouse and York Theatre Royal on the full gory details of how he died. MORE

Poison gas details filed with watchdog

Syria has filed details of its poison gas and nerve agent programme – as well as a plan to destroy it – with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the world’s chemical weapons watchdog said yesterday. The filing is part of a timeline to eliminate the stockpile by mid-2014.

Jay-Z cautious on racial profiling claim

Jay-Z, who promotes the luxury New York department store Barneys, says he is waiting for “the facts” after two black customers said they were detained by police after making expensive purchases at the store.

Rural areas hit by planning drive

The most beautiful areas of the country, including 10 national parks, are being threatened by the Government allowing large numbers of planning applications, the Campaign for Rural England has warned. Its president, the former poet laureate Andrew Motion, said: “The English countryside is our great collective masterpiece – and any development that needlessly damages it is an act of vandalism.” MORE

Soldiers wounded by camp insider

Three Western soldiers have been shot by an Afghan cadet at a military academy in Kabul set up by the British. So-called ‘green on blue’ incidents have declined recently due to security procedures. This attack is thought to have followed a disagreement between troopers and an Afghan sentry at the gate. MORE

NSA denies Obama knew of Merkel bug

The chief of the US National Security Agency did not discuss the alleged bugging of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone with Barack Obama, the Agency has said. German media alleged that the Chancellor's phone has been tapped since 2002 and claimed President Obama was told of it in 2010. MORE

Mystery substance closes Cornish beach

A beach near Looe in Cornwall has been closed after a mystery bright yellow substance was washed ashore. The material was described as “putty-like” by coastguards, who said the Environment Agency was now conducting tests.

The Pope hits 10m Twitter followers

Pope Francis has celebrated reaching 10 million followers on Twitter, having tripled the number of followers since taking over from the previous incumbent of the post, Benedict XVI, in March, the Vatican has confirmed.

Soldiers proposed to unseen pen pals 

First World War soldiers written to by young women sometimes proposed despite having never met them, according to letters released by genes reunited.

Kesha banned from performing

The US pop star Kesha has been barred from performing in Kuala Lumpur after the Malaysian authorities said her show would upset cultural and religious sensitivities.

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