The News Matrix: Monday 7 February 2011

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The Independent Online

Sarkozy’s comments infuriate judges

Judges vowed to cancel court hearings after President Nicolas Sarkozy sparked outrage with comments blaming the judicial system for a murder. He said “grave dysfunctions” led to a woman’s killing. MORE

Cameron defends comments on race

The PM has responded to claims he was guilty of “writing propaganda for the English Defence League”. He said: “We don’t tolerate racism... by white people; we shouldn’t tolerate extremism... by other people.” MORE

Inflation increases rate rise pressure

Bank of England policy makers will meet on Thursday amid fears they will raise interest rates because of higher inflation. At the last meeting, two members voted to lift the bank rate to 0.75 per cent. MORE

Whistleblower to be sentenced

A former Israeli soldier faces years in prison for leaking secret military documents suggesting the army had assassinated Palestinians. MORE

Islamist leader vows to continue attacks

Russia’s most wanted militant, Doku Umarov, has appeared in a video flanked by a man resembling the main suspect in last month’s Moscow airport bombing and has vowed to repeatedly attack Russia. MORE

360-degree image of the Sun is released

The Sun has been photographed on all sides simultaneously, in an image that could revolutionise our understanding of magnetic forces at the heart of our own star. The 360-degree portrait was released by Nasa. MORE

Amanda Holden suffers stillbirth

The actress Amanda Holden is expected to undergo tests to try to determine what caused the stillbirth of her baby seven months into her pregnancy. The 39-year-old also suffered a miscarriage last year.

Employers say they prefer apprentices

School leavers may actually be harming their job prospects by going to university, according to a poll of 500 employers. Many would rather hire an apprentice, to get a “faster return on your investment”. MORE

Mubarak offers concessions

The Egyptian government offered possible political concessions yesterday as tens of thousands of protesters rallied for a 13th day to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. The new promises of political reform were treated with caution by opposition groups as they held the first of a series of meetings with Mr Mubarak’s deputy. MORE

Chocolate ‘better for you than some fruit’

Chocolate has more healthy plant compounds than fruit juice. Scientists from US chocolate maker Hershey compared cocoa powder and powders made from fruit. Cocoa had a greater content of flavanols, health-giving plant chemicals and more antioxidant capacity.

Parasailing donkey dies of heart attack

The Russian donkey whose brays of terror while parasailing from a beach won her worldwide sympathy has died. Anapka spent the last months of her life on a farm outside Moscow eating fresh fruit and vegetables and even getting massages. She died at the age of 18 of heart failure. MORE

Foreign meals barred from cookery shows

In a blow for Iranian chefs with a taste for Italian, French or Mexican cuisine, Iran’s broadcasting authority has banned television channels from showing cookery programmes that feature foreign dishes, a state-owned website has reported.

‘Heat from the dead’ plan draws protest

Heat from a Worcestershire crematorium will be used to warm a leisure centre and swimming pool in controversial plans expected to be approved tonight. The trade union Unison described the energy-saving plan as “insulting and insensitive” to bereaved families. MORE

Palin’s slip holds up name trademark bid

Sarah Palin, former vice-presidential candidate and icon of the right, has stumbled at the first hurdle in efforts to trademark her and daughter Bristol’s names. The forms were rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office as the former Alaska governor forgot to sign them.

Asthma sufferer runs 15,000km

A 49-year-old Belgian who was told to avoid sports as a child because of his asthma has finished a challenge of running a marathon every day for a year. Stefaan Engels crossed the line in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday, after running more than 15,000km in a year and using 25 pairs of trainers. MORE