The News Matrix: Monday 9 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Teachers vote to boycott inspections

Inspectors could be barred from classrooms after teachers threatened a boycott of Ofsted. The National Union of Teachers backed plans that may lead to a campaign of "non co-operation" with the regulator, after teachers complained about the stress and damage to morale it caused. MORE

Energy watchdoggets bigger teeth

Ofgem is to be given new powers to force energy companies to compensate customers who have been mis-sold services or overcharged. Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the changes will strengthen the ability to protect consumers and bring Ofgem into line with other similar bodies. MORE

Cable cars to ease Olympics traffic

Images have been released of new ski-resort-style cable cars over the Thames, designed to alleviate pressure on roads during the Olympics. The project links the O2 Arena and the ExCel exhibition centre opposite.

Pakistan President meets India's PM

A new diplomatic chapter between Pakistan and India was opened yesterday after years of tension, as Pakistan's President, Asif Ali Zardari, paid a visit to his counterpart, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in India – the highest-level meeting in either country for seven years. MORE

Lib Dems 'will kill off e-mail snooping plan'

The Liberal Democrats will "kill" plans for increased monitoring of e-mail and internet use if they are not watered down, the party's president promised. Tim Farron said he was prepared to look at draft legislation but warned he was "in no mood" to back "authoritarian" laws. MORE

Rebels reject Assad's ceasefire demands

Hopes for a ceasefire faded yesterday as rebels rejected a last-minute demand from President Bashar al-Assad's regime for "written guarantees" that they will lay down their weapons after government troops withdraw from cities and towns. Mr Assad's 11th-hour request was widely dismissed by opposition members and analysts as another stalling technique. MORE

Author Grass is not welcome in Israel

Israel has declared the German Nobel laureate, Gunther Grass, "persona non grata" after the publication of his poem suggesting the Jewish State poses a greater threat to world peace than Iran. The author, 84, was forced to defend his poem after drawing accusations of penning an anti-Semitic tract. MORE

Smartphone apps to aid disaster victims

A smartphone natural disaster "app" is in the pipeline under Government plans to use new technology to help victims. The use of apps to reunite family members, mobile phones to track survivors and Twitter to give medical advice is being considered.

Threats fail to upset Mr Gay World event

African participants in the world's biggest gay beauty pageant faced violence and intimidation ahead of yesterday's final. But organisers of the four-day Mr Gay World event claimed it was a major step in the battle against homophobia in Africa. MORE

New Year fitness has caused rise in sickies

Injuries caused by workers trying to follow a new year's fitness resolution have led to a big increase in sickness absence in the past few weeks, according to research.

Putin says officials must use state cars

President-elect Vladimir Putin ordered all bureaucrats to drive Russian-made cars only. This is despite the fact his motorcade is made up of imported cars. MORE