The News Matrix: Monday 9 September 2013


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The Independent Online

Pope claims arms trade ‘fuels wars’

Pope Francis has denounced arms proliferation and the illegal weapons trade, saying the desire to make profits possibly fuels wars. Francis told the crowd in St Peter’s Square  yesterday that he wonders “if this war here or there is really a war, or is it a commercial war…”

British couple drown off Sicily

A British man and his girlfriend are thought to have drowned while on holiday in Sicily. Andrew Sturgess, 34, and Carmen Spiridon, 25, died after getting into difficulty in the sea at Tre Fontane beach in the village of Campobello di Mazara in the south-west of the Italian island.

Setback for Clegg as key Lib Dem quits

Nick Clegg suffered a huge setback yesterday when former Coalition Liberal Democrat education minister Sarah Teather accused him of backing Conservative policies on welfare and immigration as she announced she is quitting Parliament at the next election. MORE

Miss World moved after protests

The 63rd Miss World pageant opened yesterday after protests by Muslim hard-liners confined the event to Indonesia’s predominantly Hindu resort island of Bali. Following days of protests, the government announced it was moving the final round from the capital, Jakarta.

Author to rewrite ‘Merchant of Venice’

Howard Jacobson is to rewrite Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to tackle its anti-Semitism. He is one of several writers commissioned to redo the Bard’s plays to mark the 400th  anniversary of his death. MORE

Patten fights for his career in BBC row

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten and the corporation’s former director-general, Mark Thompson, will fight for their reputations today after each accused the other of misleading parliament over severance pay to BBC employees. The two men  will appear before the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee amid calls for the BBC Trust to be scrapped. MORE

Opposition leader contests election

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny faced off against a Kremlin ally yesterday in a Moscow mayoral election with high stakes. He is unlikely to beat Putin ally Sergei Sobyanin but a good showing would be worrying for the establishment.

Artificial nose can detect blood poison

Scientists have developed an  artificial nose that can smell  blood-poisoning bacteria. It has the  potential to save lives because it can trace the bugs in 24 hours instead of the usual 72. Researchers believe it could prevent sepsis.

Fowl play? ‘Spy’ stork becomes lunch

Sometimes a bird just can’t catch a break. An innocent stork who was detained by police in Egypt on suspicion of spying has been found dead following its release. Reports from an Egyptian wildlife organisation suggest that it was killed and eaten by villagers.

‘Lost’ Pavarotti album tops charts

Luciano Pavarotti’s first ever recording has topped the classical artist album charts, six years after his death. The album features a recently unearthed aria that the legendary opera singer recorded 50 years ago. His widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, has re-mastered it for release.

Peking duck has gone all crispy

A 60-foot-tall duck has been given an urgent blast of hot air after widespread ridicule of its wrinkled appearance and droopy beak. The inflatable duck, a copy of one designed by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, was on show at the Beijing International Expo.

Foxes? In Kuwait  they have lions

A runaway lion found roaming an upmarket suburb of Kuwait was lured into a car by a member of the public, who then called police. The incident has raised concerns about wild animals being kept as pets in the wealthy Gulf Arab state. Police are seeking the lion’s owner.

Becks ‘had a crush’ on Cherie Blair

David Beckham had a secret crush on Cherie Blair, a former England teammate has revealed. Beckham, 38, made the surprising confession while on international duty several years ago. The revelation was made public by former footballer Danny Murphy, live on TalkSport radio.

Sturgeon makes surprise return

Anglers have been told to watch out for sturgeon, a rare breed of fish, after two boys caught one near Pembroke Dock in the south of Wales last month. The fish, which can grow to over 2.5 metres, hasn’t been spotted off the UK coast for nine years. Experts believe others may arrive soon.

Immigrant spices up his border crossing

An immigrant suspected of entering the US illegally attempted to make his journey in a shipment of red chilli. US border officials working at a New Mexico checkpoint said the 35-year-old man was found “highly intoxicated” with a bottle of tequila beside him.