The News Matrix: Saturday 1 September 2012


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The Independent Online

World's largest wind farm to be built

Plans for the world's largest offshore wind farm have been submitted to the Scottish Government. The £4.5bn scheme, which could be built by 2020, would see 339 turbines in the Moray Firth 13 miles off Caithness. Donald Trump says the 670ft structures will damage his new luxury golf development in Aberdeenshire.

Emergency landing for smelly aircraft

An investigation into why a Lufthansa airliner made an unscheduled stop in Austria last week has arrived at its conclusion: smelly cooking oil. The airline said fumes from the oil spread through the plane as meals were being warmed, creating a "penetrating odour" and sickening passengers.

Comedians admit debt to Maggie

Few will forget Margaret Thatcher's "vegetable" cabinet in Spitting Image, and tonight a celebration of the comedy is being held at the Hackney Empire in London. Compere Arthur Smith said: "It has never been the same since her. They're all Oxbridge boys who look the same." MORE

Bestival to stream live on YouTube

Bestival is to become the first UK festival to be streamed live on YouTube, including sets by Florence + The Machine and New Order. The Isle of Wight music festival has teamed up with the internet site to provide live coverage of the main and big top stages during the event next weekend.

Government presses on with new capital

The African nation will push ahead with a $10bn (£6.3bn) plan to build a new capital despite losing nearly all its revenue when it shut oil production this year. South Sudan plans to move the seat of government to the swampy region of Ramciel, and build a modern city from scratch.

Zadie Smith slams local library closures

Booker-nominated novelist Zadie Smith has slammed the closure of local libraries. The White Teeth author said: "You'd never imagine that you'd get into a right/left argument about the purpose and use of a library." Six libraries have been closed in Smith's borough of Brent, London.

Prostitute ups her price, man calls police

A man called police in Michigan to complain that a prostitute he had agreed to pay for sex unexpectedly increased the price. Officers were called to his house on report of a robbery after the 45-year-old man said a 19-year-old woman agreed on a price but then upped the cost.

Badgers fight back against the cull

Are badgers fighting back against the planned cull? The animals have been blamed for the collapse of a stretch of road in the Lake District. The road crumbled amid heavy rain after animals dug a sett underneath it. Repairs will be delayed because badger setts are protected by law.

Historic hotel sold in privatisation drive

The Hotel Metropol in Moscow, where Lenin made speeches and the Soviet Union's first constitution was signed, has been sold as part of a privatisation programme for £175m. The USSR's founders made it their home and the words of the Soviet national anthem were written there.

Gorilla statue stolen for target practice

A Pennsylvania woman says a 400lb gorilla statue was stolen from her home and used for target practice. Patricia Rudalavage's lava-rock statue was returned, riddled with bullet holes, by two men in a pickup truck who said they'd found it at a makeshift shooting range five miles away.

It wasn't nice, says sky plunge survivor

The last bit was the worst, said a skydiver who survived slamming into boggy ground in New Zealand when his two parachutes failed. "Those last 1,000 feet it was like 'here we go, this is it'. It wasn't nice," said Liam Dunne. "Twelve weeks of spinal rehab and I'll be fine."

Divorce to be made easier for women

Religious authorities have announced sweeping reforms of divorce laws which will make it easier for a woman to end her marriage. For decades, Palestinian women seeking to divorce their husbands risked years of miserable, expensive litigation or lengthy domestic battles.

Eight officers fall ill during drugs raid

Eight police officers were treated in hospital after being exposed to an unknown substance during a drugs raid in Birmingham. West Midlands Police said the officers experienced sickness and breathing difficulties Three men were arrested on suspicion of drug offences.

Assange could stay in embassy a year

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could remain holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London for a year, he has predicted. The 41-year-old Australian, who faces arrest and extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual offences, said he believes the case against him will be dropped.

Girl still in prison for blasphemy

A Pakistani court has ordered a girl accused of blasphemy to be held in prison for two more weeks as police finish their investigation and decide whether to charge her. Local TV video from the court showed the girl covered in a white sheet to protect her identity, surrounded by police.

Romney wants to rebuild America

Presidential nominee Mitt Romney urged voters to help him rebuild the economy and create millions of new jobs in his Republican convention speech, asking them to overcome their disappointment in President Obama and join him in restoring the promise of America. MORE

Stag night motorist 'drove into river'

A man found in a submerged car after disappearing from a stag night might have driven into the river without realising it was there, an inquest heard. Charles Watson, 25, from Suffolk, was found in a waterway in St Olaves, Norfolk in April. An accidental death verdict was recorded.

Big offshore quake sparks tsunami fears

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the eastern coast of the Philippines yesterday, killing at least one person in a collapsed house and knocking out power in several towns. A tsunami alert was issued for several countries, but only small waves were generated.

Astronauts attend Armstrong funeral

Ten former astronauts joined political leaders, family and friends in Cincinnati yesterday at a private funeral for Neil Armstrong, who died last weekend. A national memorial service for the first man to walk on the moon will be held in Washington on 12 September.

£10m luxury lifestyle fraudsters jailed

A couple who used a fraudulent £10m investment scheme to fund their extravagant lifestyle were jailed. John and Linda Hirst enjoyed luxury holidays and lavish wedding celebrations in Las Vegas. Mr Hirst was sentenced to nine years while his wife was jailed for two-and-a-half.

Owner of savage dogs jailed

The owner of two dogs which attacked ten people has been jailed for 12 months. Spencer Brown, 22, pleaded guilty to ten counts of owning dogs which were dangerously out of control in public. His Staffordshire bull terrier crosses escaped from his home in East Sussex in July.

Drug maker asks for forgiveness

The German manufacturer of the drug thalidomide has for the first time apologised to people who were born with congenital birth defects as a result of its use. Gruenenthal says it is asking for forgiveness from the thousands of children born with missing limbs in the 1950s and 1960s.

Grant Shapps tipped to replace Warsi

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has emerged as favourite to succeed Baroness Warsi as Tory Party chairman. Other ministers are also expected to be moved next week in David Cameron's first big Cabinet reshuffle, though Chancellor George Osborne is not among them. MORE