The News Matrix: Saturday 12 October 2013


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The Independent Online

Wonga shifts money from UK taxman

The payday lender Wonga has altered its tax structure to reduce its UK liabilities, lending to customers through its Swiss operation since last year. Tax experts said this could be used to reduce the company's tax bill, but Wonga denied it had used an "aggressive scheme".

Army kill 70 and capture rebel areas

The army and Shia militia fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad captured two suburbs of Damascus from rebels yesterday, killing at least 70 people. They searched al-Thiabiya and Husseiniya, a Palestinian refugee camp, for pockets of resistance, opposition sources said.

Conman 'stabbed friend to death'

A wealthy woman was murdered by a conman with a gambling habit whom she had been intimate with and regarded as a friend, a court heard yesterday. Carole Waugh, 49, was stabbed in the neck in her flat in Marylebone, central London, the Old Bailey was told. MORE

Disabled workers form training society

Disabled former workers with Remploy have used their severance packages to set up a social enterprise to employ or train disabled people. Enabled Works has opened in Morley, Leeds, as a not-for-profit society after 12 former Remploy staff each invested £5,000.

Greenpeace Britons denied bail in Russia

Two Britons held in Russia on piracy charges after a Greenpeace protest at an oil rig in the Russian Arctic last month were denied bail yesterday. A court in Murmansk refused to free Phil Ball, of Oxfordshire, and video journalist Kieron Bryan, of London – two of six Britons being held.

Man died of caffeine overdose from mints

A man died of an enormous caffeine overdose after eating high-energy mints that are each as powerful as a can of Red Bull, a court heard. John Jackson, 40, of Darlaston, West Midlands, ate Hero Instant Energy Mints unaware they could kill him. Each mint contains 80mg of caffeine.

'Parliament can corrupt,' says MP

Westminster does nothing for Wales, a Plaid Cymru MP has claimed. The Welsh nationalists have advocated breaking away from the UK since the party's formation in 1925 – but do not boycott the Commons. Jonathan Edwards said Parliament could have a "corrupting" influence on politicians.

Sex Pistols oldies cost more than Beatles'

The Sex Pistols are more expensive for vinyl devotees than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, according to research, costing on average £698 for a rare release. However, an acetate copy of "That'll Be The Day" by Lennon and McCartney's early Quarrymen is worth £200,000.

New Yorkers charge for Banksy viewings

Just 10 days into his one-month residency in New York, Banksy's works have been ruined by jealous rivals, sprayed with artless tags and painted over. Now his latest piece, which shows a beaver gnawing on a "No Parking" sign, has been covered with cardboard by locals who are charging visitors for viewings.

Parents sue clinic over extra baby

A couple who underwent IVF treatment in their attempt to have a baby are suing a fertility clinic after the woman delivered triplets when she was told she would have twins. The parents are seeking A$510,400 in damages at Brisbane District Court to cover costs of the unexpected third child born in 2009.

Officer in charge of nukes is sacked

The head of the US Air Force long-range nuclear missile unit is to be sacked because he has "lost trust and confidence". The Associated Press said it had obtained an email that linked the dismissal of Maj-Gen Michael Carey (left) to behaviour while on a "temporary duty assignment".

Soldier charged with rape and sex offences

A British soldier has been charged with rape and sexual assault offences against 11 women in the UK. Edwin Mee, 44, from Croydon, will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 24 October. The alleged victims were aged between 15 and 25 when the offences are said to have taken place.

Gaddafi chief should be tried on home soil

Muammar Gaddafi's intelligence chief should be tried for war crimes at home, the International Criminal Court ruled yesterday. The chamber in The Hague ruled that the Libyan authorities were "willing and able" to prosecute Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity in 2011.

President pushes for new 'Czechia' name

President Milos Zeman has said he supports rechristening the nation. A movement gathering pace to change the name to a closer approximation of the country's name in the Czech language had a high-profile boost when Mr Zeman thanked his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, for referring to the country as "Czechia".

Band freed from 'virtual kidnapping'

An electro-pop band has returned from Mexico after being subjected to a 30-hour "virtual kidnapping" by the notorious Los Zetas cartel. The four members of Delorean received a call at their hotel warning them they were being watched and could be shot at any moment. The band never met their "captors".

Women are 'more creative killers'

Women might be less likely to commit murder but when they do kill, it is more personal and their methods more creative, according to a German forensic psychiatrist. Dr Sigrun Rossmanith claims in his new book Are Women Better Murderers? that they compensate for a lack of physical strength by being more inventive.

Speed cameras to generate $20m

Speed cameras installed around four parks by Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, churned out 204,743 dummy tickets in their first 40 days and could generate more than $20m. The trial, for which drivers were not fined, goes live next week with Mr Emanuel claiming it is about saving lives, not making money.