The News Matrix: Saturday 15 March 2014


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The Independent Online

Sex and drugs in new classical video series

A new video series by Amazon promises to blow the lid off the sexual and narcotic exploits of classical music's elite. Based on oboist Blair Tindall's tell-all memoir and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle marks the retailer's latest foray into original programming.

Third anniversary of anti-regime uprising

Today marks three years since Syrians rose up against their President. Unwavering support for the status quo from Russia and Iran, the unwillingness of the West to intervene and the disarray of anti-government factions have combined to ensure that they may never succeed. MORE

Watch UKIP, Labour MP warns party

Labour is being too complacent about the threat posed to it by Ukip, according to a senior MP. John Healey, the former Housing Minister and shadow Health Secretary, told i that Labour could face a "crisis of confidence" in May's local elections. MORE

Was 777 deliberately diverted to islands?

Investigators are pursuing the theory that the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 may have been deliberately diverted towards a remote chain of islands in the Indian Ocean. Inmarsat confirmed its satellites had "ping" signals from the 777 after it vanished from civilian radar. MORE

Couple jailed for posting Rigby videos

A British Muslim couple were jailed on Friday for glorifying the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in videos posted on YouTube that were "offensive in the extreme". Royal Barnes, 23, was jailed for five years and four months and his wife Rebekah Dawson, 22, for 20 months.

Bloodied photos of Pistorius seen

Photographs of Oscar Pistorius, bare-chested, with blood over his arms, back and prosthetic legs, taken by police who arrived at the Olympian's home shortly after he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, were shown at his murder trial yesterday. MORE

Helicopter crash peer was suing maker

Conservative peer Lord Ballyedmond, one of the richest men in Northern Ireland who was killed in a helicopter crash on Thursday, had lodged a writ against the manufacturer AgustaWestland over concerns about a helicopter it supplied.

Yalta is once again the focus of Europe

Almost 70 years after Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill met to carve up post-war Europe, Yalta was marking a new and incendiary redrawing of the map of the continent yesterday: the annexation of Crimea by Russia after an impending referendum. MORE

British soldiers laid to rest 99 years later

Twenty British soldiers killed in action during the First World War were laid to rest with full military honours yesterday. The soldiers, who died in the Battle of Loos in 1915, were found in 2010 during clearance work for a new prison near Vendin-le-Vieil, north of Arras, France.

First budget flights for space tourists

Space tourism has seen its first "budget" flights. Passengers aboard the XCOR Lynx will be able to experience weightlessness and view the Earth from more than 300,000ft up – for $95,000 (£57,000), considerably cheaper than the £155,000 cost of a Virgin Galactic ticket.

Sorry – you're too young to buy spoons

A 16-year-old boy was refused a set of teaspoons at a Tesco superstore by staff who told him he had to be over 18 to buy them. College student Liam Whelan was scanning the utensils through a self-service checkout when an automatic prompt called a staff member to check his ID.

Robot pole dancers make their debut

Visitors to the CEBIT expo in Hanover were the first to meet Lexy and Tess, a pair of robotic pole dancers designed by British artist Giles Walker for Germany's Tobit Software. They can be controlled by PCs or Android smartphones.

Beer company's pro-gay gesture

The maker of Samuel Adams beer is ending sponsorship of Boston's St Patrick's Day parade because it excludes gay groups. The Boston Beer Company's decision came after a bar said it would no longer serve Samuel Adams beer because of its link with Sunday's parade.

BT investigated over customer data claim

BT is being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office over its handling of customer data after a whistleblower claimed the company was "exposed user credentials en masse". The concerns relate to the ongoing transfer of email accounts from Yahoo to its own setup.

Car park blaze turns city into no-go area

A large fire caused roads in Derby's city centre to be closed on Friday. Firefighters were called to the blaze on the top floor of a car park in Market Place shortly after 5.30pm. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said 10 appliances were used to fight the blaze.

Gove hits out at PM's Old Etonians bias

Education Secretary Michael Gove has hit out at the number of Old Etonians in David Cameron's inner circle. He told the Financial Times such a "preposterous" concentration of individuals from the same privileged background did not exist in any other developed nation.