The News Matrix: Saturday 17 March 2012


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The Independent Online

Massacre suspect is flown back to US

The US soldier accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians near Kandahar was on a military flight to a maximum security facility in Kansas last night as his lawyer told of a man pushed to the edge of sanity by the horrors of war. "He just snapped," one US official said. MORE

Neutrinos clock in at light-speed in re-test

A repeat of an experiment on neutrinos has concluded that the sub-atomic particles do not travel faster than light. In September, scientists said measurements seemed to show they did, disobeying Einstein's Theory of Relativity. It is believed faulty wiring may have caused the rogue result.

Offenders to wear 'sobriety bracelets'

Plans to toughen up community sentences, including fitting "sobriety bracelets" to offenders to check for alcohol in their blood, are expected be announced in the coming months. The move comes amid growing pressure on the UK's overcrowded prison system. MORE

Town pays tribute to Swiss crash victims

In front of St Joseph's church in Kolonie-Lommel, on the Belgian-Dutch border, there is a 40-yard carpet of flowers, balloons, children's drawings, poems, candles and teddy bears, all dedicated to the 22 children killed in a coach crash in Switzerland on Tuesday night. MORE

Rallying call of the President-to-be

The man expected to become the country's President has issued a rallying call to the Communist Party faithful, calling on leaders to return to its ideals. Xi Jinping's appeal comes as Beijing sought to contain the sacking of Bo Xilai this week after a scandal. MORE

Biden is Obama's new election weapon

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign deployed a new weapon this week: Vice President Joe Biden. His first campaign address launched a stinging attack on the Republican presidential hopefuls, claiming they intended to protect the privileged. MORE

Teenager to scale peaks for new record

Leanna Shuttleworth, 18, plans to set a world record by becoming the first woman to climb two 8,000m mountains in 24 hours, tackling Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse back-to-back in April. If she succeeds she will be the youngest British woman to also finish the Seven Summits Challenge.

Clegg makes gains on tycoon tax

Nick Clegg is set to win a "tycoon tax" in next week's Budget in return for allowing George Osborne to reduce the 50p top rate of incometax to 45p next year. A deal on the Budget's key measures took shape yesterday involving senior Coalition ministers. MORE

Two injured as gang shoot at protesters

Thousands of Libyans rallying for an autonomous region in the country's east were reportedly attacked last night by armed men. One protester said the men fired on the crowds. Two people were injured in the attack, and were being treated at a hospital in Benghazi.

Room-mate faces jail for cyber-snooping

A former student faces prison after being found guilty of cyber-snooping on his gay room mate who later jumped to his death from a bridge in New York. A New Jersey jury yesterday concluded that Dharun Ravi had invaded the privacy of Tyler Clementi at Rutgers University. MORE

Holocaust memorial victim of weather

Repairs are being carried out on Berlin's seven-year-old Holocaust memorial after it developed potentially dangerous cracks. The damage was caused by the weather, officials say, and will be repaired with steel bands which it is hoped will prevent concrete pieces from falling on visitors.

Dissidents evicted before Pope's visit

Catholic dissidents who occupied a church in Havana for three days, demanding that Pope Benedict press for change during his visit to the country later this month, were evicted yesterday. The 13 Cuban protesters went peacefully, ending an incident that had threatened to disrupt the Pope's visit.

Sex tape released of defiant journalist

A sex tape of a prominent Azerbaijani investigative journalist, filmed using a covert camera, has been released online in a sign of the perils facing activists and independent journalists. Khadija Ismayilova, of Radio Free Europe, had defied an anonymous warning to stop publishing stories about corruption.

Good Samaritan returns lost gold

A taxi driver in Thailand returned £285,000 worth of gold jewellery to a customer who left it in the back of his cab while helping his sick wife. Police said Saksi Ketsikaew gave the jewellery back to Ekarat Kanokwannakorn three days later. Mr Ekarat rewarded the driver with two necklaces.

Richards apologises to Jagger over book

Keith Richards has apologised to Mick Jagger, saying he regrets that some of his 2010 autobiography Life "really offended" his Rolling Stones bandmate. In the memoir, Richards called Jagger "unbearable" and revealed nicknames he used for him such as "Brenda" and "Your Majesty".

Raise a glass to a new whisky record

A bottle of whisky, released to honour the granddaughter of William Grant who founded the Glenfiddich distillery 125 years ago, has sold for nearly £60,000 at auction in New York. The 1955 bottle of Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve is the third of 11 to be released to mark her 110th birthday.

Thieves steal Costa Concordia bell

Thieves have evaded hi-tech laser systems guarding the Costa Concordia wreck to steal the ship's bell. They also slipped past the Italian coastguard and police (pictured with the bell), to make off with their booty from the giant cruise liner which capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January.