The News Matrix: Saturday 17 September 2011

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The Independent Online

White House divided over financial crisis

A new book about the Obama White House has painted a picture of an administration divided over how to deal with the US financial crisis. Author Ron Suskind says Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner ignored a request from the President to consider breaking up Citigroup. MORE

Poison plot foiled by security services

South Korea claims to have prevented an attempt by a North Korean ex-commando armed with poison needles to murder one of the world’s most outspoken anti-Pyongyang activists. The man was reportedly stopped by intelligence services on his way to kill the campaigner. MORE

Killer reprieved after final meal

Just hours before he was due to be executed, a man sentenced to death after a jury heard that he was more likely to re-offend because he was black was given a reprieve. Duane Buck, who murdered two people in 1995, had already eaten his last meal. MORE

McGuinness to run for Presidency

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness is to run for the office of President of Ireland, his party confirmed last night. The former IRA leader and current Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland will be formally endorsed by his party leadership over the weekend. MORE

Ministers rule out fresh stimulus plan

Europe’s finance ministers yesterday ruled out any fresh moves to stimulate the eurozone economy, despite forecasts that growth across the Continent may grind to a halt. The eurozone’s finance ministers were meeting in Poland, against increasing alarm over the future of the single currency. MORE

Prison numbers reach a new high

The prison population in England and Wales reached a record high for the second week in a row yesterday. The total number of prisoners hit 87,120, 278 higher than last week’s previous record of 86,842 and about 1,600 short of the operational capacity of 88,747.

UBS trader weeps as he faces charges

The man at the heart of the rogue trading scandal that plunged Swiss investment banking giant UBS into turmoil wept in court yesterday as he faced fraud charges. Kweku Adoboli was charged over his alleged role in causing £1.3bn losses through unauthorised trading.

Replacement soldier shot dead on patrol

A British soldier killed on patrol in Afghanistan had been a battle casualty replacement, the Ministry of Defence said. Lance Corporal Jonathan James McKinlay, of The First Battalion The Rifles, was killed by small arms fire on Wednesday while on patrol in Helmand Province.

Foreign GPs ‘should get induction course’

Newly-qualified and foreign doctors should complete a basic introduction course before working in the UK, amid fears they may not be ready to start treating patients, a regulator said in a report. Newcomers should get a basic induction, the General Medical Council said yesterday.

Palestinians keep up membership fight

Mahmoud Abbas insisted in a defiant speech last night that the Palestinians would seek full membership at the United Nations next week. The move will almost certainly bring them into conflict with Israel and the United States, which has vowed to defeat the motion.

Battle at Bani Walid as rebels bicker

Troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi fought on yesterday as Nato-backed local forces struggled to oust them from one of their last strongholds. Cracks appeared between the factions opposed to the former dictator even as they took control of parts of the town of Bani Walid. MORE

Boris Johnson opens Fashion Week event

Boris Johnson opened the London Fashion Week surrounded by British Fashion Council “ambassadors”, including ex-models Erin O’Connor and Laura Bailey. He joked about rescuing funding for the event from those in the Treasury who wished to use it to bail out Greece. MORE

Mystery of boy who lived in the woods

German police are baffled by a bizarre case involving an unidentified English-speaking teenage boy who claims he spent the past five years living rough with his father in woods. The boy said his father died in a fall a fortnight ago. He buried him, took his compass and headed to Berlin on foot.

Smuggler swallows 72 cocaine capsules

This federal police picture shows 72 capsules containing 830 grams of cocaine which were swallowed by a young, unidentified Irish man who was arrested at Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as he tried to board a flight to Brussels on Monday.

Boxer seeks out new opponent: the Yeti

He’s 7ft tall and weighs 23 stone – but now he’s going in search of an even bigger monster. Nikolai Valuev, the former heavyweight boxing champion, has decided to head for the wilds of deepest Siberia to hunt for the abominable snowman. MORE

Amish sect jailed over buggy traffic

Eight men from an Amish sect were jailed after refusing to pay fines for failing to display safety triangles on horse-drawn buggies. They refused to display them because the garish colour violated the sect’s modesty code. They received sentences from three to 10 days. MORE

£5,000 pay-out over botched bleaching

A Nottingham woman whose visit to a hairdresser left her looking “like a scarecrow” has been awarded £5,250 in compensation. Charlotte Jones, 27, spent 11 hours in the salon as five bleaching treatments were botched. The salon accepted full liability.

Spider forces experts to think outside box

A spider found in a package ordered online is baffling experts at a London zoo. Chessington World of Adventures has not been able to identify the large creature, which a woman brought in after finding it in the box. Experts at Chessington believe it may be a baboon spider. MORE