Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The News Matrix: Saturday 19 October 2013


'Immigrant' texts get 140 complaints

More than 140 complaints have been made over communications sent to suspected illegal immigrants. The private contractor Capita have sent over 39,000 text messages, drawing universal condemnation. Ukip slammed the move as what "one would expect from a fascistic police state."

Vigilante justice call for murder suspect

Hundreds of South Africans burned tyres outside a township police station in Johannesburg yesterday and demanded the handover for "instant retribution" of a fifth suspect arrested for the rape and murder of two toddlers whose mutilated bodies were discovered on Tuesday.

SNP promises to cut fuel bills

Should Scotland vote for independence, the deputy first minister has pledged to cut energy bills by 5 per cent. The Tories labelled Nicola Sturgeon's promise as "driven by bitterness, anger and negativity". The savings would be made by removing levies from customers' bills.

Orphan's adoption plea touches nation

A Florida church, where a 15-year-old orphan made an emotional plea for someone to adopt him, has been "flooded" with phone calls. Davion Navar Henry Only, who made his appeal two weeks ago, told the congregation: "I'll take anyone. Old or young, black, white, purple. I don't care."

Burglars convicted after 'selfies' spotted

Four men were yesterday convicted of burglary after Kent police uncovered photographs the gang had taken including one of them posing with a gun and another in pyjamas. The incriminating "selfies" had been added to a mobile phone chat group named "armed robbers". MORE

Kenyatta excused from parts of his trial

President Uhuru Kenyatta needn't attend all of his trial on charges of crimes against humanity, the International Criminal Court said. Kenyatta, who is accused of responsibility for 1,200 deaths after the 2007 elections, had said the proceedings would prevent him from governing.

Officials must carry out gay marriages

France's highest court has ruled that mayors cannot refuse to conduct gay marriages because they go against their personal beliefs. The Constitutional Council's ruling followed an appeal by mayors and registrars. It said public officials were duty-bound to implement the law.

Experts tight-lipped over LA quake threat

Scientists have refused to tell Los Angeles authorities which of 1,500 potentially vulnerable buildings are most at risk of collapse during an earthquake. Officials asked for the data in a bid to gain a "head start" to tackling the problem but UC Berkeley researchers have yet to respond.

'Backdoor' attempt to legalise hunting

David Cameron is planning to legalise hunting by backdoor methods, according to campaigners. Citing a rise in fox attacks on lambs, MPs are calling for limits on hunting practises to be scrapped. An RSPCA spokesman said it was "a smokescreen to open up the debate." MORE

Police hunt family of four-year-old girl

Police have launched a global appeal after a four-year-old blonde girl was found on Wednesday in a Gipsy settlement in Farsala. Police are trying to establish why the girl was living with the couple, who are also accused of faking identity and family certificates.

Ex-Nazi convicted in his absence

Rome's military tribunal yesterday convicted ex-Nazi execution squad member Alfred Stork in absentia for his role in the 1943 killing of 120 Italian officers on the Greek island of Kefalonia and sentenced him to life in prison. Stork, 90, lives in Germany.

Putin's crane Raven arrives home safely

A Siberian crane Vladimir Putin taught to fly has been found. In September last year Putin, in a motorised hang glider, flew alongside the crane, called Raven, helping birds raised in captivity to follow aircraft in migrating to Central Asia. It got lost, but arrived in Moscow yesterday.

Missing cat turns up... 450 miles away

A cat that found its way 725km (450 miles) from its home to Scotland is to be reunited with its owner. Nine-year-old Pablo disappeared from Brockley, south London last October. He was handed over to the Cats Protection charity in Fife, who found his owners via his microchip.

McCartney wings it in Covent Garden

Sir Paul McCartney surprised fans with an impromptu gig in London's Covent Garden yesterday. He performed a 20-minute set of songs from his latest album New. The performance was only announced an hour in advance on Twitter. MORE

Jackie Chan to carry on kicking

Jackie Chan, who said last year he was retiring from martial arts films, admits he may continue into his sixties. "When I was 40-something I said another five years, and then five years and five years until now," the actor said yesterday. "I will see how far I can go until my body tells me, 'Stop.'"

Banksy 'wanted by New York police'

New York police are hunting the British graffiti artist Banksy on suspicion of defacing public property, according to The New York Post. However, the artist – who is on a six month residency in the city – seemed unfazed, writing cryptically on his website: "I don't read what I believe in the papers."