The News Matrix: Saturday 20 October 2012


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The Independent Online

Passengers flee plane on runway

Passengers were forced to flee a plane at Glasgow airport when smoke was spotted in the cabin. Jean Walker said: "It was terrifying. The plane started shuddering and there were lights flashing." The Jet2 flight to Spain ground to a halt shortly before take off yesterday. MORE

Referendum on tax breaks for foreigners

A tax system that has attracted wealthy foreigners including Phil Collins and Michael Schumacher to live in Switzerland will be put to a referendum. An alliance of left-wing parties and trade unions said they had collected the 100,000 signatures needed to hold a national vote.

Energy-efficient bribe for homeowners

The Government will offer "bribes" of up to £1,000 to homeowners who sign up to an initiative to make their properties more energy efficient. Ministers have earmarked £140m on a first-come-first-served basis for those who want to modify their homes. MORE

Bear torment photos shock the nation

A shocking photo of firefighters and civil defence personnel holding down a young, bound bear and pulling its ears has sparked outrage in Mexico and prompted fines for those involved. The three-year-old bear survived the incident in Coahuila state, though it suffered wounds.

Man charged with murder of vet

A man was charged last night with the murder of missing veterinarian Catherine Gowing. Clive Sharpe, 46, from Bethesda, Gwynedd, will appear before Mold magistrates in North Wales this morning. Ms Gowing, 37, has been missing since failing to turn up for work on Monday. MORE

Boat Race protestor jailed for 6 months

The protestor who forced a restart at this year's Boat Race by swimming into the path of the crews has been jailed for six months. Trenton Oldfield's wife Deepa Naik said he protested because "Britain is a brutal, deeply divided, class-driven place". MORE

Police release CCTV footage of art heist

Police hunting thieves who broke into a Rotterdam art gallery and snatched paintings worth millions of dollars are releasing security camera footage of the heist in an effort to gain information. They hope members of the public may recognise the bags the thieves were carrying.

Council bailiffs 'use unlawful tactics'

Council-contracted bailiffs collecting unpaid taxes are using heavy-handed and unlawful tactics against vulnerable people, campaigners claim. Citizens Advice recorded 24,698 problems with bailiffs in 2011/12, most of them about the enforcement of council tax. MORE

Internet troll offers cautious apology

A man dubbed the "biggest troll" on the internet has offered a cautious apology for his online behaviour, but said he posted abusive messages because he "wanted to unwind" after a long day at work. It came almost a week after he was exposed as the man behind "Violentacrez". MORE

Car bomb kills eight, including top official

A car bomb ripped through Beirut yesterday, killing a top security official and seven others in the most serious blast the Lebanese capital has seen in four years. Dozens of people were wounded in the attack, which reportedly targeted Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan. MORE

Families can sue over soldiers' deaths

The families of soldiers who were killed fighting in Iraq can sue the Government for negligence, senior judges at the Court of Appeal have ruled. The families had argued that the Ministry of Defence failed to provide armoured vehicles which could have saved lives. MORE

Hanks apologises for using F-word on TV

ABC and Tom Hanks are apologising after the actor used the F-word word on "Good Morning America" yesterday. Anchor Elizabeth Vargas asked Hanks to speak in his character's British accent in the movie Cloud Atlas. Hanks said it was "mostly swear words," but Vargas told him to go ahead anyway.

'Petrol from air' firm will say no to big oil

The small British company claiming to have made petrol from air has claimed it will turn down offers from big oil companies. Air Fuel Synthesis, based in Darlington, has been flooded with investment offers, but fears the oil industry would take it over with the aim of closing it down. MORE

Wiggle saves terrier from an early grave

A Jack Russell terrier has survived after being poisoned and buried alive – and he can thank the man who saw the ground wiggle. The little dog was described as "flat as a pancake" when he was rescued from his grave in Charleville-Mezieres in northern France.

Clare Balding to host new brain quiz

Clare Balding will host a new Saturday night show on BBC1 which aims to find the UK's sharpest minds. Britain's Brightest will whittle down 24 hopefuls with various puzzles and challenges. "I am so excited to be given the opportunity to explore and test intelligence," the presenter said.

Tallest man in US gets size 24 trainers

It was a tall order to fill, but America's tallest man now has his own tennis shoes. Igor Vovkovinskiy, 30, stands just over 7ft, 8ins tall and struggles to find shoes for his size 24 feet. But the Minnesota man has now received three custom-made pairs from Reebok that took five months to make.

Skeleton may have lain in bed 15 years

Police are trying to identify the skeleton of a man believed to have lain undiscovered in bed for more than 15 years. The body, found in an abandoned house in Lille, is thought to be the owner of the home . Police said they had found piles of unopened mail at the house dating back to 1996.

Veteran Dot returns to EastEnders

The veteran EastEnder star June Brown will make a return to the BBC soap in the new year following a break from the show to pen her memoirs. The 85-year-old plays the chain-smoking Dot Branning in the popular show, but left the Walford set in spring.