The News Matrix: Saturday 22 September 2012


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The Independent Online

Joint squad to probe Alps shootings

British and French authorities have agreed to set up a rare joint investigation team to probe the quadruple murder in the French Alps. More than a fortnight has passed since four bodies were discovered on a remote mountain track, but investigators have still to find a lead. MORE

Man charged over police shootings

Dale Cregan appeared in court yesterday charged with the murders of two police officers. The hearing was told that he will be tried for the deaths of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, who died during a bogus burglary call in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday. MORE

15 killed in violence provoked by film

Protests over an anti-Muslim film turned violent yesterday, with police firing tear gas and live ammunition at thousands of demonstrators who threw rocks and set fire to buildings. At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured on a day described as "Love the Prophet Day". MORE

Honeymoon islands 'harbour extremists'

They are known as an idyllic destination for honeymooners, but the Indian Ocean's Maldives Islands have become dominated by Islamist extremists, according to its deposed president. Mohamed Nasheed said the archipelago is vulnerable to al-Qa'ida attacks. MORE

Generals jailed for plot to seize power

Three former generals have been sentenced to life in prison, the first jail terms in the two-year trial of 364 officers accused of plotting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government. The court said the three would only serve 20 years because their plot failed.

Heart doctor guilty of molesting boys

A renowned heart doctor sexually molested young boys while in France and Kenya, a panel has ruled. Philipp Bonhoeffer worked at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he was head of cardiology. A tribunal found he had sexual contact with a number of juvenile males. MORE

Farage says he has no deal with Tories

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, has laughed off suggestions that his party would stand aside in Tory marginal seats as long as David Cameron agreed to a long-awaited EU referendum. "I haven't offered a deal to anybody," he said. MORE

Obama cashes in on Romney problems

Barack Obama rounded off a successful week on the campaign trail by scoring a financial victory in August over Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his backers. Romney's team hit snags in the money race, according to the Federal Election Commission. MORE

One million veterans have mental issues

Up to one million military veterans in the UK could have mental health problems. Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, a former head of defence clinical psychology at the MoD, said many of the five million estimated ex-service personnel did not have access to adequate treatment.

Space shuttle hitches a last ride

The space shuttle Endeavour flew for the last time yesterday, taking an aerial tour of California by riding piggyback atop a modified 747 jumbo jet. The shuttle made the flight from Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

New device 'zaps' migraine pain

Doctors praised a new drug-free treatment for the UK's eight million migraine sufferers as an "exciting innovation" yesterday. The hand-held device sends a magnetic pulse to the back of the head, and reduced the frequency of headaches in more than half of patients. MORE

Assad attacks Gulf states: 'I will survive'

President Bashar al-Assad has insisted his regime will not fall and lashed out at Gulf states, accusing them of using their wealth to drive him from power. Meanwhile the National Co-ordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria accused the regime of causing the disappearance of two of its leaders. MORE

Police chief fails to delay hearing

A police chief being investigated following allegations of corruption has failed in a High Court bid to delay a disciplinary hearing. Sean Price, Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, argued that publicity about the outcome of the hearing would prejudice jurors.

'Challenge' students too clever by half

Today's University Challenge students are so knowledgeable that the programme has had to make the questions more difficult, said host Jeremy Paxman as the show celebrates 50 years. But he warned that in some areas, contestants are not as good, particularly with hymns.

Police find body – and £4m in gold

Police in Carson City, Nevada, got a shock earlier this month when they broke into the home of an elderly man they suspected had died. They found Walter Samaszko's body, but also gold coins and bullion worth about £4m. Mr Samaszko had only £123 in his bank account when he died.

Tintin comes to life in a Kinshasa shack

Any Tintin fan would feel at home in the small wooden shed in a back street of Kinshasa, where the shelves are crammed with brightly painted statues from the famous Belgian cartoon character's adventures, lovingly carved from wood and carefully painted in bold colours.

Mayday, Mayday ... and, erm, Mayday

A trio of hapless sailors were rescued twice in 24 hours after setting off with no charts, radios or flares. They left Canvey Island in Essex on Wednesday, but ran aground and called 999. After continuing their journey, they called for rescue again on Thursday, just 30 miles from where they started.

Korean on brink of chart history

Rapper Psy could become the first South Korean act to hit No 1 on the UK charts after "Gangnam Style" soared to the top of the iTunes chart. The bizarre song has attracted more than 200 million views on YouTube. It is 22,000 copies behind The Script's "Hall of Fame", but catching up.

Rosalind Adams quits The Archers

Rosalind Adams is leaving Radio 4's rural soap The Archers after 25 years on the show. Rather than killing off the long-suffering Clarrie Grundy, producers will find another actress to voice the part. The actress, 68, wants to spend more time with her grandchildren. MORE

Plan to use biofuels to replace kerosene

Passenger jets could be powered by biofuels extracted from straw or sawdust as the search widens for cleaner alternatives to kerosene. French scientists aim to use the horse bedding materials as the basis for a new biofuel that can be used in a 50/50 blend with kerosene

It's a bridge too far for Chuck Norris

Slovak officials have rejected the result of an internet campaign to name a new bridge near Bratislava after the US action film star Chuck Norris. Instead, it will be called "Freedom Cycling-Bridge" in memory of those killed attempting to escape communist eastern Europe.

Dame Helen set for second royal role

Dame Helen Mirren will once again play Queen Elizabeth II in a new play called The Audience. The actress won an Oscar in 2007 for her performance in The Queen, which focused on the aftermath of Princess Diana's death. The new play will depict the meetings with her Prime Ministers.

Stormy start for Apple's iPhone 5

An Apple whirlwind blew around the world yesterday as technology enthusiasts scrambled to snap up the new iPhone 5 – but the launch was not without its hiccups as fights broke out in queues, phones were stolen, and users complained about the new maps feature.

Stop all that gyrating, prostitutes are told

The city of Ghent has long allowed prostitution, but now it has told "working girls" posing in the windows of its brothels to wear more clothes and stop sexually-charged gyrating at passers-by. From next month, they face a €120 fine if they ignore the new rules.