The News Matrix: Saturday 23 November 2013


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The Independent Online

Wives ask Russia to send husbands home

Wives from the small central-Asian country of Tajikistan have asked Russian migration authorities to deport their husbands; the men had left to work in Russia and had not returned home. One woman said: "I found out that he got married there … Let them deport him!" MORE

Lizard King 'reverts to animal trafficking'

Notorious animal trafficker Anson "Lizard King" Wong appears to be back in business. Malaysia's wildlife department yesterday announced a new investigation into Wong, who was released in 2012 after serving 17 months of a five-year jail sentence – to campaigners' dismay. MORE

Thefts of copper from railways up

Italian authorities said thefts of copper from the national infrastructure, including rail and communications lines, increased by 12 per cent in the first 10 months of 2013. The Italian state railway is looking at replacing copper with less-prized materials such as aluminium.

Iran nuclear talks fail to reach deal

After two days of talks, Iran and six world powers yesterday struggled to overcome stumbling blocks to a deal under which Tehran would curb its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from sanctions. Only Russia sent its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to join the talks in Geneva.

Inquiry into Co-op Bank to be held

A Treasury inquiry into the turmoil at the Co-operative Bank, including the appointment of Paul Flowers as its chairman, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne last night. The inquiry will cover the past five years, following Mr Flowers' arrest on drugs charges. MORE

Jackman reveals his skin cancer battle

The actor Hugh Jackman has revealed he has been treated for skin cancer, sharing a photo on Instagram of his bandaged nose. The 45-year-old star of X-Men and Wolverine said he had a basal cell carcinoma, which is rarely fatal. "Get yourself checked. And use sunscreen!" he added.

Prince Harry arrives for Antarctic trek

Prince Harry has arrived in Antarctica ahead of the 200-mile Walking with the Wounded charity trek. Three teams of wounded servicemen and women are taking part in the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge 2013, of which Harry is patron. They begin training today.

Five more Arctic 30 activists out of jail

Five British Greenpeace activists were released from jail yesterday, two months after they were charged with piracy after their ship was seized in Arctic waters by Russian coastguards. Anthony Perrett, Alex Harris, Kieron Bryan, Frank Hewetson and Iain Rogers were freed on bail.

Doctor on murder charge helped CIA

Dr Shakil Afridi, a doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden, has been charged with murder over an operation he performed in 2006, his lawyer said yesterday. He is being held in prison pending retrial on a separate charge, despite US officials demanding his release.

Boy, 15, dies after shooting on farm

A 15-year-old boy died yesterday after being shot on a farm in Cumbria on Thursday. Two men and the boy were shooting on farmland with the permission of the owner. A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

Students paying to learn the party line

Chinese universities are charging hefty fees for courses that help students understand Communist Party jargon. Consultants are said to charge more than £1,000 to demystify and "interpret the spirit" of party language, according to the Shanghai Morning Post.

Check, mate: prodigy beats chess favourite

Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen, 22, toppled local favourite Viswanathan Anand in Chennai to add the world chess championship title to his already impressive resume yesterday. A draw in the crucial 10th game gave the world number one an unassailable lead.

Police chief retracts cycling comments

London's senior police officer has backpedalled over remarks that he would not ride a bike in London after the recent spate of cycling deaths. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he was expressing his views as a non-cyclist before lauding its benefits.

Banking intern died of 'natural causes'

An inquest into the death of Moritz Erhardt, the 21-year-old intern who was found dead in his London flat after working for 72 hours in, recorded a verdict of death by natural causes. Mr Erhardt died of an epileptic seizure, although it may have been triggered by fatigue. MORE

Britons arrested for smuggling meth

Two Britons have been charged with plotting to smuggle 100kg of high-quality North Korean crystal meth worth £3.7m into the US. Scott Stammers and Philip Shackles were caught in Thailand and extradited to New York. Three other Asian men were also arrested in the sting.