The News Matrix: Saturday 25 January 2014


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The Independent Online

Trierweiler resumes First Lady's duties

France's First Lady, Valérie Trierweiler, will make her first public appearances since the exposure of President François Hollande's affair with a 41-year-old actress. Ms Trierweiler has dismissed advice from the Elysée Palace and will fly to India to fulfil two engagements. MORE

Speaker not ready for the virtuous life

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, says he has no interest in running for the White House. The Republican told NBC's Jay Leno that he was not about to give up drinking red wine, smoking cigarettes and cutting his own lawn just to be President.

Bus 'crash-for-cash' scammer jailed

The mastermind behind a series of insurance scams including the deliberate crashing of a bus with up to 40 passengers on board has been jailed for four-and-a-half years. Mohammed Omar Gulzar, 31, set up the "crash-for-cash" collision in Sheffield with the help of the driver.

Lords holds up 2017 EU referendum plan

The campaign to remove Britain from the EU hit a major setback yesterday when the Lords held up legislation for the 2017 referendum. Peers voted in favour of changing the proposed wording of the question that would be put to the public, if a referendum were held.

Philomena fights to open secret files

Philomena Lee, whose 50-year search for her late son Anthony inspired the Oscar-nominated film Philomena, is to lead a drive to shame the Irish State into opening secret files on 60,000 adoptions; 60 years after Ireland legalised forced adoption for unmarried mothers, records remain closed. MORE

Celebrating official creates 'pop art'

A council official in Milan has been left red-faced after his attempt to crack open a bottle of sparkling wine ended in disaster. Roberto Cassago was horrified when the cork burst from the bottle and promptly lodged itself into the canvas of a valuable 18th-century oil painting.

Inquiry ordered for rape 'punishment'

India's highest court has ordered a judicial inquiry into the alleged gang-rape of a woman; the 20-year-old is said to have been assaulted in front of her entire village. A village council ordered her to be gang-raped as "punishment" for having a relationship with a Muslim man. MORE

Apostrophes return to Cambridge signs

Grammar guerrillas have used marker pens to fill in the missing apostrophes on signs in Cambridge, after the city council ruled they should be removed. Kathy Salaman of the Good Grammar Company approves, saying: "If they take our apostrophes, commas will be next." She added: "The person responsible has been in touch and they have my full support."

Kelly biopic will get Cannes premiere

A Grace Kelly biopic starring Nicole Kidman will open this year's Cannes Film Festival despite an on-going dispute between the US distributor and the director. Grace of Monaco will premiere at the festival despite being pulled from release by The Weinstein Company.

'Revenge' attack leaves two dead

Two men were killed yesterday in a shooting and stabbing at a court complex in Frankfurt, in what may have been a revenge attack. It is thought it was linked to the fatal stabbing in 2007. Police said the suspected assailant was believed to be the brother of the 2007 victim.

Cairo bombs mark uprising anniversary

Cairo was shaken by a series of deadly explosions on the eve of the Tahrir Square uprising's third anniversary. The bombings were the first successful attacks in central Cairo since the coup which toppled the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last summer. MORE

Hard-boiled criminal in £13,000 egg theft

A thief made off with some $22,000 (£13,000) worth of chicken eggs in Puerto Rico yesterday. Police said they were looking for the egg thief, adding that a refrigerated truck, parked in a distribution centre in the north coastal town of Hatillo, was taken, along with the eggs inside.

Rodman in trouble after N Korea visit

Authorities are reportedly investigating whether former basketball star Dennis Rodman violated United Nations sanctions against North Korea this month when he brought luxury goods, including bottles of his own brand "Bad Ass Vodka", to the country for Kim Jong Un's birthday.

Police caught on tape beating man

New Delhi police yesterday suspended three officers after a video showed them beating a man with sticks and taking money from his wallet. The video was posted on Facebook by the Aam Aadmi, or Common Man's, party, which hopes to run in the country's 2014 elections.

Cheerleader claims for minimum wage

An Oakland Raiders cheerleader has launched legal proceedings against the NFL franchise, claiming the team broke California labour laws by failing to pay them adequately or on time. It is alleged the Raiders pay cheerleaders less than minimum wage.

Carer stole £35k from elderly woman

A carer has been caught stealing thousands of pounds from an elderly woman and her husband after their worried son hid a surveillance camera in a pen. Lisa Mitchell stole £35,000 over four years from 81-year-old Sheila Read's home in Dereham, Norfolk.

Campaign saves Brighton race

The Brighton Speed Trials motorsport event will go ahead this year, after all. Organisers feared it could be scrapped because Brighton and Hove City Council had not accepted an application to host it. But following a public outcry, approval has now been granted.

Robinson backs off as star speaker

Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor, has withdrawn as star speaker at a dinner for Britain's defence industry after objections from the Campaign Against Arms Trade. It wrote to the BBC saying it thought the appearance would compromise his "reputation for objectivity". MORE

Ambulance workers plan 24-hour strike

Ambulance workers are to go on strike in a long-running dispute over shifts. Members of Unite in Yorkshire will stage a 24-hour walkout on 1 February. The union is protesting over new shift patterns, which it said could mean staff being forced to work 12-hour shifts.