The News Matrix: Saturday 28 April 2012

 

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The Independent Online

British soldier shot in Helmand province

A British soldier has been shot dead in Afghanistan while on a patrol to disrupt insurgent activity, the Ministry of Defence said last night. The serviceman, from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province when he came under small-arms fire.

'Terrorist' bomb blasts injure 27

A series of blasts rocked the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk yesterday, six weeks before the start of the European football championships, which will be co-hosted by the state. Many officials called the blasts terrorist attacks, including the deputy prosecutor General Yevgeny Blazhivsky.

Bomber kills nine at Damascus mosque

A suicide bomber killed nine people including security officers at a Damascus mosque yesterday in another blow to a UN-brokered truce between President Bashar al-Assad and rebels. The explosion was at a mosque from which anti-Assad demonstrations had been launched. MORE

Police launch hunt for blind dissident

A blind anti-government dissident fled house arrest and made it to a secret location in Beijing yesterday, sparking a huge police search. Chen Guangcheng's escape, if successful, would boost a civil rights community, which has seen rising arrests and harassment in the past year. MORE

Office siege brings West End to a halt

Armed police and negotiators were involved in a three-hour siege after a man threatened to blow up a central London office building yesterday. Thousands were evacuated from the area after a man walked into the office of a training firm carrying gas canisters and demanding a refund. MORE

Viagra conman told: Pay £14m or go to jail

A tycoon who made a fortune selling fake Viagra tablets was today ordered to pay back more than £14m or face 10 years in jail. Martin Hickman, 52, funded his luxury lifestyle by selling millions of pounds worth of unlicensed Viagra-like drugs over the internet. MORE

Lennon parcel bomb plot pair are jailed

Two men found guilty of sending parcel bombs to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and other figures connected to the football club were each jailed for five years yesterday. The actions of Trevor Muirhead, 44, and Neil McKenzie, 42, were described as "incomprehensible". MORE

Former MP Moran is 'unfit to plead'

Margaret Moran, the former Labour MP for Luton South accused of falsely claiming £80,000 in Commons expenses, has been ruled unfit to plead to criminal charges. Mr Justice Sanders said three psychiatrists agreed Ms Moran was a potential danger to herself. MORE

Fears for life of hunger striker

There are growing fears for the life of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, the jailed human rights leader who has been on hunger strike for 78 days, as his family have been unable to contact him since Monday. His death would enrage the Shia majority. MORE

Tories 'need people who sound normal'

A senior Tory backbencher says the party needs more members who "sound normal" if it is to win the working-class vote. Robert Halfon, a member of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, said more high-profile roles should be given to MPs from working-class backgrounds. MORE

Three men arrested for terrorism plot

Three men have been arrested in Copenhagen on suspicion of plotting a terror attack after police found them with automatic weapons and ammunition. Denmark has been under threat since the 2005 publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

Addison Lee loses government job

The minicab company Addison Lee, which controversially urged its drivers to use bus lanes, has lost its government contract, it was announced yesterday. The contract was with the Department for Work and Pensions but covered use by a number of Whitehall departments.

Paris officials try to lure Brits from Games

Romania's government fell yesterday in a no-confidence vote, as opposition parties seized on public anger over biting austerity measures, cronyism and corruption. The opposition said the vote was the end of an abusive system. "Today there was justice," said opposition leader Victor Ponta.

Clarkson loses fight with island ramblers

Following its city's failed bid to host the 2012 Olympics, the Parisian tourist board is plotting to steal Britons away from the capital this summer. Paris Ile-de-France is running a competition offering Londoners the chance to win a two-day trip to Paris every time Team GB win a gold medal. MORE

Man charged with 'moonwalk' threat

Ramblers have claimed a victory against the Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson after he lost a legal appeal over public access to a path near his lighthouse home on the Isle of Man. Mr Clarkson and his wife, Frances, claimed the path breached their human rights.

Taxidermist faces rare species charges

An Idaho man has been charged with assault after authorities say he ordered another man to perform the "moonwalk" at gunpoint. Police were called after getting a report that 30-year-old John Ernest Cross pointed a rifle at another man and demanded that he perform the dance move.

Taxidermist faces rare species charges

A taxidermist has denied illegally keeping a collection of dead endangered species including a Himalayan black bear and an orangutan. Simon Wilson, 49, from Hertfordshire, will face trial in London next January. He is accused of using a tiger skin for commercial gain, among other charges.

Art heist Degas returns to gallery

The last of four paintings stolen at gunpoint from a Swiss museum four years ago has been returned to Zurich. The 1871 painting by Edgar Degas, Ludovic Lepic and his daughter, is worth about £6.7m. It suffered some damage around the edges while in the hands of the robbers.

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