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The News Matrix: Saturday 28 September 2013

Cameron turns down referendum debate

The Prime Minister has refused to take part in a televised debate with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond on the independence referendum. David Cameron wrote in a letter to Mr Salmond that the issue is a matter for "Scots living in Scotland" and stressed that the referendum should not become a glorified general election. MORE

Pilot's heart attack forces plane to land

The stricken captain of a United Airlines flight that was forced into an emergency landing in Idaho died of a suspected heart attack. The Seattle-bound flight was carrying 161 passengers and witnesses said flight crew had asked if a doctor was on board.

Tesco withdraws 'gay best friend' doll

Tesco has withdrawn an inflatable doll it labelled "gay best friend" from its online store. The retailer said it was "very sorry" for stocking the "offensive" product. The incident came a day after it apologised for selling a "psycho ward" costume.

Jammeh claims gays 'threaten' mankind

The country's president used his address to the UN General Assembly to call homosexuality one of the "biggest threats to human existence". President Yahya Jammeh has claimed he can cure Aids with a herbal body rub and bananas.

Adult library use drops 25 per cent

The number of people using public libraries in the UK has fallen by a quarter in the last eight years. A survey for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport claims adults visiting libraries fell from 48 per cent in 2005 to 36 per cent today.

Accused in Islamic fancy dress protest

Loyalist Willie Frazer arrived at court in Belfast dressed as Abu Hamza to protest at being charged under legislation he claims was designed to deal with militant Islamic preachers.

Asylum-seekers a 'passing irritant'

Asylum-seekers' boats will be a "passing irritant" in Australia's relationship with Indonesia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. He commented just before a boat carrying migrants to Australia sank near Indonesia, killing at least 21 people.

iPhone? It's enough to make you sick ...

Apple's latest operating system for iPhones is reportedly making people ill. The animations and transitions added to the iOS7 have caused users to feel nauseous, many with motion sickness. A message thread has been filled with complaints on Apple's site.

San Francisco's Google backlash

San Francisco residents are becoming increasingly upset at Google employees taking over their city. According to locals, the influx of Silicon Valley staff has raised housing costs while driving existing residents out of one of America's coolest place to live.

A memorable song, a forgetful moment

Carla Bruni, the supermodel, singer and former French First Lady, forgot how to play her biggest hit during a charity concert to raise funds for Alzheimer's disease. Alone on the stage with her guitar, Bruni fell silent after singing the opening lines of her 2002 debut single "Quelqu'un m'a dit" (Someone Told Me).

Massive mushroom uncovered

A massive mushroom has been found in a forest in north-western Poland. The boletus, which weighs 3kg and has a diameter of 40cm, was found in the Bydgoszcz forest by a man from Ciechocinek. He said he may use part of the mushroom in a Christmas meal.

71 iPads go missing in school campuses

Los Angeles school officials said 71 iPads, including 69 from a single campus, went missing last year as the district tested a programme intended to equip every student with one of the Apple tablets. Officials said new security measures were being implemented to keep track of the tablets, which cost $700 (£430) apiece.

Butler school opens to cater for mega-rich

The rise of the super-rich has lured one of the world's top butler schools to set up a branch in China to teach prospective valets to clean toilets, snip cigars and "deal with greedy dinner guests". The International Butler Academy chairman, Robert Wennekes, said its school in Chengdu would "cultivate a culture of service".

Fans raise cash for RoboCop statue

A 10ft bronze statue of iconic cyborg crimefighter RoboCop is to be erected in Detroit after fans of Paul Verhoeven's 1980s crime fighter film raised almost $70,000 to build it. The project, backed by original RoboCop star Peter Weller, was launched in 2011.

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