The News Matrix: Saturday 30 March 2013


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The Independent Online

British aid workers sexually assaulted

Three female British aid workers have been kidnapped and sexually attacked as they travelled through the city of Benghazi in Libya. Deputy Prime Minister Awad al-Barassi visited the victims in hospital and said they were in "very bad shape". Four men have been arrested. MORE

President criticises eurozone leaders

The President of Cyprus has hit out at eurozone leaders for "experimenting" with the island's fate. Nicos Anastasiades spoke a day after banks reopened following an almost two-week shutdown imposed as the country raced to clinch a rescue package from the EU. MORE

Anger over bid to ban electronic cigarettes

A proposed change to EU law that would mean electronic cigarettes would be banned has been condemned by anti-smoking groups. Campaigners said treating the quit-smoking tools as tobacco products "muddies the waters and causes confusion". MORE

Inspections have 'increased' stress

More than nine out of 10 teachers believe Ofsted's new regime for school inspections is pushing up stress levels. A report said schools are now on a permanent "war" footing, and six years ago only 27 per cent said the check-ups were making teaching a more stressful job. MORE

Lawyer thows shoe at Pervez Musharraf

An angry lawyer threw a shoe at former President Pervez Musharraf as he headed to court to face charges following his return to the country after four years in exile. Mr Musharraf is disliked by lawyers because of his decision to suspend the chief justice of the Supreme Court. MORE

Two men die in police car chase

Two men have died after the car they were travelling in hit a bridge as it was being chased by police in Haringey, north London. The men, aged and 38 and 33, died at the scene. The driver, 30, tried to run away but was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Pro-democracy rapper is freed

A Moroccan rapper known for his social activism and protest songs says he will concentrate on his music and studies after being released from prison for insulting police. Looking thin and pale, Mouad Belghouat, 26, told reporters yesterday that prison had been very difficult.

McNamara paralysed after Cheltenham fall

The Irish jockey JT McNamara has been paralysed due to a neck injury suffered in a fall at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this month. The 37-year-old was said to be in a "very positive frame of mind" after making progress in the past week following surgery at a Bristol hospital.

Building site collapses killing two

A building under construction collapsed in the centre of Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam yesterday, killing two people and injuring more than a dozen. Rescuers searched for survivors under the rubble, while there were conflicting reports about the number of dead.

Anti-Morsi protests turn violent

Clashes erupted in two cities yesterday, and protesters rallied in Cairo in the latest demonstrations against Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. In Alexandria, hundreds of assailants threw stones and fire bombs at protesters rallying against Mr Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Rescue helicopter fleet to be cut by half

The Ministry of Defence's fleet of search-and-rescue helicopters is expected to be almost halved following a £1.6bn privatisation deal announced by the Government. Forty Sea King helicopters will be retired in 2015, to be replaced by 22 faster aircraft.

Hundreds rescued from ice floes

Latvia's emergency services rescued more than 220 people stranded on ice floes in the Gulf of Riga yesterday. About 180 people, mostly fishermen, were rescued from a floe off the coast near Vakarbulli, while another 43 people were taken off the ice near the seaside resort of Jurmala.

Man, 82, arrested as part of Savile inquiry

An 82-year-old man from Berkshire has been arrested on suspicion of sexual offences as part of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse investigation. He has been bailed to a date in May pending further inquiries. The man, who has not been named, was detained on Thursday after being interviewed under caution in November.

UK hackers attack Argentinian game

Hackers in the UK have attacked an Argentinian online video game which allows players to shoot British "terrorists" in scenes from the Falklands War. The Argentinian company this week launched a "map" for the popular game Counter Strike.

Mysteries will be solved soon

Improved technology and increasing numbers of enthusiasts in the wake of the discovery of Richard III's bones could mean we see some of British history's great mysteries solved in the next few years. Still unknown are the resting places of Boudicca and King Arthur.

Landlord accused of a second spanking

An Ohio landlord accused of whipping an adult tenant with a belt on his bare buttocks for falling behind on his rent has been accused of whipping another man. In a lawsuit filed last week, Mark Neace accuses Ronald Kronenberger of spanking him on four occasions.

Monroe's letter of despair goes on sale

Marilyn Monroe's letter of despair to mentor Lee Strasberg, and Dwight D. Eisenhower's heartfelt missives to his wife during World War II are among hundreds of historical documents on sale in an online auction. Monroe's letter to the acting teacher is expected to fetch $30,000 to $50,000.

Now space station is just a steppe away

It usually takes two days to get from Kazakhstan to the International Space Station 250 miles (400km) above the Earth. But two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut got there in under six hours after blasting off from the steppes for their five-month mission. MORE

Leading lady at my age? Not in the UK...

Oscar-nominated actress Kristin Scott Thomas has claimed that British film directors are ageist. The bilingual star, 52, said that she was offered more rewarding roles in France than in the UK. "They don't want leading ladies that are over 50," she told the Daily Telegraph.

Reptiles stolen from science museum

A 7 foot boa constrictor, two ball pythons and a monitor lizard were stolen from a Central California science museum by a man who was caught on camera throwing the reptiles into a plastic trash bag. The unidentified suspect broke in overnight, smashing the tanks that held the reptiles.

£100 for parents who use washable nappies

Parents in Swansea are being offered a £100 incentive to ditch disposable nappies and switch to traditional washable alternatives instead. Council chiefs say they want to cut the mountain of disposable nappies at landfill sites – more than 200 million are thrown out annually in Wales alone.

Hollywood star pays missed income taxes

Hollywood star Stephen Baldwin has admitted in court that he failed to pay New York state income tax for three years. The actor agreed to pay $400,000 (£263,000) in back taxes, interest and penalties. Baldwin pleaded guilty to a charge of repeated failure to file income taxes.

Airlines 'should charge obese more'

Airlines should charge obese passengers more, a Norwegian economist has suggested, arguing that "pay as you weigh" pricing would bring benefits to passengers. Bharat Bhatta, a professor at Sogn og Fjordane University, said airlines should charge by space and weight.

'Drunk' councillor loses anonymity bid

Labour councillor Tess Gandy who was fined £100 after admitting being drunk in a supermarket while in charge of her two-year-old daughter, has lost a High Court anonymity fight. Ms Gandy, 35, who was a district councillor in Lowestoft, Suffolk, said: "I deeply regret the incident."