The News Matrix: Saturday 31 March 2012


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The Independent Online

Obama imposes new sanctions on Iran

President Barack Obama is moving ahead with new sanctions aimed at squeezing Iran's oil exports, after deciding there is enough crude on world markets to take the step. The move allows the US to impose sanctions on foreign banks that purchase oil from Iran.

Student loses appeal over Muamba tweets

The student who posted abusive tweets about Fabrice Muamba after his heart attack has lost his appeal against a 56-day jail term. Liam Stacey, 21, was led away in tears from Swansea Crown Court, where it was revealed he had previously been arrested for abusing police. See Muamba picture here

Police detain Islamists in crackdown

French police detained 19 people yesterday as they launched a nationwide crackdown on suspected Islamist extremists, promising more raids to come. But the Interior Minister said there was "no known link" between those detained and Mohamed Merah, the Toulouse gunman. MORE

Ambassador lashes out at TV crew

The US ambassador to Moscow is in hot water after lashing out at the crew of a TV station who approached him before a meeting with a human rights activist. Michael McFaul accused the crew from the Kremlin-controlled channel of being from a "wild country". MORE

Widow wants smiles for shark victim

The widow of Ian Redmond, 30, who was killed by a shark on their honeymoon in the Seychelles said she wanted people to "smile and feel uplifted" on hearing his name. Gemma Redmond, 27, told the inquest into his death that she did not want his memory dominated by an awful accident.

Six charged in sex-trafficking ring

A child sex-trafficking ring in Oxford victimised 38 girls, a court heard yesterday. Six men have been charged in connection with the investigation and were remanded in custody. Charges included rape, conspiring to rape a child and supplying a class A controlled drug to a child.

Sarah Sands to edit Evening Standard

Sarah Sands has been announced as the new editor of the Evening Standard. The London newspaper's owner, Evgeny Lebedev, confirmed on Twitter that the hotly tipped former deputy editor would take the role. Ms Sands replaces Geordie Greig, who is to edit the Mail on Sunday.

Eurozone ministers boost bailout fund

The 17 eurozone countries have boosted their emergency funding for debt-troubled members to €800bn, an amount that falls short of what many finance ministers had said was needed to calm financial markets. The increase came as Spain unveiled another harsh Budget. MORE

Help for girl, five, forced to marry

A girl of just five years of age was one of the victims helped by the Forced Marriage Unit last year. In total, the Home Office initiative helped almost 1,500 women, including an 87-year-old woman. The Government is currently deciding whether to criminalise forced marriage. MORE

Brain-damaged man is frequency flyer

A man who suffered brain damage after falling off a bicycle has defied his condition to produce his own radio show. Bram Harrison, 34, takes weeks to put together each playlist because he has locked-in syndrome, meaning the only parts of his body he can move are his eyes and eyelids. MORE

Worries over South Korean rocket

Japan's defence minister ordered missile units to intercept a long-range North Korean rocket expected to be launched in a fortnight if fragments threaten to hit Japan. The Unha-3 rocket is expected to fly past western Japan after its launch from North Korea's west coast. MORE

Gunmen jailed for policeman's murder

Two Republican terrorists have been jailed for life for murdering a police officer in Craigavon, Co Armagh. Brendan McConville, 40, and John Paul Wootton, 20, lured Stephen Carroll with a fake 999 call, then shot him in 2009. His widow Kate voiced her "pity and disgust" for them. MORE

Elections won't be fair, Suu Kyi warns

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday that Burma's weekend elections will be neither free nor fair, but vowed to continue her candidacy for the sake of the nation. Suu Kyi said opposition candidates had had stones thrown at them and their campaign posters vandalised. MORE

Queen's dismay over axed Knebworth gig

The cancellation of July's Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth has disappointed rock fans as well as the headline act Queen. The band said the concert would have held special relevance as it was the scene of their final gig with singer Freddie Mercury before his 1991 death. MORE

Scientist who broke laws of physics quits

The scientist who headed a team that measured particles travelling faster than light – apparently breaking the laws of physics – has resigned, after a rival team revealed the readings were wrong. Antonio Ereditato stepped down from the experiment measuring the speed of neutrinos.

Memorial to Hitler's parents removed

The mayor of an Austrian town where Adolf Hitler's parents are buried has announced the grave's tombstone has been removed. Leonding Mayor Walter Brunner said the decision was made by a relative of the family who says she does not want the grave to serve as a neo-Nazi pilgrimage site.

Fatherhood and me, by Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams is to become a father, reporting that he and his wife Ayda cried when they saw the scans. The singer, 38, who rejoined Take That last year, wrote on his blog: "The nursery is already planned. Basically I'm in love with a little person growing in mummy's belly."

Jerry Lee Lewis marries his carer

Jerry Lee Lewis has wed for the seventh time. The rock 'n' roller has married Judith Brown, his carer, in Mississippi. Brown formerly was married to Lewis's cousin, Rusty – whose older sister, Myra Gale Brown, married Lewis in 1957 when she was 13.