The News Matrix: Saturday 4 May 2013


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The Independent Online

Court backs whisky price control

A legal challenge to legislation for a 50p minimum unit price on alcohol in Scotland has been dismissed in court. The Scotch Whisky Association had argued that ministers do not have the power to set the price of alcohol – which will see a bottle of whisky cost at least £14. MORE

Neo-Nazi trial will be largest since war

Five people will stand trial on Monday in Munich in Germany's largest neo-Nazi trial since 1945. They are charged with murdering nine immigrant shopkeepers and a policewoman and two bomb attacks. For a decade, police had claimed "Islamists" were responsible. MORE

Tory politician admits assault

A former Conservative mayor has pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of the public in a parking dispute. Barnet councillor Brian Coleman scratched the café owner while trying to snatch her mobile phone which she used to film him parking in a loading bay in Finchley, London.

Opposition leader tipped to be new PM

Anwar Ibrahim is tipped to become the new Prime Minister of Malaysia in Monday's election. The 65-year-old leader of the People's Alliance is leading in all surveys. The ruling National Front bloc has held power since the country gained independence from Britain in 1957. MORE

Man identified as rioter gets damages

A "Good Samaritan" who was wrongly identified as involved with disorder during the London riots has received libel damages from the Metropolitan Police. Leslie Austin was commended by police for helping people caught up in the trouble before the mistake was made. MORE

Heavy metal hero Hanneman dies

Jeff Hanneman, co-founder of heavy metal band Slayer, has died three years after a spider bite infected him with a flesh-eating disease. Tributes for the guitarist, who died, aged 49, poured in. Slash of Guns'n'Roses tweeted: "He is going to be missed." MORE

April Jones's father was friend of Bridger

The father of the murdered schoolgirl April Jones had known her accused killer for 20 years, a court heard. Paul Jones thought it was strange that Mark Bridger, who denies killing April, was dating a 15-year-old while in his 30s but said that he was "a pleasant bloke". MORE

Wedding scandal as guests land at airbase

Four security officials have been suspended after a plane used a military airbase to drop off 200 wedding guests without permission. The scandal has transfixed the country, dubbed "Guptagate" after the family with close ties to President Jacob Zuma, who hosted the event. MORE

Bankruptcies drop to a five-year low

Personal bankruptcies are at their lowest level in five years, having fallen by 27 per cent in the first three months of this year against the same period in 2012. Some observers warn the issue distracts from deeper issues in personal finance. MORE

Pressure on UK to help asylum seekers

Afghan interpreters seeking asylum in the UK received a boost yesterday when a 77,000-signature petition of support was given to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Britain is the only NATO country not to have offered asylum to its interpreters. MORE

Black minister hits out at racist slurs

Italy's first black cabinet minister took on her critics at a news conference yesterday, saying Italians aren't racist; some are ignorant of other cultures. Congolese-born Cecile Kyenge was responding to racist slurs at her appointment. "I am not 'coloured'. I am black. I emphasise it proudly."

US refuelling plane explodes in mid-air

A US military refuelling plane on its way to Afghanistan crashed in Kyrgyzstan after its fuel blew up. The aircraft, with a crew of three, took off from a US military facility at Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport with around 70 tonnes of fuel on board.

The plane disappeared from radar screens at 3.10pm.

Hunt is on for missing €500,000

Police in Belgium are appealing for the return of half a million euros grabbed by the residents of the small town of Zedelgem after thieves threw a safe into the street in order to escape police. Around €450,000 was recovered on the day with €62,000 subsequently handed back.

A fifth of gardeners talk to their plants

More than one in five gardeners in the UK admit talking to their plants in the hope it will help them to grow. A poll of 2,000 people for home and garden retailer Wilko's also found that one in eight people sing or play music to their flowers. Classical music was the most popular choice.

Windmill produces flour for baking

A windmill in Lincolnshire, the tallest in the UK at 14 storeys high, is producing flour milled with wind power for the first time in a century after a 15-year £2m renovation. It is seen as part of a resurgence of traditional flour-making, brought about by increased interest in home baking.

Fats Domino's piano back in the limelight

A white Steinway grand piano salvaged from Fats Domino's home after Hurricane Katrina has had its classic looks restored and will be the centrepiece of an exhibit in New Orleans' French Quarter. The piano was damaged after water flooded Domino's home in the 2005 storm.

Church organists splicing in odd tunes

Church organists are pulling pranks and exacting revenge on clerics, a new survey reveals. Half of churchgoers say they have noticed unexpected tunes slipped into services, including nursery rhymes and heavy metal classics. One organist spliced "I'm a Barbie Girl" with "Sung Eversong".

Rubber duck of peace docks in Hong Kong

A six-storey-high rubber duck was pulled into Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour by tugboat in the latest leg of its round-the-world trip, which began in 2007. Created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman to promote peace and harmony, it has visited cities ranging from Osaka to Amsterdam.