The News Matrix: Saturday 8 March 2014


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The Independent Online

Man poked holes in condom to keep girl

Canada's Supreme Court upheld the sexual assault conviction of a man who poked holes in the condoms he wore during sex with his girlfriend. Craig Hutchinson sabotaged the condoms in a bid to impregnate her and thus encourage her stay with him, prosecutors said.

Women have 'right to know' partners' past

Women across the country have been given the "right to know" their partner's history by a new scheme known as "Clare's Law". It is named after Clare Wood, who was strangled and set on fire by her boyfriend in 2009. Her father said he was "absolutely delighted" with the law.

Sarkozy's phones bugged by judges

Phones belonging to Nicolas Sarkozy were bugged by judges investigating his alleged financial links with Muammar Gaddafi, it emerged yesterday – two days after it was revealed that dozens of the then French president's conversations had been recorded by a right-wing political adviser. MORE

Huge fine for offering salami to ramblers

The owner of a farmhouse in the Veneto region has been fined €62,000 (£51,400) for giving ramblers salami, leaving a piggy bank for donations. Cesare De Stefani was accused of running a business "in the black" by the Montebelluna Inland Revenue, La Stampa reported.

RBS gives top bosses £18.2m in shares

Royal Bank of Scotland risked stoking more anger over City pay yesterday by handing out shares worth up to £18.2 million for its top management. The long-term bonus awards include £3 million of shares for chief executive Ross McEwan, after he announced the bank made losses of £8.2 billion.

Former girlfriend weeps in court

A former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius wept in court as she told how their relationship ended when he cheated on her with Reeva Steenkamp, the model he is accused of murdering. Samantha Taylor, 20, described a man with a temper, who never went anywhere without his gun. MORE

Little girl may have ingested methadone

Police are investigating a possible methadone link to the death of a two-year-old girl. Sophie Jones reportedly suffering a cardiac arrest at home in Blackpool on Tuesday night. She died later in hospital. "One line of inquiry is that she may have ingested methadone," police said.

Hurley to star as the queen in new show

Elizabeth Hurley, one-time model and actress, will star in the US E! channel's first original scripted drama series which creates a modern day royal family and is called The Royals. Hurley will reportedly star as the matriarch of the family, Queen Helena.

It's the same old story, says author

Literary fiction in the UK is "bland, dull and repetitive", according to the winner of the Costa Prize in 2007. AL Kennedy, the author of Day, also blasted nervous agents and editors for not taking risks. "You've got just six or seven novels which reappear now," she said.

Dalai Lama: 'China is a great nation'

The Dalai Lama called China a "great nation" during an address at Washington's National Cathedral but criticised its governmental system as "harmful". The Buddhist spiritual leader said Tibetans were willing to remain part of China, with greater autonomy to preserve their culture.

'Jihad' plot to control non-faith schools

Islamic fundamentalists plotted to take control of several non-faith schools in Birmingham by "jihad", according to documents leaked to the Birmingham Mail. The police, the city council and the Department for Education are investigating the campaign. MORE

Drunk gambler sues casino for his losses

A gambler who lost $500,000 (£298,000) at a Las Vegas casino is suing the venue for his losses, saying he was allowed to play despite being visibly drunk. US businessman Mark Johnston, 52, said he should not have to pay his debts after he was plied with free alcohol as he played.

UN body criticises official use of force

Members of the UN Human Rights Council – including Britain – have reprimanded Egypt for its use of violence against opposition protesters – its first such comment since security forces moved against supporters of Mohammed Morsi last August, killing hundreds.

Calls to control e-cigarette adverts

Firms are exploiting the "haziness" around the marketing of e-cigarettes and could become a "gateway" to children smoking normal cigarettes, according to the Local Government Association (LGA), which called for adverts that "undermine" efforts to tackle smoking to be banned. MORE

Charity warns of risky drinking trend

The charity Drinkaware has raised concerns over a "worrying trend" of people making themselves "wide-awake drunk" by mixing the depressant effects of alcohol and the stimulatory effects of caffeine. This week a teenager nearly died after drinking 10 Jägerbombs.