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The News Matrix: Saturday 8 September 2012


Drilling for lifeforms 3km below surface

Scientists are to search for microbial lifeforms in an Antarctic lake that's been buried under 3km of ice, sealed from the atmosphere, for hundreds of thousands of years. The team will retrieve water and mud samples from Lake Ellsworth, one of about 150 subglacial Antarctic lakes. MORE

Apple may move into internet radio

Ahead of Apple's expected launch of the iPhone 5 next week, reports from the US indicate the company is planning to launch its own internet radio service. This would allow it to compete in the music streaming business currently fought over by the likes of Pandora and Spotify. MORE

New leader hints at Communist reform

China's president-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, has said the ruling Communist Party must embrace reform with fresh vigour to stave off social and economic malaise. Mr Xi has met a prominent reformer and will target faster economic liberalisation and an easing of political controls.MORE

The man with the golden trunks

The blue trunks worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale are expected to sell for up to £5,000 in a charity auction in London next month. They are going under the hammer as part of a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the world premiere of Dr No in London.

The stockmarkets like ECB plan

A bond-buying plan from the European Central Bank continued to support stocks yesterday. Financial markets have reacted positively. Stocks rose strongly, while the costs of borrowing for countries such as Spain and Italy have become more manageable. MORE

Facebook picture sparks bomb hoax

A man was charged with making a bomb threat to avenge his girlfriend after her ex-lover posted a questionable photograph of her on Facebook. A flight from Philadelphia to Dallas was grounded on Thursday when Kenneth Smith Jr, 26, told police the ex-boyfriend had explosives on board.

At least 230 more victims to sue NI

At least 230 more people claiming to be phone-hacking victims are expected to pursue claims for compensation against News International. The former England footballer Sol Campbell and former Westlife member Brian McFadden are among the latest litigants. MORE

Prince Harry goes back to Afghanistan

Prince Harry has returned to Afghanistan to fly attack helicopters in the fight against the Taliban. The 27-year-old army captain, who spent 10 weeks on the front line in 2007/08, arrived in the country yesterday morning for his four-month deployment. MORE

EU urged to freeze Hezbollah assets

Britain and the Netherlands have urged the EU to join the United States in imposing sanctions on Lebanese political and militant group Hezbollah for aiding Syria president Bashar al-Assad. By branding Hezbollah terrorists, the EU could freeze the group's assets in Europe.

Blasphemy case girl granted bail

A Pakistani judge has granted bail to a young Christian girl accused of insulting Islam by burning pages of the Koran, despite blasphemy cases never usually allowing for bail. She now faces being held in protective custody because of the threat of vigilante justice. MORE

Jobless report puts Obama on back foot

A bleak monthly employment report poured cold water on President Barack Obama's hopes for a post-convention bounce yesterday, putting him on the defensive as he entered the final two-month sprint to the 6 November election. MORE

Sacked minister to fight rail link

Former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan, who was sacked from the Cabinet, is to lead a campaign against Government plans to build a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham, amid growing signs this week's reshuffle will intensify opposition to the £32.7bn project.

Shame star to play another Frank role

Shame star Michael Fassbender is to play the title character in Frank – a new film inspired by the comic creation Frank Sidebottom. The movie was co-written by Jon Ronson and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy screenwriter Peter Straughan, and will also star Domhnall Gleeson.

'Cumulative failures' led to soldier's death

A 23-year-old soldier who was killed when a US helicopter fired on a British base in Afghanistan died as a result of "mistaken beliefs and cumulative failures", a coroner has ruled. L/Cpl Christopher Roney, from Sunderland, died at a base in Sangin on 21 December 2009. MORE

Teachers vote to strike over pay

Members of Britain's main teaching union have voted to go on strike over the "erosion" of their pay and working conditions, a decision that will inflame tensions with ministers. The National Union of Teachers said a ballot showed 82.5 per cent of members favoured a walkout. MORE

Widow continues right-to-die battle

The widow of Tony Nicklinson, a man with locked-in syndrome who died a week after losing a legal bid to end his life, is continuing his fight. Jane Nicklinson said she would appeal against the High Court's decision because "nobody should have to suffer like Tony did".