The News Matrix: Thursday 1 March 2012


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The Independent Online

Police admit failures over Duggan death

Both police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have admitted mishandling the way they dealt with the family of Mark Duggan, whose death sparked the widespread riots in August last year. Neither body informed Mr Duggan's parents of his death. MORE

Al-Qa'ida plotter given plea deal

A Guantanamo inmate has pleaded guilty today to helping al-Qa'ida plot attacks from his native Pakistan in a plea deal that limits his sentence. The deal says Majid Khan – seen in public for the first time since March 2003 – can serve no more than 25 years in prison. MORE

Testing is halted in return for food aid

North Korea agreed to stop nuclear tests, uranium enrichment and long-range missile launches, as well as allowing in inspectors, in a surprise breakthrough after talks between US and North Korea in Beijing. In return the US said it would supply 240,000 tonnes of food aid. MORE

Stricken cruise liner is being towed to port

Passengers aboard the stricken Costa Allegra cruise ship will be flown home from the Seychelles as soon as possible. The ship is being towed to the main island in the archipelago, where planes are being lined up to fly passengers straight to Italy. A helicopter is flying fresh food to the ship. MORE

Homs photographer recovering well

A photographer injured in the attack on Homs is recovering at the British Embassy in Lebanon. Paul Conroy's wife Kate said her husband was troubled by the knowledge that people died to help him to safety. MORE

Politicians condemn Games strike threat

Politicians of all parties have condemned a trade union leader's threat to disrupt the London Olympics. Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, had called for civil disobedience during the summer Games. Despite Unite being Labour's biggest financial backer, Ed Miliband said Mr McCluskey's suggestion was "completely wrong". MORE

EU bloc withdraws all its ambassadors

European Union leaders are expected to call for more sanctions against Belarus at a summit this week after the bloc's 27 members agreed to withdraw all their ambassadors. The move came in response to the expulsion on Tuesday of the EU and Polish ambassadors in Minsk.

Romney powers into 'Super Tuesday'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will take rekindled momentum into next week's 10-state 'Super Tuesday' blitz of primary contests, following an easy victory in Arizona but a frustratingly narrow win in native-state Michigan over closest rival Rick Santorum. MORE

State of women's jails 'shames Britain'

The chief inspector of prisons says he's been left horrified over the things he has seen at Styal women's prison in Cheshire. Nick Hardwick claims Britain should be "ashamed" of the way it treats its most disturbed female prisoners. He said levels of self-mutilation remain high. MORE

Musicians take copyright fight to EC

A 12,000-strong musicians' group is alleging leading European broadcasters, including the BBC, are forcing them to give up copyrights to their work. The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance has filed a complaint with the European Commission.

Animals can still feature in circuses

Wild animals will still be allowed to take part in circus acts, despite universal opposition from MPs. Ministers claimed there are "potential legal obstacles" to the ban, and will set out plans for a licensing regime to ensure animals are well treated.

Man 'impersonated a lawyer' in court

A man dressed in court attire to impersonate a lawyer so he could represent a friend he met while in prison, a court heard yesterday. David Sydney Evans, 57, was rumbled when he appeared at Plymouth Crown Court in August 2010 on behalf of cannabis producer Terry Moss.

ITV goes shopping for next period hit

ITV is seeking to emulate the success of Downton Abbey with a show focusing on the American founder of Selfridges. Producers, who are seeking a US star, are hoping to, "make shopping as thrilling as sex". Harry Gordon Selfridge was notorious for gambling and mistresses.

First class delivery from mystery donor

The German city of Braunschweig is enthralled by a mystery donor who, since November, has given €190,000 (£159,000) to the needy in cash-filled envelopes. The most recent present went to a local hospice, where a worker found an envelope stuffed with €10,000 under the doormat.

Meat Loaf pulls out of Loose Women

Rock star Meat Loaf had to pull out of ITV1 show Loose Women yesterday, just moments after viewers saw him messing around for the cameras. Presenter Andrea McLean had to explain that he had been "taken unwell".

Pentagon shelves its $5bn missile aircraft

The Pentagon has mothballed a laser-equipped missile defence aircraft after more than 15 years of development at a cost of $5bn. The Airborne Laser Test Bed is being placed in long-term storage because the program does not have enough money to keep the jumbo jet flying.

Largest increase in weddings since 2003

The number of people who got married in England and Wales rose by 3.7 per cent to 241,100 in 2010, the largest increase since 2003. However, the Office of National Statistics data showed that the marriage rate is still at one of its lowest ever points since records began in 1862.

Company stamps out Houston card

US retailer Target is withdrawing a greetings card that makes fun of the late singer Whitney Houston's penchant for bad boys. The company said yesterday that the card was being sold in its stores prior to Houston's death but was in "the process of removing the card".