The News Matrix: Thursday 12 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Indian Ocean hit with tsunami scare

Panicked residents on Asian coastlines fled for higher ground yesterday after an 8.6-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's Aceh province, sparking an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert. But after a few hours all yesterday's tsunami warnings were lifted. MORE

Hawker's killer loses fight against life term

The man who murdered British teacher Lindsay Hawker has lost his appeal against his life sentence in Tokyo. Tatsuya Ichihashi, 33, claimed he did not intend to kill the 22-year-old, whose body was found in a sand-filled bathtub at Ichihashi's home in 2007.

Team Obama's attack ads target Romney

Less than 24 hours after the withdrawal of Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney's last realistic rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Barack Obama's campaign issued a withering attack advert at Mr Romney featuring his blooper remarks.

Police hunt for museum raiders

Police are hunting two men in connection with the raid on Durham University's Oriental Museum last Thursday, which saw Qing Dynasty artefacts worth £2m stolen in less than 60 seconds. The wanted men are Lee Wildman, 35, and Adrian Stanton, 32, both from Walsall. MORE

Energy bill errors affect one in four

More than nine million households have ended up owing money to energy companies who made mistakes on their bills. A quarter of families have been ordered to pay up after discrepancies between estimated and "real" bills, a new survey claims. MORE

Trayvon Martin's killer faces charges

Prosecutors announced last night that Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, will face criminal charges. Volunteers from the National Socialist Movement, a white supremacist group, have taken to the streets of Sanford in Florida to "protect" white residents. MORE

Miners see the light after six-day ordeal

Nine miners emerged into daylight yesterday after being trapped for six days in a collapsed mine. The men had been given oxygen, food and water through a tube at the Cabeza de Negro mine in southern Peru.

Woman sentenced to lashes for texting

A woman has been sentenced to 50 lashes for sending an obscene text message, the Arabic language news service Kabar reported. The woman was reportedly found guilty of sending a friend an SMS message that included a curse and racist remarks.

Osborne could back down on charity cap

The uproar from philanthropists and charities over the Government's plan to cap tax relief on donations could lead to the change being phased in over two or three years. The proposals, which would have seen an annual limit on tax-free giving of £50,000 or 25 per cent of a person's income, were originally planned to come into force in April next year. MORE

Leonard Cohen to play Kent festival

"Hallelujah" singer Leonard Cohen will play a one-off, three-hour, outdoor show at The Hop Farm in Kent on 8 September. His tour promoter said: "To get the opportunity to bring Leonard to the UK for his only appearance this year is a fantastic and humbling achievement."

MPs join forces to block 'pasty tax'

There was fighting talk at yesterday's Pasty Tax summit in Truro, Cornwall. Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert said Cornish MPs would look to build a coalition with other disgruntled ministers to prevent the tax on hot baked foods getting past Parliament.

Boyd named as new Bond author

Thriller writer William Boyd will pen the latest official James Bond novel, promising a "classic" tale set in the 1960s. Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver have already written books in tribute to Ian Fleming's original series. Boyd's take on the British spy character will be released in autumn 2013.

Two Directions into One?

The rise of British boyband One Direction has stalled after a far less famous band, with the same name, filed a lawsuit preventing Simon Cowell's Syco label and Sony Music from using the name.

Saggy trousers land man behind bars

An Alabama judge has sentenced a man to three days in prison for contempt of court after he wore saggy trousers to his hearing. LaMarcus D Ramsey appeared in court on Tuesday to enter a plea on a charge of receiving stolen property. Judge John Bush told him to buy trousers that fit properly.

Climber describes fall as 'exciting'

A climber who survived a 25-metre fall to a narrow rock ledge said he found the drop exciting – until he realised how serious it was. Andrew McWilliam, 37, had successfully completed one climb in Christchurch's Port Hills when he slipped and fell on another hill.

Bees launch Clegg 'sting operation'

Environmental campaigners dressed in bee costumes launched a "sting operation" on Nick Clegg yesterday as he gave a speech on green energy. The Deputy Prime Minister was greeted in London's Dockland by Friends of the Earth supporters concerned about the collapse in bee populations.

Thieves grab two tons of coffee

Thieves have made off with two tons of coffee after robbing a coffee-roaster's warehouse east of Vienna, police said this week. The suspects stole a vehicle and loaded it with the coffee, as well as two coffee machines, getting away with a haul worth around €55,000.