The News Matrix: Thursday 14 June 2012


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The Independent Online

Exam scrapped after papers head to Egypt

An A-level maths exam due to be sat by thousands of pupils next Thursday has been scrapped – after copies were accidentally sent to schools in Egypt. Exam board Edexcel pulled the plug on the test after it was mistakenly included in a batch of past papers delivered overseas.

Couple charged with torturing teenager

A Bosnian man and his girlfriend have been charged with illegally imprisoning and torturing a 19-year-old German for more than six years in the north-eastern village of Karavlasi. Milenko Marinkovic, 52, and Slavojka Marinkovic, 45, were arrested in May.

Report slams PM's handling of Gaza ship

Benjamin Netanyahu's decisions were badly flawed during a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship two years ago, according to a government report released yesterday. The findings were an embarrassing assessment of a military operation that drew broad international condemnation. MORE

Revolutionary vein transplant for girl, 10

A 10-year-old girl has been given a vein transplant using a blood vessel grown from her own stem cells – the first time such an operation has been undertaken. Similar techniques may in future offer safer alternative treatments for patients facing risky bypass surgery, experts say.

Family Guy creator to take Proms stage

The creator of the cartoon sitcom Family Guy has been signed up to appear at this year's BBC Proms. Seth MacFarlane will join the John Wilson Orchestra at The Royal Albert Hall to pay tribute to Broadway musicals.

First Lady's tweet kicks off battle Royal

A tweet by France's First Lady backing an election rival of President François Hollande's ex-partner has sparked a politically damaging media firestorm days before parliamentary elections. The tweet made public a private rivalry between Mr Hollande's partner Valérie Trierweiler and his former partner, Ségolène Royal, wrecking his hopes of a 'Monsieur Normal' presidency. MORE

Bombs kill 70 Shia pilgrims in festival

Bombers struck at Shia pilgrims celebrating a religious festival in Baghdad and across Iraq yesterday, killing more than 70 people in one of the bloodiest days since the last US troops left the country in December. The bombings appeared to be the work of Sunni insurgents.

Domain suffixes like .com to be increased

The suffixes to internet addresses, such as ".com", could soon include the likes of ".google" and even ".porn" in an expansion of the domain names for websites. Some of the internet's biggest names have registered their interest.

A quarter of Britain's richest give to Tories

Almost a quarter of the country's richest people are Conservative Party donors, according to a study by the GMB trade union. Since 2001, the Tories have received donations of about £83m from 248 of the top 1,000 on the Sunday Times Rich List. MORE

Nasa's telescope begins its space trip

A rocket carrying Nasa's newest X-ray telescope has fired its engine over the Pacific and begun its two-year mission to hunt for black holes and other celestial objects. Air-launching the $170m (£109m) mission was cheaper than a launch-pad lift-off.

Nazi uniforms banned from tour

Organisers of a 1940s weekend in Haworth, West Yorkshire, have banned attendees from wearing Nazi uniforms after German visitors were shocked to see people dressed as SS officers. Barry Thorne, the German group's tour guide, said the Third Reich ensembles must be banned.

Salinger family sees identity bill rejected

The heirs of JD Salinger, the author of The Catcher in the Rye, have failed in a bid to protect his image. New Hampshire's governor vetoed a bill that would have stopped commercial exploitation of the writer's identity for 70 years after his death.

Rise of the 'working poor' due to cuts

Getting a job is no guarantee of escaping poverty, reveals a Oxfam report, as government figures are expected to show a rise in the "working poor" today. The charity's report argues that austerity cuts are disproportionately hitting those on the lowest incomes.

Shellshock as pair split 115 years on

After living in harmony for 115 years, Austria's oldest living captive tortoises Bibi and Poldi have finally separated. "For no reason anyone can discover, they have fallen out," said Klagenfurt Zoo director Helga Happ. MORE

Ben Ali's sentence increased to 86 years

A Tunisian military court has convicted the former President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in absentia of inciting violence and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. He has already been sentenced to 66 years for drug trafficking, illegal arms trading and abuse of public funds by a civilian court. MORE

'Psychic' cow's first forecast a load of bull

A cow seen as the successor for Paul the octopus as the next animal with the ability to foretell the fortunes of Germany's football team has started badly. German fans were delighted that Yvonne the cow's tip for Portugal to beat Germany at Euro 2012 on Saturday turned out to be wrong.

John Edwards fraud charges are dropped

Prosecutors have dropped the five remaining campaign finance fraud charges against ex-Senator John Edwards, following a mistrial. The former Democratic presidential candidate was found not guilty of one charge last month, with the jury deadlocked on the other five.

More people working past retirement age

The number of people working beyond state-pension age has almost doubled to 1.4 million in the past 20 years, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics said the numbers were relatively stable until 2000 but then increased to a peak of 1.45 million in 2010.