The News Matrix: Thursday 14 March 2013


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The Independent Online

Cameron avoids talk of minimum pricing

David Cameron failed to aver his faith in the minimum pricing of alcohol yesterday, heightening fears among doctors that he has ditched the policy. At Prime Minister's Questions, he sidestepped a request to assure MPs that he will go ahead with the planned 45p charge per unit. Instead, he condemned the sale of 20p lager in supermarkets. MORE

Philpott 'used sex to block out the horror'

The father accused of killing six of his children in a fire has claimed he turned to "having sex and smoking cannabis" to block out the horror. Mick Philpott also told Nottingham Crown Court that he tried to smash through an upstairs window in a bid to rescue the children. MORE

Six-month-old girl dies in gang shooting

Chicago's epidemic of gang violence has claimed its youngest victim this year, after a six-month-old girl was shot and killed as her father changed her nappy on the front seat of a van. The shooting took place on Monday afternoon in the Woodlawn neighbourhood in the city's south. MORE

Britain 'in danger of Breivik-style attack'

Messages of hate spread by groups such as the English Defence League could end in tragedy, the Security Minister James Brokenshire has warned. Britain faces the threat of an attack from a far-right extremist similar to Anders Breivik, who gunned down 77 people in Norway. MORE

Over 100 British Muslims join fight

More than 100 British Muslims are thought to have gone to fight in Syria, with security agencies fearing the uprising against Bashar al-Assad has inspired a new wave of jihadists in the UK. Islamist volunteers are able to get combat experience in the war-torn country. MORE

President denounces Falklands vote

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, roundly rejected the validity of the "parody of a referendum" held on the Falkland Islands this week and compared those who voted to a "consortium of squatters".

UK firms can't boast about Games link

Almost 60 British companies have been banned from publicising their involvement with the London Olympics, despite David Cameron having said that he wanted to use the event to boost Britain's exports abroad. The move has been made to protect major international sponsors.

Bolshoi staff defend acid attack accused

More than 300 members of Moscow's Bolshoi theatre yesterday defended dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko who is accused of masterminding an acid attack on its artistic director. In a letter to President Vladimir Putin, theatre staff said the idea that the soloist was behind the crime was "absurd".

Obama in cyber talks with China

President Barack Obama has engaged China in "tough talk" about its alleged cyber attacks on America, a day after US intelligence chiefs said cyber attacks had replaced terrorism as the main security threat.

Current stars 'weak and less committed'

Today's opera singers are either "weaker in their bodies" or simply less committed than their predecessors, the musical director of the Royal Opera House has claimed. Sir Antonio Pappano argued big stars were increasingly pulling out of productions before the first night. MORE

Militant action would appal Ansel Adams

The legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams would have been shocked by the militant attitudes of some of today's green groups, his son has claimed. "I think he would have been appalled at the extreme activities and views that some environmental people have," 79-year-old Michael Adams has told i. MORE

Couple jailed over smartphone thefts

A California couple has been charged with collecting hundreds of stolen smartphones from across the US, then selling them in Hong Kong for $2,000 (£1,300) each. The state Attorney General said they made nearly $4m in just eight months. Shou Lin Wen, 39, and his wife, Yuting Tan, 27, were jailed.

'Bonehead' can be rock 'n' roll star again

Fourteen years after quitting Oasis, Bonehead, the band's original guitarist, is to release his first album. A cult figure who walked out in 1999, Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs abandoned a life of stadium gigs and tabloid infamy to spend more time with his family. Now Arthurs, 47 is to unveil his new band, Parlour Flames.

'Poison plot' sparks Chavez inquiry

The country's interim leader has opened an inquiry into the death of Hugo Chavez, amid speculation that the late president's cancer was the result of a poisoning plot by foreign enemies. Mr Chavez, who died last week aged 58, voiced similar suspicions after he was diagnosed with the disease in June 2011. MORE