The News Matrix: Thursday 17 January 2013


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The Independent Online

Europe referendum a gamble, says Cable

A referendum on Europe after 2015 planned by David Cameron is a "dangerous gamble", the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable will warn tonight. On the eve of tomorrow's landmark speech by the Prime Minister, which Conservative MPs are describing as the most important of his career, Mr Cable will launch a pre-emptive strike against his European strategy. MORE

Lib Dems may lower £9,000 fees cap

The Liberal Democrats are considering whether to promise to reduce the £9,000 cap on university tuition fees in their manifesto at the next general election. Senior Liberal Democrat sources told i that the idea is among the options being looked at by the party. MORE

35 killed as pressure mounts on premier

More than 35 people were killed in northern Iraq and Baghdad yesterday when a car bomb went off, and a suicide bomber struck near the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. The Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, faces mounting pressure from Sunni Muslims and Kurds.

Divorce-row man jailed for contempt

A property dealer who disobeyed High Court orders to give financial information to his estranged wife has been given a six-month prison term. A judge concluded that 51-year-old Scot Young was guilty of "flagrant and deliberate" contempt of court. MORE

Financial crisis fails to deter tourists

Despite its economic woes, the number of tourists visiting Spain rose by one million in 2012. 58 million people visited the country last year. The tourism and export sectors have managed to avoid the crisis that has plagued Spain since the collapse of the country's real estate sector.

Obama demands stricter gun laws

US President Barack Obama has announced the most sweeping gun control proposals in nearly two decades. He wants background checks on all gun sales and ammunition magazines limited to 10 rounds. MORE

Body found in hunt for ferry prankster

A body has been found in the hunt for a teenager who is believed to have jumped from a ferry over a £100 bet. Jordan Cobb, 16, jumped from the ferry near Plymouth on his way to a New Year's Eve party in Torpoint, Cornwall. Police confirmed last night that a body had been recovered from the River Tamar.

Taliban suicide attack in Kabul

Suicide bombers killed a guard and injured 17 civilians as they attacked Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security in Kabul yesterday. The Taliban claimed responsibility. A minibus was detonated and another car defused, according to the BBC. The target was the NDS unit where Taliban captives are interrogated.

Lovely Jubilee gifts for the Queen

The Queen received armfuls of Diamond Jubilee gifts during 2012 – including a baby llama and infant elephant. Presidents, prime ministers, businesses and royal fans gave her presents ranging from diamond jewellery and bottles of whisky to artwork and quirky mementos such as a Jubilee themed dog's bed.

Size does matter for men and women

Men choose female partners shorter than themselves and women choose male taller partners, a study reveals. Evidence shows that partnerships such as that between jazz pianist Jamie Cullum, a diminutive 5ft 4 ins, and model Sophie Dahl (5ft 11ins), are even less common than statistics would suggest. MORE

Mayor stops Fritzl cellar pub plan

A businessman in Poland has been banned from opening a cellar pub named after Josef Fritzl, the Austrian rapist serving life for locking his daughter in a basement. Warsaw Mayor Wojciech Bartelski cancelled the lease and warned prosecutors of the stunt – which could mean a jail sentence for promotion of crime.

Bidder reneges on £43m vase deal

A Chinese bidder who secured a Qing vase at auction for £43m three years ago has reneged on the deal, paying only £20-25m for the prized ceramic, it has been revealed. The 1740 piece was valued at just £1.2m by Bainbridges auction house in 2010. Chinese buyers have repeatedly refused to pay the agreed price.

Kylie to play Warhol's muse

Kylie Minogue is to star in a new TV comedy drama playing a character based on Andy Warhol's muse Edie Sedgwick. The singer will appear in Hey Diddly Dee on Sky Arts. Comic Peter Serafinowicz will play artist Warhol in the programme, which is directed by Hustle actor Marc Warren.

Crabs and lobsters able to feel pain

Crabs and lobsters can feel pain and the food industry must pay greater attention to how they are treated, researchers say. The crustaceans were given mild electric shocks to identify between pain and unconscious reflexes, in an experiment for Biology. In contrast to mammals, there is little regard for their protection.