The News Matrix: Thursday 21 February 2013


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The Independent Online

Police 'detain and torture children'

Hundreds of children have been detained illegally by the police and some as young as nine have been tortured since the protests which erupted after the second anniversary of the 2011 uprising, it was claimed yesterday. Lawyers and activists said unlawful imprisonment by the security forces was a return to the worst elements of former president Hosni Mubarak's regime. MORE

Beheading suspect 'did not look human'

A British couple have described the moment they witnessed the decapitation of a British woman in Tenerife. Kenneth and Susan Bennison said the attacker "did not look human" as he severed the head of Jennifer Mills-Westley. Deyan Deyanov, 29, denies murder.

'12-year-old given backstreet abortion'

A girl was taken for a backstreet abortion by a member of a child sex trafficking gang who had got her pregnant aged 12. "Girl D" told the Old Bailey that she was taken to a "normal-looking house" in Reading, where the procedure was carried out while she was drugged. MORE

Horsemeat DNA in Czech Tesco sauce

The horsemeat scandal has spread to Tesco stores in the Czech Republic after traces of equine DNA were found in bolognese sauces sold at a branch of the supermarket in the western city of Plzen, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority said.

Kingdom appoints women to law body

Women will for the first time help to shape laws after the kingdom swore in 30 female members to the Shura Council. The move, which will allow women to advise the government, is the first time in Saudi history that women have been able to hold any political office. MORE

Call for ban on sprays which 'harm bees'

Pesticides which could be behind the global decline in bees should be banned, says the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It wants the Government to support a proposed EU ban on three substances. MORE

Clegg offers respite on mansion-tax

Older people affected by the Liberal Democrats' proposed "mansion tax" could defer payments till after their death if they don't pay up during retirement, Nick Clegg suggested yesterday when challenged by the owner of a £5m London house. MORE

Officer faces inquiry over Savile links

A former police inspector is being investigated over claims he acted to protect Jimmy Savile when he was being questioned about alleged sexual offences four years ago. The police watchdog will question the former West Yorkshire officer. MORE

Jesse Jackson Jnr faces five years' jail

Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr has pleaded guilty to the misuse of up to $750,000 (£490,000) in campaign money. The son of civil rights leader the Rev Jesse Jackson, who wept as he entered the plea at court in Washington DC, now faces up to five years in prison.

Gucci goes back to its loafer roots

Milan Fashion Week kicked off yesterday with a Gucci show that paid homage to its most famous shoe. Frida Giannini, the label's creative director, launched a "horsebit loafer" that was reminiscent of the luxury house's all-leather beginnings. MORE

Boris gets brush-off from Eastleigh voters

Boris Johnson was in Eastleigh yesterday to stump for Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings. However, he struggled to find a single supporter. The London Mayor was met by voters who refused to shake his hand and pledged their support to the opposition. MORE

Goodyear boss tires of 'so-called workers'

An American industrialist has caused a stir in France by refusing to save an ailing tyre-making company because its "so-called workers" were lazy. Maurice Taylor, boss of the US tyremaker Titan, said workers at the Goodyear factory in Amiens got full salaries for three-hour days. MORE

Popular bear killed by gamekeepers

A brown bear, dubbed Mike by its fans, has been killed by gamekeepers in Switzerland after several run-ins with locals. Gamekeepers said the much-loved bear had increasingly pushed into populated areas, showing no fear of people and presenting a major safety risk.

Soft Machine's Ayers dies aged 68

Kevin Ayers, an influential musician in the Sixties psychedelic scene, has died aged 68. The singer-songwriter who founded Soft Machine was found dead at his home in the South of France. Ayers toured with Syd Barrett and Jimi Hendrix throughout the sixties. MORE

It must be all that fresh sea air…

Weston-super-Mare, the Somerset seaside resort, has a new claim to fame: as Britain's unofficial divorce capital. According to official figures, only Birmingham, with more than 10 times the population, registered more divorce applications last year; 2,799 to Weston's 2,437.

Berlusconi 'bribing' voters, say rivals

Silvio Berlusconi is bribing voters ahead of Italy's election on Sunday by sending out letters promising a tax rebate, his rivals allege. The letter vows to scrap the unpopular property tax brought in under ex-Prime Minister Mario Monti and pay the electorate back.

Prince injured on skiing holiday

Belgium's Prince Laurent has been injured during a skiing holiday near Innsbruck in Austria and remained under observation in a local hospital yesterday. The royal palace said doctors want to ensure there is no risk of bleeding from internal bruising that is close to the liver.

Man arrested for harassing manatee

A man in Florida who posted photos of himself hugging a baby manatee of Facebook has been arrested for harassing the endangered sea cow. Ryan William Waterman was detained after a tipster alerted authorities . The 21-year-old could face six months in jail and a $500 (£327) fine.