The News Matrix: Thursday 23 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Nadir facing jail sentence today

Asil Nadir, the former fugitive who spent two decades noisily proclaiming his innocence, was facing a long jail term last night after being convicted of stealing £28.6m from his multinational Polly Peck business empire. Nadir, 71, was convicted of 10 counts of theft. MORE

Plane crash in game reserve kills four

Two German tourists and two Kenyan pilots were killed when an aircraft crashed in Kenya's Maasai Mara game reserve, local police said. There were 11 tourists on board the aircraft, all of them German. Police said a middle-aged man and an elderly woman were killed along with the two pilots.

Samaras tries to buy Greece more time

Greece's premier Antonis Samaras embarked on a diplomatic push yesterday to earn his nation more time to complete reforms and retain access to bailout loans. The meeting is the first of several the Prime Minister will be holding this week with European leaders. MORE

Man who cyber-abused MP fined

A man who abused a Tory MP in a crude email after the politician was headbutted at Westminster by a rival has been fined £110. Nicholas Scales told MP Stuart Andrew he should "stop wasting police time and get your f***ing job done" after the MP was attacked by Labour's Eric Joyce.

Rape gaffe candidate admits he may quit

Republican Todd Akin apologised again yesterday for his comments on "legitimate rape". He refused to bow to demands to quit the Missouri Senate race, but said it was possible he might drop out.

Sonar fails to find boy's body at sea

The body of a four-year-old boy who slipped from a jetty is believed to have been washed out to sea after specialist sonar equipment failed to find him. Dylan Cecil was on holiday with his family when he stumbled into the muddy water at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset on Sunday. Efforts to find his body with sonar yesterday proved unsuccessful.

Tesco choose the healthy option

Tesco is to launch "traffic light" nutritional labels on all its food packaging, after years of opposing the system. Sainsbury's claims a similar scheme has helped transform the food choices of its shoppers in favour of more healthy products. MORE

Older fathers link with babies' autism

Babies of older fathers are more likely than those of younger fathers to carry mutations that could lead to autism and schizophrenia, a study has shown. This could explain the recent rise in autism, given the modern tendency for men to become fathers later in life. MORE

Bid to help Roma immigrants find work

Officials are rethinking government policy on Roma gypsy immigrants after raids that have seen ramshackle camps dismantled and hundreds left without shelter. One option could be making it easier for citizens of Romania and Bulgaria, where many of the Roma came from, to get jobs.

Life for murderer of white supremacist

A black farmworker has been jailed for life for murdering South African white supremacist leader Eugene Terre'blanche. Chris Mahlangu, 30, pleaded guilty but pleaded self-defence in what the judge found was a violent dispute over wages. MORE

Organ transplants hit record high

A record number of organ transplants were carried out last year. Between 2011 and 2012, 3,960 transplants were carried out in the UK, NHS Blood and Transplant said. It is the seventh successive year that the number of transplants has risen.

Curiosity makes first moves on Mars

The Nasa rover Curiosity made its first test drive on Mars yesterday. "Wheel tracks on Mars," Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer Allen Chen tweeted. The rover was expected to have moved forward about 10 feet, turned right, then backed up and parked to the left of its old spot.

Man with very deep voice does the job

The composer who produced music for last year's royal wedding has invited the man with a range of 10 octaves to sing on a new album. Paul Mealor needed a low E for a recording with the St Petersburg Chamber Choirs. It's a note that American singer Tim Storms can hit with ease.

Liverpool game studio to close

The Liverpool video game studio behind some of the most iconic games on Sony PlayStation consoles is set to close. The computer games giant warned that job losses at Sony Liverpool were inevitable, though rival developers quickly offered to take the staff on board.

Phantom singer 'to fly into space'

Sarah Brightman, the ex-wife of Andrew Lloyd Webber and star of Phantom of the Opera, is said to be in talks to fly as a space tourist to the International Space Station. Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, said it was in negotiations with the singer's representatives over the £20m flight.

Drought helps cops find cannabis plants

Police say marijuana growing operations in southern Indiana are easy to spot because of the drought. A pilot guided officers through browning forests and corn fields to uncover grow sites in Clark, Scott and Harrison counties, where they cut down more than 100 cannabis plants.

West End comedy is a blast on Broadway

The British hit show One Man, Two Guvnors is laughing all the way to the bank having recouped its $3.25m (£2m) capitalisation costs before leaving Broadway. The play began previews on Broadway in April after hit runs at the National Theatre and the West End in London.

Fishy film keeps bananas ripe

Bananas last longer if you stop them breathing, a new study claims. By coating bananas with a chitosan film made from shrimp and crab shells, the banana's ability to produce oxygen is reduced, and the fruit ripens more slowly. Spraying green bananas kept them fresh for 12 days.

Syphilis cases halt porn film industry

A porn industry trade group has announced a US moratorium on adult sex film production after several reported cases of syphilis among actors, adding to pressure on producers to require the use of condoms on sets. The actors can return to work in 10 days after taking antibiotics. MORE