Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The News Matrix: Thursday 28 February 2013


Insurgent attacks are not decreasing

Nato's International Security Assistance Force has disclosed that initial figures showing a 7 per cent reduction in the number of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan were based on a clerical error. Staff compiling the data had failed to add figures from the Afghan security forces and attacks are, in fact, continuing at the same levels as the previous year. MORE

Victims' families arrive in Egypt

Relatives of some of the tourists killed in a hot air balloon accident have arrived in Egypt to identify the bodies. Nineteen people died on Tuesday when their balloon plummeted 1,000ft to the ground. The crash was believed to be the company's second in two years. MORE

Cameron calls for even more cuts

David Cameron said yesterday that the Government needs to go "further and faster" to bring down the deficit after the loss of Britain's coveted AAA credit rating. His comments raised hopes among right-wing Conservatives that George Osborne might announce further spending cuts in next month's Budget. Lib Dems are pressing for projects such as housebuilding to kickstart the economy.

Climber 'killed by botched rescue'

A climber who died after a 160ft fall on Ben Nevis may have perished following a botched RAF rescue operation. It has been claimed that Mark Phillips's safety line was severed before he was on board a helicopter that had been sent to take him to hospital. MORE

Bardot wins fight to save elephants

The veteran French actress Brigitte Bardot, who threatened to leave France last month if the government had two TB-infected elephants in a Lyon zoo put down, won't have to follow Gerard Depardieu to Russia after all as the animals, Baby and Nepal, have been saved.

Not man's best friend: dog shoots its owner

A Florida man is recovering after he was shot by his pet dog. Gregory Dale Lanier, 35, was driving when the dog kicked a pistol on the floor of the truck and it went off. "Lanier said he heard boom, saw smoke and felt a burning in his leg," police said. Mr Lanier was not seriously injured.

Concern over climate change at a new low

Fewer people are concerned about climate change since the global financial crisis hit, a study has revealed. A poll of more than 20,000 people revealed they were now more reluctant to consider CO2 emissions, air and water pollution and animal species loss as "very serious" issues. MORE

Golfers to walk in footsteps of giants

A £100m golf resort near the Giant's Causeway in Antrim has been given the go-ahead after a judge dismissed a legal challenge from the National Trust. The trust was "bitterly disappointed" by the decision, claiming it could have a serious impact on the Unesco world heritage site.

Union boss accused of embezzlement

Elba Esther Gordillo, the teachers' union boss described as Mexico's most powerful woman, has been arrested for allegedly embezzling more than £100m from her organisation. Ms Gordillo is said to have used the money to fund her lavish lifestyle, including plastic surgery.

UN calls for inquiry into death in custody

A UN human rights investigator has called for an international inquiry into the death of a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail. The death of Arafat Jaradat this weekend led to widespread rioting in the West Bank. "The need for outside, credible investigation is urgent," said Richard Falk.

Lawyer bills £4,000 for photocopying

An unemployed mother-of-one was unknowingly charged £4,000 for photocopying by her divorce lawyer, the legal watchdog has revealed. The Legal Ombudsman said the woman asked her lawyers to halt proceedings but they continued regardless and hit her with a £15,000 bill.

Litvinenko 'MI6' evidence kept secret

Files that could expose poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko's links to MI6 will be examined in secret, a coroner has ruled. Mr Litvinenko's widow, Marina, left, has accused the Government of withholding evidence. MORE

Three killed in factory shooting

Three people have been killed and seven injured after a factory worker went on the rampage in a wood processing plant. The machine operator, named as Viktor B, opened fire on colleagues at the site in Menznau, near Lucerne. He killed two before turning the weapon on himself. MORE

Crisp makers trial real bacon flavour

Walkers smoky bacon crisps are now to contain real bacon. The crisp manufacturer has been quietly remaking its best-selling lines with authentic British ingredients and trialling the packs in shops. Walkers is planning to make smoky bacon with extracts of British pork. MORE