The News Matrix: Thursday 31 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Skip fee rises will multiply fly tipping

Fly tipping will soar and thousands of jobs will go because of huge increases in the charges for dumping rubbish, waste companies warn. The average cost of emptying a skip has leapt from £144 to £300. The skip industry currently employs between 20,000 and 30,000 people. MORE

Government raises tax to fund repairs

Petrol tax was increased yesterday to help pay for the damage from an earthquake that struck the north of the country, as shaken survivors were plagued by aftershocks. Rescue workers removed the last earthquake victim from the rubble yesterday, bringing the death toll to 17.

Symphony orchestra ends Wagner taboo

An Israeli symphony orchestra will play works by Richard Wagner inside the country for the first time since its foundation in 1948. Hitler's favourite composer has been shunned by Israel because of his anti-Semitic views, but the concert's organisers say he should be judged on his music. MORE

Fears for girl, 6, as Britons are held

Concerns have been raised for the six-year-old daughter of a British woman accused of trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.6m into Bali. Rachel Dougall is being held with Britons Paul Beales and Julian Ponder, who is believed to be her partner and father to her daughter Kitty.

Kidnapped aid worker released

A British aid worker who was kidnapped by an armed gang in Sudan has been released after three months. Patrick Noonan, 48, was said to be "looking forward to seeing his family". He was taken in South Darfur.

Execution suspected after 13 bodies found

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan flew out of Damascus yesterday amid news of a fresh atrocity committed by militias loyal by President Bashar al-Assad. The bodies of 13 execution victims were found. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition accused Russia of encouraging the regime to commit "savage crimes" against its people after Moscow ruled out supporting any new action at the UN. MORE

Pope speaks out on 'Vatileaks' scandal

Pope Benedict XVI broke his silence over the scandal of leaked documents rocking the Vatican, saying he was saddened by the betrayal but grateful to those aides who help him do his job. He lashed out at some of the media reports, calling them "exaggerated" and "gratuitous". MORE

Rights groups fight Tamils' deportation

Dozens of Tamil asylum seekers will be secretly deported from Britain today despite being at risk. Rights groups have urged the UK Border Agency to halt the flights, saying critics of the Sri Lankan government receive brutal treatment. MORE

Waste-complex firm wants £276m more

The company at the head of Britain's nuclear reprocessing operation at Sellafield has requested an extra £276m of taxpayers' cash. The final cost of building the Evaporator D nuclear waste complex has risen to £673m.

RSPCA gives a bony dog hope for future

A dog found abandoned in a lay-by has been described by a vet as the "thinnest she had ever seen alive". The Staffordshire cross, believed to be one to two years old, weighed just 8kg – half her expected healthy weight – and was too weak to walk or eat when she was found. The dog has been named Hope by RSPCA staff.

Double-deckers return to Baghdad

Baghdad welcomed back red double-decker buses to its streets this week – a sign the country is regaining some normality after a decade of violence. The buses, once a renowned feature, disappeared after the US-led invasion in 2003.

Pilot ejects toddler for not belting up

A pilot told a three-year-old boy to get off a flight after he refused to use his seat belt. The Alaska Airlines pilot returned to the gate at a Seattle airport on Saturday and made the boy and his father leave the aircraft. The airline said it was a matter of safety, but the father later told a radio station that the crew had overreacted.

A quick dip to cool down could kill you

A refreshing plunge into cold water on a hot summer's day could be deadly, according to new research. Even young, fit, healthy individuals could suffer heart attacks as they jump into water that remains dangerously cold despite the sunshine. Rapid submersion plus holding your breath can cause problems for the heart.

Romney campaign in spelling gaffe

Mitt Romney's team faced embarrassment yesterday, a day after the presidential hopeful clinched the Republican nomination. A new smart-phone application, below, launched by his campaign misspelt the word America. MORE