The News Matrix: Thursday 4 October 2012


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The Independent Online

Riots as police round up money changers

Hundreds of protesters have clashed with police in Tehran after the government attempted to stop the Iranian currency plummeting in value by cracking down on speculators, beginning with the city's black-market money changers. The sprawling Grand Bazaar was closed as traders shut their shops in solidarity with the currency traders, and called for government action. MORE

State schools failing to build on Olympics

State-school PE needs an overhaul, says Lord Moynihan, who chairs the British Olympic Association. He said 60 per cent of primary school teachers get less than six hours' training on teaching PE. He also snubbed Michael Gove's idea of an Olympics-style competition for schools.

Kazakh accused of being secret agent

A Kazakhstan-born businessman was charged in the US yesterday with being a secret agent involved in a scheme illegally to export microelectronics from the US to Russian military and intelligence agencies. Alexander Fishenko was among 11 defendants named in an indictment.

Prince's Duchy estate in unclaimed £500k

More than £552,000 was passed to the Prince of Wales's Duchy of Cornwall estate in the last financial year from people who died with no will or living relatives. Under bona vacantia powers, all unclaimed property belonging to someone who dies in Cornwall automatically passes to the Duchy. MORE

EU reactors need €25bn safety refit

Nuclear "stress tests" carried out at the European Union's 143 atomic reactors have exposed "hundreds" of problems which could need up to €25bn of investment in order to restore proper plant safety levels, a report on the state of Europe's atomic power industry reveals today. MORE

Skeleton could be the real Mona Lisa

Archaeologists hope one of two skeletons unearthed in a Florence convent will be shown to belong to Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Experts have been digging in the former convent of St Ursula since April in their hunt for the remains of the most famous portrait model in history. MORE

Megan: 'Thanks for messages of support'

Megan Stammers, the 15-year-old who fled to France with her maths teacher, has expressed her gratitude to the public. "Thanks for all the nice messages of support, it's meant a lot to me and my family, " she posted on Twitter.

Arms companies fail to tackle corruption

Two-thirds of defence companies fail to provide enough information about how they are tackling arms trade corruption, which costs $20bn globally every year. A new report shows firms in western Europe and the US are among the worst in the field. MORE

Attraction boss may sue Met Office

A Devon tourist attraction boss says he is considering legal action against the Met Office after "a series of overly pessimistic" forecasts which he says prompted potential visitors to stay away in August. Rick Turner, who runs The Big Sheep animal attraction, said he has been consulting lawyers.

Moving tribute to Abba finds a home

A travelling Abba exhibit is to get a permanent home in a new museum dedicated mostly to the Swedish quartet, who have sold nearly 400 million records since their heyday in the 1970s. The museum will feature some of the band's glitzy stage costumes and instruments.

You must be thick, designer tells critic

Hedi Slimane called New York Times critic Cathy Horyn a "schoolyard bully" and "seriously thick" for daring to criticise his debut collection for Yves Saint Laurent. Other editors complained of being seated at the back of the show, or not at all, and of excessive restrictions on reporting.

Pupils turned away from their own dance

A school head in Utah has apologised to dozens of teens who were turned away from their homecoming dance because their dresses were deemed too short. Stansbury High principal Kendall Topham told students the school's dress code policy was too vague to be properly enforced.

First lady sorry for Royal tweets

France's first lady has said she regrets tweeting words of encouragement to a Socialist running against Ségolène Royal - President Hollande's former partner – in elections in June. Many French interpreted it as a dig against the mother of Hollande's children. MORE

BBC Breakfast airs swear word

Viewers heard a disembodied voice exclaim "What the f*** is that?" during the BBC Breakfast TV programme yesterday. Presenter Susanna Reid was introducing conductor John Wilson as a guest at the time. The BBC apologised, blaming a microphone left outside the studio.

Here is the news: don't listen to bullies

A television news host has rebuffed a viewer's criticism of her weight on air. "To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the colour of your skin… Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies," Jennifer Livingston told viewers in Wisconsin.

Cuts protester scales St Peter's Basilica

A man eluded Vatican security to scale the dome of St Peter's Basilica to protest austerity cuts. The man refused appeals from ministers offering to meet with him if he would come down. He put up a banner saying "Help! Enough Monti!", referring to Italian Premier Mario Monti.

Moby-Dick steered into outer space

British film-maker Lynne Ramsay has moved closer to realising plans for an unlikely and ambitious adaptation of Moby-Dick. The director is hoping to reimagine Herman Melville's classic 1851 sea-faring novel as a sci-fi film. She has secured backing from producer Scott Steindorff, according to reports.