The News Matrix: Thursday 5 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Inquiry into tax 'loop hole' at Amazon

Amazon is under investigation for tax arrangements that allowed it to make £3.3bn sales in the UK last year yet pay no corporation tax because it is registered in Luxembourg. The inquiry into the company, which sells a quarter of British books, was revealed in files released in the US.

UN calls for return to democratic rule

The UN Security Council has condemned the military coup in Mali, calling for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule and the democratically elected government. The council also urged rebels in the north of Mali, who have been taking advantage of the coup, to end all violence.

Ten radical Islamists seized in crackdown

Police rounded up 10 alleged radical Islamists yesterday as part of a high-profile crackdown following attacks on off-duty soldiers and a Jewish school. The raids have led to accusations that President Nicolas Sarkozy is capitalising on the Islamist threat for electoral purposes.

GPs' confidence in NHS reforms halves

Confidence among GPs that the Government's NHS reforms will improve patient care has almost halved since they were first proposed, an opinion poll showed. Only around one in eight now expects health service users to be better off, compared with nearly a quarter in July 2010.

Optimism as petrol dispute talks begin

Talks aimed at resolving the dispute which led to panic-buying at petrol stations began in London yesterday. Seven haulage firms and the Unite union expressed cautious optimism that the matter could be settled.

Trial for five men over 9/11 attacks

Five men accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks were directed yesterday to stand trial before a Guantanamo war crimes tribunal on charges that could carry the death penalty. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four suspected co-conspirators face charges including terrorism, hijacking aircraft and conspiracy and will be arraigned before a military judge within 30 days. MORE

Debt crisis protester kills himself

An elderly Greek man killed himself in Athens' busiest square in protest at the country's debt crisis. The 77-year-old drew a handgun and shot himself in the head near a metro exit on central Syntagma Square, which was crowded with commuters during the morning rush hour. MORE

Ofcom to ring 0800 numbers changes

Calls to 0800 numbers could soon be free from mobiles as part of attempts to fight confusion about costs. The Ofcom proposals are part of plans to clarify costs for calling businesses, public services and other organisations. Most 0800 numbers cost mobile callers up to 21p a minute.

Patient's death link to saline inquiry

A seventh patient who died at Stepping Hill Hospital is believed to have been poisoned with insulin. Beryl Hope, 70, died last August after she was given contaminated saline at the hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Police said they "recategorised" her case after a review.

Macbeth film is banned 'for treason'

Thailand's film censors have banned an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, in a country where it is taboo to criticise the monarchy. The Thai-language film Shakespeare Must Die tells the story of a theatre group that is staging a production of Macbeth, in which an ambitious general murders his way to Scotland's throne. MORE

'Lucky' county sees third lottery win

Nottinghamshire appears to be the UK's luckiest county: a third couple from the area have won the lottery jackpot in the space of a few months. Jim Emerton, 56, and his wife Maureen, 55, from Carlton, won £4.4m. They join Gareth and Catherine Bull, of Mansfield (£40m), and Cassey Carrington and Matt Topham. (£45m).

Find my false teeth, embassy staff asked

British nationals are wasting embassy time with "ludicrous" inquiries about lost false teeth, runny jam and plastic surgery, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has said. Among the calls logged by overseas staff are requests for help erecting a chicken coop and a plea to translate "I love you" into Hungarian.

Hopes fade for patter of tiny panda feet

Hopes of a baby panda being born in the UK this year are fading after the country's only bears failed to mate for a second day despite "natural sparks" between them. Edinburgh Zoo's Yang Guang and Tian Tian must mate within a limited window of fertility. They met five times on Tuesday and met yesterday, but failed to do the deed.

Detroit shooting for RoboCop statue

Plans are moving forward for a statue of the fictional crime-fighting cyborg RoboCop to be built in Detroit, where the 1980s sci-fi movie was set. Local news reported yesterday that a RoboCop model is being scanned at a studio in Canada, before a bronzeworks in the city will cast pieces of the statue.