The News Matrix: Thursday 5 September 2013


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The Independent Online

US surveillance is illegal, says Nieta

President Enrique Peña Nieto says reported surveillance by the US National Security Agency would constitute an illegal act. He demanded the US investigate allegations aired in a report this week on Brazil's Globo TV that cited documents from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicating that the US monitored Mr Pena Nieto's communications before he was elected in July 2012.

Millions wasted on benefit reforms

The Government's benefit reforms were beset by "weak management" and a "fortress mentality" that wasted millions of taxpayers' money, the National Audit Office said. Computer systems costing more than £300m could not identify fraudulent claims, the NAO said. MORE

Britain's richest pensioner has £22m

The richest pensioner in the FTSE 100 has been revealed as Sir Frank Chapman, former boss of oil and gas company BG Group, worth more than £22m when he quit. The transfer value of Sir Frank's pension holdings is the highest uncovered by this year's TUC Pension Watch survey. MORE

Courts drop 500 cases each week

Failings by prosecutors or in the legal system are leading to more than 500 cases being thrown out of court each week. Figures showed a total of 106,859 cases, costing an estimated £17.4m, were dropped or delayed last year. The court system was described as "chaotic". MORE

Jersey air crash couple named

A couple who died when their light aircraft ditched into the sea off Jersey yesterday were named last night as businessman Carl Whiteley, 56, and his wife Kathryn, of Derby. The alarm was raised at 10am after the Cessna hit the water about five miles from Jersey airport.

Berezovsky left debts of up to £300m

Boris Berezovsky may have left debts of more than £300m when he died in "tragic and mysterious" circumstances, the High Court has heard. The Russian oligarch was found hanged at his home near Ascot in March.

L'Enclume takes the top restaurant slot

A restaurant run by chef Simon Rogan and committed to nature not science has toppled celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck eatery as Britain's top restaurant. Rogan's L'Enclume restaurant, at Cartmel in the Lake District, took the title in the Good Food Guide, knocking three-star Michelin chef Blumenthal into second place.

Prisons chief is sacked amid unrest

The Interior Minister removed the chief of the prisons yesterday amid reports he facilitated meetings between detained Muslim Brotherhood leaders and other Islamists. The government also removed security and investigative chiefs in the southern governorate of Minya , where unrest is rife.

Entire town moves down the road

An entire town and its 18,000 residents are moving two miles down the road after an iron ore mine started to threaten its foundations. In 2004, the decision was made to uproot the city centre of Kiruna and on 31 August, residents gathered on the platform of the station to watch the final train roll out. page 20

The smart car that can fold itself in half

With a click on a smartphone, the experimental "Armadillo-T" electric car, made in South Korea, will park itself and fold in half, freeing up space in urban areas. The quirky two-seater, named after the animal it resembles, may never see production but it is part of a trend of developing environmentally friendly cars for cities.

Florida targeted in condom drive

A health group that successfully pushed for a Los Angeles law mandating condom use in the adult film industry is now taking aim at Florida. The Aids Healthcare Foundation has filed a "sanitary nuisance complaint" over a pornographic film apparently made in Florida without the use of condoms.

Great dane 'put out' Nazi bomb in WW2

An unlikely tale of animal heroism from the Second World War has been discovered. Juliana, a great dane, neutralised a Nazi bomb by urinating on it after it fell through the roof of her owner's house. Her story was revealed when auctioneers cleared the house in Bristol and discovered the dog's Blue Cross medal for bravery.

Star Wars: Dawn of the mini-series

Comic lovers will get a different take on Star Wars from a new series based on the original George Lucas script from 1974. The draft, called "The Star Wars" features Darth Vader with no helmet, an older Luke Skywalker and a green Han Solo. Dark Horse Comics has created an eight-issue mini-series based on the script.