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The News Matrix: Thursday 6 September 2012

Your chance to change democracy

There has been a huge response so far to the launch of Democracy 2015. There were problems with the website, but independent.co.uk/democracy2015 is now working. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Bills increase for eight in ten shoppers

Almost eight in 10 shoppers say their average weekly grocery bill has increased in the past year, and almost the same proportion are misled by supermarkets' pricing policies. The Which? survey showed that 91 per cent of people shop in more than one place to reduce their average weekly bill of £76.83.

Putin denies role in Pussy Riot sentence

Vladimir Putin has used his first major interview since resuming the presidency in May to deny he had a hand in sentencing the punk trio Pussy Riot and to castigate the US over its Syria policy. The band were sentenced to two years in prison last month for criticising the Orthodox Church's support for Mr Putin.

Allocated seats on easyJet

No-frills airline easyJet will begin charging for allocated seats in November, a move that distances it from its low-cost competition. Passengers will pay £12 for extra legroom, £8 for speedy boarding or £3 for other seats. Trials showed 70 per cent preferred allocated seating. MORE

A make-or-break moment for Obama

Barack Obama will tonight attempt to catch the lightening released by his wife at the Democratic Convention in North Carolina on Tuesday with his own make-or-break speech. He will cast his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, as out of touch with ordinary Americans. MORE

Miners and police in show of strength

More than 3,000 striking miners marched near Lonmin's Marikana mine in the largest protest at the hot spot since police shot dead 34 of the miners' colleagues last month. Police gave the strongest show of force since the immediate aftermath of the 16 August shooting. MORE

Study drops idea of junk DNA

Scientists have long believed that long stretches of "junk" DNA weren't crucial to keeping life going, but a new study claims that's not the case. It says 80 per cent of the genetic code is essential. The findings could lead to a better understanding of diseases and treatments. MORE

Four dead from gun attack on car in Alps

Four people were killed yesterday in a brutal gun attack on a British-registered car in the French Alps. An eight-year-old girl, apparently from the same family as three of the victims, was fighting for her life in a hospital in Grenoble last night. The fourth victim was a cyclist whose body was found nearby – police believe he may have interrupted a robbery. MORE

Sequel to 'The King's Speech' to be shown

Hyde Park On Hudson, a comedy-drama film about King George VI from 1939, will show at the BFI London Film Festival. The film, which shows the stammering King's historic trip to meet President Roosevelt in New York, is set weeks apart from Tom Hooper's Oscar-winning British film The King's Speech. MORE

Underpasses for emus proposed

Road officials have proposed building emu underpasses beneath the east coast Pacific Highway so the endangered flightless birds can safely crossit. But wildlife experts say the emu is unlikely to use the underpasses. "Emus are big birds with little brains," said Gary Whale of Birdlife Australia.

Die Hard cop hangs on to suspect's car

A traffic officer who arrested a drug suspect after clinging to his moving car for 25 minutes has been promoted and dubbed the "Die Hard policeman". Police say Kim Hyun-cheol stopped the suspect's car in the city of Busan, but when the suspect sped off, Mr Kim clung on. The suspect finally stopped and was arrested.

The internet's 'not for turning off'

There is no fabled "off" switch to the World Wide Web, its inventor has claimed. Sir Tim Berners-Lee said his creation could be shut down only if governments worldwide co-ordinated to make it a centralised system. There was speculation last year that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was looking for a kill switch.

Tiny turtle is a British first

A rare Vietnamese box turtle has hatched in a British zoo for the first time. Vernon the seven-week-old baby turtle is being kept in a climate-controlled room at Bristol Zoo Gardens, feeding on chopped worms. Vernon is only the second such specimen in captivity in Europe. He measures just 2in long.

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