The News Matrix: Thursday 9 February 2012


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The Independent Online

Poll predicts election misery for Lib Dems

The Lib Dems could lose 38 of their 57 seats in the next election, a "poll of polls" for i suggests. The huge predicted loss is based on a "double whammy" of falling support and boundary changes on the new parliamentary map. In practice, they could do better by targeting winnable seats. MORE

US military strike 'would be a mistake'

Iran is capable of hitting US forces around the world if attacked by Washington, Russia's Interfax news agency quoted the Iranian ambassador to Moscow as saying yesterday. Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi said that the US would be making a mistake if it carried out a military strike.

Leaders mull cuts to secure next bailout

Greek leaders were locked in talks last night to review a draft deal on steep cutbacks demanded by creditors in return for a €130 billion bailout. Today, the focus will shift to Brussels, where eurozone finance ministers are planning an emergency meeting to discuss the Greek debt crisis.

Met targets violent crime as gangs boom

The number of gang members in London has soared to 5,000, Scotland Yard revealed on the day they announced a £60m-a-year crackdown on violent offenders. Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said 1,000 dedicated officers would "relentlessly pursue" gang criminals. MORE

Appointment of Offa boss rejected by MPs

MPs have rejected the appointment of Professor Les Ebdon, known to be against higher tuition fees, as the head of university access watchdog Offa. They claim he doesn't understand the "root causes" of obstacles to access.

Senior Tories urge PM to drop NHS Bill

At least one senior Cabinet Minister has urged David Cameron to drop the Government's much-maligned Health and Social Care Bill. Government figures told the Prime Minister that "pushing" the Bill through Parliament would give Labour an "open goal" to blame all future NHS problems on the Coalition's reforms. MORE

Church of England avoids schism

The Church of England avoided schism after the General Synod agreed to allow amendments to legislation on ordinating women bishops, but not to make substantial changes. The Archbishop of Canterbury urged the national assembly to "leave the door open" for some "fine tuning".

Militant's bomb kills 11 people near palace

A suicide car bomber killed at least 11 people in the capital Mogadishu yesterday. The attack took place near the Muna Hotel in an area controlled by the government and African Union forces, near the president's palace. The Al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility. Reuters

Satnavs to lead way to cheap insurance

TomTom satnav devices will be used to assess motorists' behaviour in a move to lower the cost of insurance premiums for safe drivers, the manufacturer has announced. But business analysts have questioned whether drivers will want a device tracking their journeys. MORE

Pilot tests positive for crystal meth

Lion Air's slogan "We make you fly" rang a bit too close to home over the weekend when one of the Indonesian airline's pilots tested positive for crystal meth hours before he was due to take off. The country's narcotics agency said the 44-year-old pilot was arrested in a hotel in Surabaya.

Caught with their pants downloaded

Two politicians from the conservative Bharatiya Janta Party have been forced to resign after they were apparently caught on camera watching a porn film during a state assembly session. A third politician was forced to stand down after being accused of providing the film. MORE

Moore sculpture fetches £19.1m

A sculpture by Henry Moore has sold for £19.1 million at Christie's in London. The 1951 work, titled Reclining Figure Festival, was expected to fetch £3.5m, but became the most expensive piece of British sculpture ever auctioned. The record was previously held by Damien Hirst, whose Golden Calf made £10.3m in 2008.