The News Matrix: Tuesday 06 December 2011


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The Independent Online


Morning-after pill free over Christmas

Women who ask for the morning-after pill during the Christmas party season will be given it free of charge. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service approved the move, but anti-abortion organisation Life said getting hold of the drug was now as easy as dialling for a pizza. MORE

Greenpeace storm nuclear power plant

The French government was left red-faced yesterday after Greenpeace activists infiltrated one of the country's nuclear power stations, holding a banner reading "safe nuclear doesn't exist". The stunt at Nogent-sur-Seine was intended to show the vulnerability of the country's atomic sites to terrorism despite a recent security review.

Karzai in 'secret plan' to keep power

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, is secretly planning to stay in power when his second and constitutionally final term ends in three years, according to an intelligence report. Mr Karzai, it is claimed, wants to emulate Vladimir Putin by creating a prime minister role. MORE

Muscovites protest at Putin poll victory

More than 8,000 people packed into central Moscow yesterday to denounce the victory of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party in Sunday's elections amid vote rigging claims. MORE

Double murder lodger seen in Calais

A 51-year-old man police want to speak to in connection to the murder of a mother and daughter was spotted in Calais on the night the bodies were found. Police believe Barry Morrow, Angela Holgate's lodger, could be heading to Spain. Post-mortem examinations confirmed both victims died from asphyxiation.

Premature birth link to social difficulties

Premature births have risen by 30 per cent in the past 30 years, and researchers claim they've fuelled an increase in emotional and behavioural problems. A study of 1,500 children in the Netherlands showed babies born early have higher rates of social difficulties on all measures used. MORE

Assange to spend Christmas in UK

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange is to remain in Britain over Christmas after being granted a last chance to convince the UK courts to block his extradition to Sweden to face rape allegations. Sir John Thomas refused the campaigner direct permission to appeal. MORE

Obama reaches out to repair relations

The Prime Minister says his country wants to repair US relations, which have been more tense than usual after a Nato airstrike on the border with Afghanistan killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month. Yousuf Raza Gilani's conciliatory comments came a day after he received a call from Barack Obama to discuss the issue.

Games at risk of going over budget

There is a "real risk" that London 2012 will exceed its £9.3bn budget after the cost of security around the venues along with the opening and closing ceremonies doubled, according to the National Audit Office. Last year's £282m estimate for keeping the venues safe rose to £553m when it was realised 13,700 more security guards were needed. MORE

Radioactive water 'leaked into the sea'

The operator of the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima says that 45 tons of radioactive water leaked into the sea over the weekend. Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is trying to bring the plant to cold shutdown, said a pool of radioactive water was found by a decontamination device.

Company director has £1m confiscated

Jailed company director Ian Bowrem, 46, from Devon whose car was found stuffed with £380,000 from Britain's biggest cash robbery must pay back over £1m, police said. About £53m was stolen from Securitas, now Loomis, in Tonbridge, Kent, in 2006.

Now you really can shout at the TV

Xbox 360 owners will be able to operate BBC iPlayer entirely by voice or gestures with the next upgrade to the Xbox Live service. Microsoft's new technology allows users to pause and play programmes simply by saying so. iPlayer joins 4oD, Channel 5 and YouTube in signing up to be available on the console service.

Actress sues FHM in 'fake nudity' furore

A Pakistani actress who posed for FHM's Indian edition is suing the publication for £1.2m after claiming it doctored the photos to make her appear completely nude. The pictures of Veena Malik have caused fury in conservative Pakistan, with one cleric branding them a "shame for all Muslims". MORE

Nasa finds new planet akin to Earth

Nasa has found a new planet it says shares important similarities to Earth. The temperature on the new planet, named Kepler 22-b, is around a comfy 22C. It is the first planet to be discovered outside our solar system with a temperature in the "habitable zone".

Cole claims love for shoes, boots and all

Former X Factor judge and pop star Cheryl Cole has admitted to owning 2,000 pairs of shoes. "I've always, always loved shoes but over the past few years I've definitely developed a proper fetish," she told Grazia magazine. The singer said she hid the shoes in kitchen cupboards, and even in the fridge.