The News Matrix: Tuesday 10 January 2012


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The Independent Online

Sister tells 'witch' trial of torture

The sister of a teenager allegedly beaten to death because relatives thought he was a witch sobbed yesterday as she described how she and her siblings were forced to pray before being beaten and tortured. Kristy Bamu was found dead on Christmas Day 2010. MORE

Give yourself up, police urge killer

Detectives investigating the murder of a retired schoolteacher at an isolated cottage in Worcestershire have urged her killer to surrender. Renewing appeals for information about the murder of Betty Yates, 77, Det Ch Insp Neil Jamieson described the killing as a "horrendous" offence.

Colonel in suicide bid at press conference

A military prosecutor linked to an investigation into the 2010 air crash that killed President Lech Kaczyinski shot himself in the head yesterday during a news conference. Colonel Mikolaj Przybyl asked reporters if he could take a break. They then heard the sound of a shot. MORE

Unite rejects final offer on pensions

The Government's hopes of resolving the dispute over public-sector pensions received a fresh blow yesterday when leaders of thousands of council workers rejected a final offer. Unite's national local authority committee said "genuine discussions" should be held without "arbitrary" deadlines.

Thieves sounded alarm – then pounced

Paintings by Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian were stolen yesterday at a state art museum in Athens. The thieves set off alarms for 24 hours beforehand, forcing security guards to turn at least one off.

Greening light for HS2 rail scheme

The Transport Secretary will today give the green light to the first phase of the controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) rail scheme, which will connect London, Manchester and Glasgow by 2026. Justine Greening will anger Home Counties Tory MPs by backing the £32bn project connecting London and Birmingham in 45 minutes, with spurs to Leeds and Manchester. MORE

Saleh and his regime granted immunity

Yemen's outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and those who worked under him, have been granted immunity from prosecution for any crimes allegedly committed during his 33 years in power. Hundreds of people have been killed in protests demanding he stands down. MORE

Financial woes top list of patient worries

Financial difficulties are the largest source of concern for cancer patients and their loved-ones, according to new figures released by Macmillan Cancer Support's helpline. This comes amid Government plans to cut support for an estimated 7,000 cancer patients by up to £94 a week.

Former US Marine sentenced to death

Iran has sentenced to death a former US Marine found guilty of working for the CIA in a move likely to deepen the crisis in relations between the US and Iran. Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, 28, is a dual Iranian-US citizen. His father denies his son is a spy and said he entered Iran to visit relatives.

Heart attack risk higher after loss

The risk of having a potentially fatal heart attack is 21 times higher the day after a loved one dies, and almost six times higher during the first week after bereavement, says a study published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.

One killed in mass oil price protests

More than 10,000 protesters swarmed Lagos yesterday to demonstrate against soaring fuel prices and decades of government corruption. At least one person was killed in the unrest, the first day of an indefinite strike called by unions. MORE

Chef apologises for shoplifting

Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson apologised yesterday after being caught shoplifting cheese and wine five times over the Christmas period at Tesco in Henley-on-Thames. Worrall Thompson repeatedly failed to scan items while using the self-service checkouts. MORE

Sour taste for rhubarb growers

Britain's rhubarb could crumble this year as the mild winter causes a crisis for the crop. Production is being hampered by a lack of frost, which is vital to energise the roots and ensure healthy growth of the plants in sheds away from natural sunlight. MORE

King to join nation in austerity drive

King Albert has announced he will join all Belgians taking part in an austerity campaign which aims to help the nation stay within budget limits set by the European Union. In a public statement, the monarch said he wants the amount of money he receives from the state to be frozen for this year.

'Extinct' tortoise still breeding

A species of giant tortoise which became extinct on its Galapagos island more than a century ago could still be living on another island 200 miles away. Scientists believe Chelonoidis elephantopus is still breeding. MORE

Stadium could be used in Rio in 2016

A stadium built for the London Olympics could be moved across the globe for use in the 2016 games in Brazil. The basketball arena, which is over 30m high and was built by Scottish firm Barr Constructions, could be reused in Rio de Janeiro if plans between organisers go ahead.

Suburb bans the use of 'mademoiselle'

Cesson-Sévigné, a suburb of Rennes, has banned the use of the title "mademoiselle" on official forms after a campaign by feminist groups which said it was "sexist and condescending". "Mademoiselle" stems from the word for "damsel" or "little lady" and is the equivalent of the English "Miss".

Police tongue-tied by 28-letter name

One man's real name has caused a stir with Madison, Wisconsin, police. Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop, 30, who previously went by Jeffrey Drew Wilschke, was arrested on Thursday and charged with carrying a concealed knife, marijuana possession and a probation violation.

Workers find WWII air raid shelter

A "lost" air raid shelter which protected hundreds of people from bombs during the Second World War has been discovered. The shelter was found by council workers after a hole appeared in the ground in Carshalton Park, south London. The hole was an escape hatch.