The News Matrix: Tuesday 11 September 2012


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The Independent Online

Syrian couple wed in refugee camp

Snakes, scorpions and dust didn't deter a Syrian couple from getting married at Jordan's tent city for refugees. A carpenter, Hodasa al-Hariri, 23, has married his 20-year-old cousin, Hanan al-Hariri, at the Zaatari camp. The couple said they "expect to be in the camp a long time".

100,000 people meditate to end war

The world's most famous Indian guru has drawn a huge crowd in Argentina's capital to meditate against violence and stress. Ravi Shankar's organisation estimates the crowd swelled to 100,000 people. They chanted as he urged them to focus their energy on ending violence.

UBS trader in dock over £900m fraud

A former trader with the Swiss bank UBS appeared in court over a £900m fraud. Kweku Adoboli, 32, denies two charges of fraud and two of false accounting. The prosecution case is due to open on Friday.

Dig team closing on Richard III's remains

University of Leicester archaeologists say they are "tantalisingly close" to finding the remains of King Richard III in a car park. They have already unearthed the site of the medieval Franciscan friary where he is believed to be buried after defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. 

The holy grail for Harry Potter's fans

The most comprehensive Harry Potter box set has been released. The £179, limited-edition Harry Potter Wizards Collection contains 31 discs, including all of the films and 37 hours of special features.

Exams watchdog did order downgrade

Ofqual, the exams regulator, told markers to raise the boundaries for English GCSE grades against their wishes two weeks before the results were published, letters between the watchdog and the exam board Edexcel reveal. As a result, 65,000 pupils failed to gain a C pass. One headteacher called last night for the chief executive of Ofqual, Glenys Stacey, to resign. MORE

Noisy neighbours lack the X factor

A resident kept awake by neighbours' late-night karaoke session posted a public critique of their performance. Oli Beale of Hackney, east London, gave ratings out of 10 for the renditions with sarcastic comments. A photograph of the review has gone viral on Twitter.

Tablets can hinder sleep, say scientists

Using tablets such as iPads before bed can affect sleep, say researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York. Staring at the screens for more than two hours can suppress the production of melatonin, which helps the brain fall to sleep.

Body on street could be aircraft stowaway

Police are investigating the possibility that a man found dead on a west London street under the flightpath of planes near Heathrow airport was a stowaway who fell from an aircraft. The man was believed to be in his 30s and from North Africa.

Court to rule on legality of bailout

Germany's highest court will decide tomorrow whether to allow an attempt to block the ratification of the eurozone's permanent rescue fund. The German parliament has already approved the fund, but the president has yet to sign it off as part of the ratification process. MORE

George Michael turns to opera

George Michael has become the first global pop star to perform at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris. He gave a one-off concert last night in support of a French Aids charity during his Symphonica Tour. Guests included actress Berenice Bejo and designer Jean Paul Gaultier.

Fourth teen arrested over fatal stabbing

A fourth teenager was being questioned last night about the death of a 17-year-old boy who was stabbed outside a house party in Essex. Jay Whiston, an A-level student, died in Colchester on Saturday night. A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday.

Severed head found in Regent's Canal

Police have recovered a severed head from Regent's Canal, where the decapitated remains of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, 29, were found six months ago. Miss McCluskie's brother Tony McCluskie, 35, is due to stand trial for her murder in November.

President-to-be has disappeared

China's president-in-waiting Xi Jinping has not been seen in public for more than a week, prompting a wave of speculation on the reason for his absence. Mr Xi cancelled meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. MORE

Bin Laden 'did not go for gun' before killing

Former Navy Seal Matt Bissonnette has said US Navy commandos raiding Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideout last year shot him dead after he peered around the door of his bedroom. Appearing on US television, he contradicted the official account of Bin Laden's killing. MORE

Assange complaint on privacy rejected

A complaint by the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that a More 4 television show infringed his privacy by showing him in a nightclub has not been upheld by the watchdog Ofcom. Mr Assange said he had agreed to be filmed "on the basis it would be for the filmmaker's personal use".

Murder witness, 7, talking to police

The seven-year-old British girl who saw her parents murdered by a gunman in the French Alps last week has spoken to police for the first time. Zainab al-Hilli has brought out of a medically-induced coma in Grenoble but it will be days before she can be properly interviewed. MORE

President salutes prison handover

President Hamid Karzai said the handover of the US-run prison at Bagram to his forces was a victory for the country's sovereignty. The Parwan Detention Facility has swelled from 1,100 detainees in September 2010 to 3,110 this spring. MORE

Funding row over 9/11 museum

For the first time, elected officials will not speak at today's ceremony in Manhattan commemorating the 11 September terror attacks in 2001. But a political row is continuing in New York over who will pay for the running of a museum honouring the victims of the atrocity. MORE