The News Matrix: Tuesday 12 February 2013


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The Independent Online

Dogs are dastardly when it's dark

Dogs are more able to understand humans than previously thought, according to new research. A test on 84 animals showed dogs were four times more likely to steal when the lights were off and their owners couldn't see. The study said it was "unlikely" they forgot the human was there.

Worker gets stuck in toilet and delays train

Passengers travelling through Worcester were delayed for over an hour yesterday after a signalman got stuck in a toilet. The driver of the 15.13 Hereford to London service was unable to make contact with the signalman, and got out of his train at Worcester Foregate Street.

Taliban bans sale of sex products

The Taliban has warned shopkeepers in north-western Pakistan not to sell sex-related drugs like Viagra or obscene films, the head of a trade association has claimed. Shamsher Khan Afridi has distributed pamphlets to shopkeepers in Peshawar asking them to comply with the order.

Comic sees funny side of 'weird' win

Russell Howard has spoken of his delight at being named the nation's top "weird crush" in a poll by Heat magazine. "Thanks, I think, to the people who voted for me," the comedian said. "Finally, I am king of the mingers." Fellow comic Jon Richardson was runner-up in the annual poll.

Mumfords and Adele triumph at Grammys

The British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons took home the prize for album of the year at the Grammy awards. Their second LP, Babel, has sold more than 1.7 million copies in the US. Adele won her ninth Grammy, taking home the award for best solo performance.  MORE

Cameron to unveil post-Leveson vision

David Cameron will today unveil a draft royal charter on press regulation. Gerry McCann, the father of Madeleine, warned that a failure to implement the Leveson proposals would "stain" the Government's record. MORE

Welsh family killed on way to Mecca

Five members of a family from Newport in Wales have been killed in a car crash in Saudi Arabia. The British Muslim pilgrims were on their way to Mecca when their taxi crashed into a ditch. It is believed a baby was the only survivor. MORE

Bin Laden killer not awarded pension

The former US Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden has been left without a pension or health insurance on leaving the military. "The Shooter", who suffers from numerous medical complaints, quit because he wanted to see his children grow up. MORE

Economy at heart of Obama address

Barack Obama will give his annual State of the Union address tonight, giving the US President the chance to set the agenda for his second four-year term in office. He is set to emphasise the need for new spending initiatives in order to help economic recovery. MORE

Mayor warns of fox cull after boy savaged

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has promised to tackle the "growing menace" of urban foxes. Mr Johnson warned of a possible cull after a fox gnawed off the finger of five-week-old Denny Dolan in his south-east London home. Up to 10,000 foxes live in the capital. MORE

Balls calls for Labour to back referendum

It would be "stupid" of the Labour Party to oppose a referendum on Europe, Ed Balls has warned. The shadow Chancellor's remarks come after Ed Miliband appeared to oppose the in/out referendum."If he had his way, we would support a referendum," an ally of Mr Balls said.

Rebels push towards centre of Damascus

The key eastern Damascus district of Jobar was pounded by airstrikes yesterday as rebels pushed towards the centre of the Syrian capital. The rebels have seized a base for pro-government forces. But analysts said the rebels aren't able to fully defend their gains. MORE

Food firms 'using tobacco's tricks'

Food and drink giants are undermining public-health policies designed to combat obesity, diabetes and alcohol-related illnesses by using techniques pioneered by the tobacco industry, a new study has claimed. Firms have allegedly distorted research findings and lobbied governments to block health regulations. Manufacturers claimed the industry recognised the need to tackle obesity. MORE

Satellite to track changes on Earth

A rocket carrying an Earth-observing satellite has launched on a mission to track changes to the planet's natural resources. The $855m Atlas V rocket lifted off yesterday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The satellite will track retreating glaciers and deforestation.

President keen to keep spirits down

President Ramzan Kadyrov has warned against "charlatans" claiming to have magic powers. He said "turning to wizards and false healers won't bring… relief and is banned by Islam". Folk belief is widespread in Chechnya, which many believe is a hotbed for Islamic spirits called djinns. MORE

Murdoch hints at scrapping Page 3

The media mogul Rupert Murdoch has hinted that he may scrap The Sun's Page Three. Replying to a tweet he had been sent, he said: "Page Three so last century! You may be right, don't know but considering. Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas." MORE

Downey Jr has big screen plan for satire

The actor Robert Downey Jr has purchased the rights to an episode of satire series Black Mirror. The Avengers star will adapt the Jesse Armstrong-penned 'The Entire History of You' for the big screen. The episode was set in a world where everyone has a memory chip implanted in their heads.