The News Matrix: Tuesday 14 February 2012


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The Independent Online

Iran accused over embassy bombings

Israel yesterday blamed Iran for co-ordinating bomb attacks that targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia, an accusation which is likely raise already heightened tensions. The wife of a diplomat in Delhi needed surgery to remove shrapnel and three others were injured. MORE

RAF airman shot dead in Helmand

An RAF airman was shot dead during a routine patrol in Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday. He was hit during an insurgent attack in the western Dashte area of Nad-e Ali. The total number of deaths of British personnel is now at 398.

Man to be extradicted over missile sales

A retiree will be extradited to the US over charges of conspiring to sell batteries for Iranian missiles. Christopher Tappin, 64, from Kent, denies unlawfully attempting to export batteries for air defence missiles. MORE

Prime minister faces contempt charges

Pakistan's Supreme Court has charged Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani with contempt of court, the latest salvo in a face-off between government and judiciary. Gilani is accused of refusing to ask Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari. MORE

'Black box' will cut insurance premiums

Insurance premiums for young drivers could be cut by up £700 if "black boxes" aimed at monitoring speed, braking, acceleration and cornering and how often they drive at night are installed in their cars. The initiative is to be championed by David Cameron in Downing Street today. MORE

Athens starts to clear streets after riots

The acrid smell of tear gas and charred debris lingered in the vandalised streets of the Greek capital yesterday as clearing operations got under way and shopkeepers counted their losses after Sunday's five hours of rioting in Athens. The unrest came as Greek politicians approved additional austerity measures needed to secure a €130bn bailout. MORE

Romney under fire ahead of key primary

Mitt Romney faced fresh distractions last night, with a poll showing the Republican presidential contender's prospects sinking fast in Michigan, as well as claims that he fixed his victory in a straw poll and exaggerated his role in rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. MORE

Blindness set to soar within a decade

The number of people suffering from progressive blindness is set to rise by a third within a decade, with 679,000 cases of age-related macular degeneration expected, according to new research from scientists at St George's, University of London.

Russia says no to peacekeeper plan

Russia has made clear that it would not support a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping mission to Syria unless the violence were to end first, making chances for the plan look unlikely, as Moscow continues to hamper efforts for a resolution. MORE

Source of Houston's drugs investigated

The source of Whitney Houston's supply of prescription drugs was the focus of growing scrutiny last night, as detectives in Los Angeles continued efforts to establish what caused her sudden death. The LA coroner said there were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play, and is awaiting the results of toxicology tests. MORE

Brits win style and fashion awards

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the model and actress, star of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, scooped the top style icon gong at the Elle Style Awards last night. During the ceremony, Sarah Burton, responsible for the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress, was named international designer of the year award.

Teacher cleared in row over book

A teacher who was sacked after she wrote a racy novel featuring some of her pupils has been told she will not have to face a hearing of the General Teaching Council as there is no case to answer for. Leonora Rustamova, 41, who was dismissed from Calder High School, in West Yorkshire in 2009, called the news "wonderful".

Couple banned for keeping pet monkey

A couple have been given a three-year ban from keeping animals after a pet marmoset was found in the front room of their house. Duncan Johnston, 27, and Patricia Wilson, 30, treated the 18-month-old monkey as a member of the family, and the RSPCA told Gateshead magistrates the animal was not mistreated.

Tintin book cleared of racism charge

A Belgian court ruled that a 1946 edition of Tintin in the Congo did not break anti-hate laws. It was a product of attitudes of the day and not a deliberate attempt to incite racism, the court said. The reputations of the intrepid boy reporter and his creator Hergé have long been besmirched by allegations of racism. MORE