The News Matrix: Tuesday 14 June 2011

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The Independent Online

Prince and Bill Gates talk sustainability

The Prince of Wales held a private meeting with philanthropist Bill Gates last night to discuss sustainable development. The Microsoft founder visited the Prince at Windsor Castle after pledging a record amount of aid for immunisation. MORE

MPs believe unpaid interns should stay

A majority of MPs would be opposed to government action to ban unpaid internships. Some 59 per cent of MPs taking part in the ComRes survey said they would be happy to employ an intern unpaid or on travel expenses only.

Strong aftershocks topple buildings

With rebuilding yet to start following a devastating earthquake four months ago, Christchurch was hit by strong aftershocks yesterday which toppled buildings and caused panic. MORE

Women ‘too busy’ for regular smear tests

Women in their 20s and 30s say they do not have time for smear tests, while those in their 50s are not worried about cancer, a study suggests. Researchers questioned primary care staff and patients on their reasons for not attending cervical screenings.

‘Maneater’ is sighted off Cornish coast

A tourist resort in Cornwall is abuzz with rumours of a dangerous shark sighting. Fishermen from two boats have reported seeing an Oceanic whitetip off the coast of St Ives, while others have disputed the likelihood it is a whitetip.

Harrowing tales of terrified refugees

Accounts from the stream of terrified and exhausted Syrians attempting to cross the border into Turkey paint a harrowing picture of the brutal truth about the regime’s crackdown. Thousands are fleeing the country to escape the onslaught from tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships unleashed by Bashar al-Assad. MORE

Grandmother ‘left rotting’ for months

A mother and daughter who left the corpse of a grandmother unburied for up to six months while one of them pocketed her pension are facing jail. The body of Olive Maddock, 95, was left rotting in the bedroom of her Merseyside home.

Little respite for battered Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi’s battered government yesterday got another kicking from the electorate as Italians voted to repeal laws on nuclear power, water privatisation and enabling the President to avoid court appearances. MORE

Mrs Doubtful admits faking his own death

A pensioner pleaded guilty to faking his own death in Central America to claim life insurance of £520,000. Anthony McErlean, 66, impersonated his wife to claim he had died after being struck by a produce truck in Honduras in 2009.

Protest over students’ arrest

A crowd gathered at London’s Holborn police station yesterday to demonstrate over the arrest of two students held during protests at the School for African and Oriental Studies, where universities minister David Willetts was giving a talk.

Chess chief is a pawn in Gaddafi’s game

As Nato continued to bombard Libya, the country’s brutal but eccentric leader decided it was high time for a game of chess. Libyan state television broadcast the bizarre footage of Colonel Gaddafi sitting down to a match with the head of the World Chess Federation on Sunday. MORE

Naomie swaps her eye patch for a bikini

Naomie Harris has revealed she is in the running to be a Bond girl in the next 007 film. The Pirates of the Caribbean star told Radio Times she was in talks with Bond producers.

Robber’s Aids threat to bank cashier

A woman robbed a Colorado bank by passing a note over the counter saying she would infect the cashier with Aids unless the worker handed over cash. The woman coughed frequently during the heist, but did not display a weapon, before fleeing with an undisclosed sum of money, police said.

Airbus promises a bird’s eye view

A futuristic concept of air travel with almost uninterrupted sky views through a transparent cabin was presented by Airbus yesterday in London. Travellers in 2050 will fly in a bionic structure that mimics the efficiency of bird bone, the cabin’s “intelligent” wall controlling temperature.

Prosecuted Kenyan raises drinks budget

Kenya has responded to the expected ICC prosecution of two of its cabinet ministers and a government mandarin for crimes against humanity at The Hague by trebling the budget for cocktails and canapés at its embassy. Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, an ICC suspect, oversaw the increase.

Watson praises punk lifestyle in Vogue shoot

Harry Potter star Emma Watson has revealed she wants to “live like” her hero – New York punk rocker Patti Smith. The 21-year-old actress, who played Hermione Granger in the movie franchise, appears on the front cover of the July issue of US Vogue. She told the magazine she was impressed by Smith’s memoirs of life in the counter-culture of 1970s New York.

HMS Ark Royal auction extended

The deadline for the sale of the Royal Navy’s former flagship HMS Ark Royal has been extended due to interest from potential buyers, the Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday. Bidders for the aircraft carrier, which has been advertised on the MoD auction website since March, have until 6 July.