Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The News Matrix: Tuesday 15 January 2013


Armstrong says sorry to his charity

Lance Armstrong reportedly apologised to the staff at his Livestrong cancer foundation yesterday ahead of his much-publicised interview with Oprah Winfrey. A source told the Associated Press that the disgraced cyclist became emotional and several employees cried. Armstrong, 41, did not make a direct confession to the group about using banned drugs. MORE

Lords defeat for PM on boundaries

David Cameron's plans to redraw parliamentary boundaries suffered a fatal blow last night. The House of Lords voted by 300 to 231 to back an amendment delaying plans for a boundary review, and to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600, until 2018 at the earliest.

Fire victim was on 999 call for an hour

One of the victims in a London tower block fire that killed six people was on a 999 call for nearly an hour. Catherine Hickman, 31, called 999 from her flat in Camberwell in 2009. Yesterday, a "super inquest" began into her death and those of the other victims, including three children.

Shots fired at ruling party's headquarters

Shots were fired at the Athens headquarters of Greece's right-wing ruling party yesterday, with one bullet hitting an office occasionally used by the Prime Minister. No one was hurt, but a government spokesman condemned the gunman's attempt to "terrorise" Greek society. MORE

Boy, 12, convicted of killing neo-Nazi dad

A boy who was 10 when he shot and killed his white-supremacist father committed premeditated murder, a judge ruled yesterday. Prosecutors said the boy, now 12, knew what he was doing and planned to kill Jeff Hall, 32, of leader of the National Socialist Movement, in California.

Dozens killed in Damascus attack

The Syrian government bombed areas around Damascus yesterday as part of its push to keep rebel fighters out of the capital, leaving many children among the dozens killed, anti-regime activists said. One strike by fighter jets hit the suburb of Moadamiyeh. MORE

Grandmother tells of Imani shooting

Imani Green, the British eight-year-old killed on holiday in Jamaica, was left lying "in a pool of blood", her grandmother said. Sandra Fisher said she wept when she realised Imani had been shot. MORE

GCSE add-on 'could help maths numbers'

Maths education must be overhauled to boost the numbers of pupils taking the subject after GCSE, research suggests. One in five students in England studies maths after 16, the Nuffield Foundation said. It said some students should be given an extra year to prepare for their GCSE.

Obama to present gun-control plan

Barack Obama is reviewing plans on how to reduce gun violence and expects to present specifics later this week, he said yesterday. He said a "meaningful" ban on assault weapons and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines were ideas that made sense.

Girl, 13, died after sex-tape argument

A teenage girl slipped to her death in 2011 in a "ghastly" accident as she begged a teenage boy to delete a sex tape of her being abused, an inquest heard. Coroner Bernard Richmond, QC said Chevonea Kendall-Bryan, 13, did not intend to kill herself.

Berlusconi loses bid to delay sex trial

A court in Milan has rejected the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's bid to delay his trial on sex and corruption charges ahead of next month's general election. Mr Berlusconi is hoping to become the Italian leader for a fourth term. MORE

Robbers dig deep to loot Berlin bank

Robbers dug a 100ft tunnel into a Berlin bank and escaped with their haul, starting a fire as they left to cover their tracks. Berlin police said the tunnel led from an underground garage into the bank's safe-deposit room. They said it was a "very professional" job.

Affleck triumphs at Golden Globes

He may have been snubbed by the Academy, but Ben Affleck took home prizes for Best Film and Best Director for Argo at the Golden Globes. Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain won Best Actress prizes, while Anne Hathaway won best supporting role for Les Misérables. MORE

Facebook loses friends in the UK

Facebook has suffered a drop in its number of British users, according to social-media monitors. SocialBakers claimed 600,000 UK users stopped using the site in December, meaning the site lost 1.86 per cent of its 33 million-strong British base.

Mendes to make Victorian drama

Sam Mendes has signed up to make a new "psychosexual" drama series set in Victorian London. The Skyfall director is teaming up with James Bond screenwriter John Logan for the project, which is backed by the US network Showtime. It will be filmed in the capital.

Boy, 13, drove father's Merc for 500 miles

A 13-year-old boy who lives in Italy with his adoptive parents, took his father's Mercedes and drove more than 500 miles through Europe in an apparent attempt to reach his birth family in Poland, Italian police said. He drove for almost 24 hours before being found near Leipzig, Germany.

EasyJet drops Margate ad campaign

EasyJet has withdrawn posters saying: "This year, end up in Malaga, not Margate" after being accused of making "cheap jibes" about the seaside town. Local resident and councillor, Will Scobie, defended the resort, saying: "Margate is a fantastic town for people to visit."

Depardieu extols 'wisdom' of Putin

The French actor Gérard Depardieu, recently awarded Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin, has praised the former KGB spy and said his political opponents offer no real alternative. "I like this man very much… He has political wisdom," he told Russian state television.