The News Matrix: Tuesday 18 October 2011

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The Independent Online

Travellers lose their fight against eviction

Residents of the illegal travellers’ site Dale Farm, near Basildon, Essex, have lost their bid against eviction after Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Sullivan said they could not appeal against a High Court ruling last week that gave Basildon Council the go-ahead to evict them. MORE

New regime raises flag over Bani Walid

Libya’s new government yesterday raised its flag over Bani Walid, one of the last towns it does not control. It was not clear, however, whether National Transitional Council forces were fully in control of the key oil town. NTC fighters are also still engaged in fighting for Sirte.

Prisoner swap ‘has support of public’

A large majority of Israelis support the deal made to free the captive soldier Gilad Shalit. In a poll by the Dahaf Institute, 79 per cent of respondents said they backed the swap, which will also see 1,027 Palestinian prisoners released. Shalit is expected to be freed today. MORE

Two Britons killed in charter plane crash

Two Britons were killed in a charter plane crash in Botswana, the Foreign Office confirmed last night. The plane crashed after take-off near an airstrip at Okavango Delta on Friday. It was reported that a British pilot and seven tourists, from Britain, France and Sweden, died.

L’Oreal heiress loses control of her riches

France’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, has been placed under the protection of relatives after a court found that L’Oreal heiress, who has a $20bn fortune, was suffering from Alzheimer’s. MORE

Police urged to act on Sri Lanka war crimes

Australian police are examining a war crimes dossier, which alleges that Sri Lankan authorities shelled civilians during the recent civil war. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia, Thisara Samarasinghe, is among those named in the documents. Under Australian law, war crimes suspects can be prosecuted for acts committed outside the country. MORE

Freezing eggs ‘more successful before 35’

Women who want to freeze their eggs are advised not to leave it too late. A New York study found the average age for freezing for social reasons was 37-39, when eggs are already deteriorating. Those under 35 had a 30 per cent IVF success rate, falling to five per cent at over 42. MORE

Eurostar suspended after person on line

Eurostar passengers were stranded for several hours last night after services were suspended due a “person on the high-speed line”. Caprice Bourret, the model, used Twitter to display her displeasure at “the worst service ever”. Trains remained suspended for a police investigation.

Conference calls on ETA to end violence

Gerry Adams and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan were among several international political figures who met in Spain yesterday for a conference aimed at encouraging ETA, the Basque separatist group, to make a definite rejection of violence. MORE

210,000 in petition for planning rethink

Around 210,000 people have signed a petition against the Government’s tabled planning reforms, the National Trust has said, on the last day of public consultation on the matter. It is concerned the reforms could herald the return of urban sprawl. MORE

German yachtsman ‘eaten by cannibals’

Police in French Polynesia said they suspect a German yachtsman has been eaten by cannibals after his remains were found at an abandoned camp. Stefan Ramin went missing after going hunting with a guide who has disappeared. MORE

Spurs drops legal action over stadium

Tottenham Hotspur has dropped its legal action over the future of the Olympic Stadium. The decision follows an agreement between Olympic Park Legacy Company, the government and Mayor of London that the park would remain in public ownership, leading a deal with West Ham to collapse.

BlackBerry users offered free apps

Research in Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry phone, is to offer free applications to the millions of users affected by service problems over three days last week. The apps will be made available on the BlackBerry App World from Wednesday until 31 December.

Oliver rap for chefs’ onscreen swearing

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has said he doesn’t like chefs who “go round shouting and swearing” and told the Radio Times he would make an effort not to do it himself – despite being criticised for it in 2009. Oliver sparked complaints from viewers of Ministry of Food, after swearing 20 times.

Man becomes Superman

Filipino Herbert Chavez, 35, has taken his love for Superman up, up and away, undergoing cosmetic surgery to look like the Man of Steel. Chavez has had surgery to make his nose higher, thighs slimmer, and alter his cheeks, lips and chin. His skin has also been whitened.

Pastor ‘took dead teacher’s pension’

A New York pastor has been accused of cashing pension cheques worth nearly $250,000 (£158,655) sent to a school teacher who died more than a decade ago. Rev. Victor Rosa is said to have deceived New York City’s Teacher Retirement System into thinking Maria Sicardo was still alive.

Sesame Street brings you a P (for porn)

The YouTube channel for the children’s TV show Sesame Street is back online after hackers forced its shutdown for a day by uploading porn films. Executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente said yesterday that YouTube had taken the channel down on Sunday.

Man captured 13,000 wild birds

A Swedish man who captured 13,000 wild birds and kept hundreds locked in his home has been convicted of animal cruelty and illegal hunting, and sentenced to a year and a half in prison. Hudiksvall court says Pierre Johansson, 39, used nets and traps to capture owls, falcons and hawks.

Bob bags himself a set of bagpipes

Bob Dylan, forever looking for a new road to walk down, has taken up the bagpipes. The 70-year-old singer/songwriter bought a set of traditional Scottish pipes while in Glasgow to play two concerts this weekend, a spokesperson for the National Piping Centre said.