The News Matrix: Tuesday 19 March 2013


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The Independent Online

News anchor accepts proposal live on air

A news presenter has read her own marriage proposal off the autocue live on air. Jillian Pavlica was told there was breaking news and read: "A Huntsville news anchor is being proposed to on live TV!" Pavlica began to giggle as her partner Vince got down on one knee. She accepted.

Jets fire warning rockets at Lebanon

Syrian fighter jets fired rockets near the Lebanese town of Arsal, home to thousands of refugees and rebels. The attack was seen as a warning to its neighbour to clamp down on militants and arms crossing the border. It came as Syria's opposition National Coalition met in Istanbul to form a transitional government. MORE

Experts discordant over Titanic violin

Historians and collectors are debating the authenticity of a violin that allegedly belonged to the Titanic's famous band leader, Wallace Hartley. Experts insisted that Hartley's body was never found with his violin, but the auctioneers maintain that the lot is authentic. MORE

Teachers' unions plan string of strikes

Teaching unions have unveiled plans for the most sustained period of strike action in two decades. The National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers proposed region-by-region strikes, beginning on 27 June in the North-west. The rest will follow in the autumn term, with industrial action continuing into 2014 if necessary. MORE

Family was happy, says blaze mother

A mother accused of killing her six children in a house fire told Nottingham Crown Court they were a "happy family". Mairead Philpott, 31, denied that she and her husband Mick, who is also accused of manslaughter, deliberately had a large family to claim benefits. MORE

Swine flu becoming resistant to drug

Swine flu is becoming more resistant to the main drug used to treat it. Research shows that although the frequency of Tamiflu resistance is low, a resistant strain is emerging. A study last year suggested that the virus may have caused the deaths of up to 579,000 people. MORE

60 implicated over insurance scam

A "cash for crash" insurance scam based in County Durham swindled so much money through false claims that residents had to pay £100 extra for their car insurance. A total of 60 people have been convicted or pleaded guilty to being involved in the fraud. MORE

Hockney in shock at death of aide, 23

David Hockney is in a "state of shock" following the death of his close friend and studio assistant. Police launched an inquiry when Dominic Elliott, 23, died after being taken to hospital from the artist's home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire. Mr Elliott was painted by Hockney, 75, several times and worked as his driver. MORE

'Bogus Rockefeller' faces murder trial

A German who pretended to be a scion of the Rockefeller dynasty faces trial in Los Angeles for the 1985 murder of his former landlord. Christian Gerhartsreiter is accused of killing Jonathan Sohus, whose remains were found in 1994. MORE

Pair 'plotted to cut off Joss Stone's head'

Two men allegedly armed themselves with a samurai sword in a bid to decapitate the pop star Joss Stone, a court heard. Junior Bradshaw and Kevin Liverpool deny conspiracy to murder.  MORE

'Buller' Boris recalls his shameful past

Boris Johnson still greets ex-members of the Bullingdon Club, the exclusive Oxford University society noted for its banquets and boisterous rituals, with a cry of "Buller, Buller, Buller!" In a documentary, the London Mayor examines a photo of himself, David Cameron and others and says: "This is a truly shameful vignette." MORE

Fugitive war criminal turns himself in

A fugitive African war criminal known as "The Terminator" has handed himself in to the US embassy in Rwanda and asked to be transferred to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Bosco Ntaganda faces charges including recruiting child soldiers. MORE

Maduro accuses US of assassination plot

The acting President accused the Pentagon and the CIA of conspiring to assassinate his opposition leader, Henrique Capriles. Nicolas Maduro said the US wanted to blame the killing on his Socialist party and spark a coup. Washington "categorically" denied the claims.