The News Matrix: Tuesday 2 October 2012


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The Independent Online

Innocent victim of forensic mix-up

Adam Scott was arrested and held in custody for months after a plastic tray containing a sample of his DNA was re-used in the analysis of a swab from a rape victim in Manchester by private firm LGC Forensics. Forensic science regulator Andrew Rennison said that Mr Scott, from Devon, was an "innocent victim of avoidable contamination". MORE

Candidates brace for presidential debate

Amid mixed polling numbers and increased sniping over foreign policy, the two candidates for the American presidency were in virtual lockdown yesterday cramming for tomorrow night's televised debates that may be a make-or-break moment for the challenger, Mitt Romney. MORE

Historian Hobsbawm dies, aged 95

The great Marxist historian, Eric Hobsbawm, died yesterday at the age of 95. The influential academic wrote more than 30 books during his career including the trilogy, The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital and The Age of Empire. MORE

Calls for Monti to stay on after election

Two political leaders have joined calls for Italy's unelected technocrat Prime Minister, Mario Monti, to stay on in some form after next spring's general election to prevent speculators dragging the Italian economy – and the euro – back to the edge of the abyss. MORE

Ikea under fire over catalogue 'editing'

The Swedish furniture giant Ikea came under fierce press and government criticism yesterday after it emerged that it had removed all images of women from the Saudi Arabian edition of its catalogue, apparently to minimise the risk of upsetting Saudi customers. MORE

Bannatyne treated for heart attack

The entrepreneur and star of Dragon's Den, Duncan Bannatyne, is being treated at hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack yesterday. A spokeswoman said: "We' re confident he'll make a full recovery."

Man begged police for mercy

An inquest into the death of Jacob Michael, 25, who died in police custody in August last year, has been shown CCTV footage of him pleading for mercy from officers. The jury at Warrington Coroner's Court was also shown harrowing footage of Mr Michael before his death. MORE

Crowds support opposition leader

Crowds filled the streets of Venezuela's capital at the weekend cheering for the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles ahead of the presidential election on Sunday. Authorities also were investigating two killings during an opposition rally.

Eight dead after ferry collision

A boat packed with party-goers collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong yesterday, killing at least eight people and injuring dozens of others. The boat was carrying about 120 people when the accident happened near Lamma Island.

Being bird-brained is not so bad after all

Scientists in the US have found evidence to suggest that bird brains possess a high-level "thinking" region. The research, published yesterday, appears to confirm that bird brains contain cells similar in function to that of the mammalian neocortex.

Funding cuts putting theatre 'in danger'

Further cuts to regional theatre in Britain would be "madness", the artistic director of the National Theatre warned yesterday. Sir Nicholas Hytner said he wants to highlight the "clear and present danger" to regional theatre if the Government continues to neglect the arts.

Loose plane seats slid round 'like a ride'

An American Airlines flight to Miami made an emergency landing on Saturday after a row of seats came loose and began sliding around "like a carnival ride", according to the New York Post. "It's the first time I've heard of it in 24 years with American," said Sam Mayer, a pilot for the airline.

Stella brings the stars to Paris

Stella McCartney proved she still has a loyal A-list following when she launched her spring/summer 2013 range in Paris yesterday. Joined by Victoria Pendleton, M.I.A and Kate Moss, as well as her father, Ms McCartney's designs showed why she's leads the fashion pack. MORE

Creator of Family Guy to host Oscars

Seth MacFarlane, creator of the cartoon Family Guy, has been named as the host of the 2013 Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles in February. MacFarlane made his film directorial debut earlier this year with Ted, which took in more than $420m (£260m) at the box office. MORE