The News Matrix: Tuesday 23 August 2011

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The Independent Online

May and IDS clash over gangs strategy

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, and the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, have run into disagreement as joint heads of David Cameron’s “gangs committee”. Mr Duncan Smith favours a tough US-style strategy but Mrs May fears this may cause new friction. MORE

Seoul’s share in joint resort is taken over

North Korea has taken control of joint assets in a key tourist area, which has stood empty for three years after the South refused to send visitors. Fourteen officials and workers from the South have been given 72 hours to leave the scenic Mount Kumgang resort. MORE

Two arrested over Hexham murder

A man and a woman were arrested on Sunday night in connection with the murder of Judith Richardson, 77. Mrs Richardson suffered a “brutal attack” in Hexham, Northumberland, and was found dead in the hallway of her home.

Damascus accuses US over sanctions

The Syrian government has accused the US of waging “a humanitarian and diplomatic war” against the country, a week after Washington imposed new sanctions. Meanwhile eyewitnesses in the port city of Latakia said government troops were still firing on protesters. MORE

GCSE results set to give boost to science

The rise in take-up of traditional science subjects seen in A-levels is set for a repeat when GCSE results are announced. More students have opted for biology, chemistry and physics as separate subjects instead of a combined qualification. MORE

£1bn worth of new Chinooks for RAF

The Ministry of Defence will buy 14 new Chinook transport helicopters for the Royal Air Force, the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, has announced. The new helicopters will cost £1bn and bring the total number of Chinooks in the RAF to 60.

Chelsea star’s father freed after kidnap

Chelsea footballer John Obi Mikel’s father was freed yesterday after a police raid in the northern Nigerian city of Kano. Mikel received a “sizeable” ransom demand last week after his father was abducted. MORE

Kidnap fears spark boom in trackers

Sales in Mexico of satellite-enabled tracking microchips which are implanted under the skin of those who live in fear of being kidnapped by violent drugs cartels have risen by 40 per cent in the past 24 months, according to one supplier. MORE

Anti-freeze in vinegar kills 11

Yet another food scandal has erupted in China. Three years after several people were executed for their role in the now infamous tainted milk scandal, in which at least eight children died, tests have shown that vinegar laced with anti-freeze was responsible for the deaths of 11 people in Xinjiang Province. MORE

Five arrested after girl’s ‘drug death’

Four men and a woman aged between 18 and 25 have been arrested on drug-related charges following the death of 16-year-old Serena Harding on Sunday night. The teenager died after a suspected drugs overdose, and was found unconscious in Stockport.

Wing walker dies after 60m fall

A stunt wing walker has died after falling about 60 metres as horrified crowds looked on at an air show in the state of Michigan. A spokesman at Selfridge Air National Guard Base said the wing walker, Todd Green, was trying to move from a biplane to a helicopter on Sunday when he fell.

Somali man jailed for life in America

A Somali man was jailed for life in the US yesterday, for his role in the hijacking of a yacht off the Horn of Africa that left four Americans dead this year. Ali Abdi Mohamed is the first of 11 men who have pleaded guilty to piracy to be sentenced.

‘Mastermind’ man’s complaint rejected

A Mastermind contestant who was called “astoundingly thick” on television after scoring only one point on his specialist subject has had his complaint rejected by media watchdog Ofcom. Simon Curtis was upset by the joke made by comedian David Walliams. MORE

‘Vampire’ attack teenager arrested

The arrest of an American man who broke into a woman’s house and tried to suck her blood at the weekend has prompted a debate about the impact of vampire books and films on youth culture. Lyle Monroe Bensley, 19, is awaiting a psychiatric evaluation in jail in Galveston, Texas.

Biden turns tiny café into dining hot spot

Chinese diners are flocking to a restaurant in Beijing whose house speciality is pig intestine in soup after the US Vice-President, Joe Biden, lunched there last week, The Global Times reported. Biden won praise for his “noodle diplomacy” by visiting the small, family-run eatery.

Nevilles’ restaurant is finally a starter

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville and his father, Neville Neville, are to open a restaurant in Swinton, Salford, after winning a planning battle. The pair’s plans were rejected by the area’s planning panel in January and 200 neighbours signed a petition against the venue.

Playwright snubs David Cameron

David Hare declined an offer from the Prime Minister to discuss the arts, according to a Radio Times interview. Hare said: “What is the point? You can see what the Tories are going to do… when prime ministers get into office they’re not interested in the arts.”

Talks ‘under way’ on man-made mountain

Engineers, construction firms and investors are discussing the creation of a 2,000-metre mountain in the flatlands of the Netherlands, the idea’s main supporter has claimed. Thijs Zonneveld said: “The idea is not new but it’s the first time it has taken seriously by so many people.”

Vogue in hot water over ‘slave’ label

Italian Vogue drew criticism yesterday after it posted an article lauding the fashionable nature of “slave earrings”. The article said: “The most classic models [of earrings] are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops.” The description was later changed to read: “Ethnic earrings”.

Marriage makes the heart beat longer

People who have had heart surgery live longer if they are happily wed, research has found. The study showed that for men, even a troubled marriage beats being single – those in unhappy marriages were 66 per cent more likely to survive 15 years after surgery than unmarried men.

Bear tempted home with ‘love and treats’

A brown bear named Made who escaped from a Latvian nature park earlier this week was persuaded to return with “love and treats”. “Since the tactic of using tranquillisers achieved no results, it was decided to use a more unconventional method,” the head of the local council said.