The News Matrix: Tuesday 28 February 2012


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The Independent Online

Biofuel station fire now under control

A severe fire which broke out at a biofuel power station less than a year after it opened is under control but could remain a concern for some time to come. The blaze at the Tilbury Power Station in Essex led to 120 firefighters attending, after 4,000 tonnes of wood pellets caught light.

Mitt Romney may alienate Hispanics

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected to win tonight's vote in Arizona, but some within the party are concerned that the candidate's attempt to appeal to right-wing Tea Party activists with a tough stance on immigration will alienate Hispanics. MORE

Reform claims but onslaught goes on

Syria's interior ministry announced yesterday that 89.4 per cent of voters had approved a new constitution that would limit the presidency of Bashar al-Assad and impose multi-party elections. But as the results were being announced, there was a fresh onslaught against Homs. MORE

Public want to tax the rich in Budget

George Osborne is facing demands to increase taxes on the rich in the Budget to remove low-paid workers from taxation, according to an opinion poll for i. The survey shows 60 per cent of the public back the idea, which Nick Clegg has adopted as a key Liberal Democrat policy. MORE

Routemaster has teething problems

The new Routemaster faced several problems in completing its first journey in London yesterday, with the greener replacement for the old model suffering delays, a stoppage and a "software malfunction".

Greece's €130bn bailout approved

The German parliament approved Greece's €130bn (£110bn) bailout package yesterday after Chancellor Angela Merkel warned lawmakers it would be irresponsible to abandon the country to bankruptcy. The idea of bailing out Greece has remained unpopular in Germany, but the package was expected to be easily approved and passed with a vote of 496-90 with five abstentions.

Doubts are cast over Putin 'death plot'

Authorities in Russia and Ukraine have uncovered a plot to assassinate Vladamir Putin by planting mines on the route he uses to travel to work. However, timed just days before the presidential elections, some say the timing of the announcement raises questions of its veracity. MORE

Ships turned away in Falklands row

Two passenger ships carrying nearly 3,000 passengers were turned away from an Argentinian port yesterday, apparently because of British links. The Star Princess, carrying 2,580 passengers, and the Adonia, with 710 passengers, sailed by P&O Cruises, were refused entry.

Suicide bomber kills nine at Nato airbase

Afghanistan suffered fresh violence yesterday for the seventh consecutive day since it emerged that US troops burned copies of the Koran at one of their bases. Nine people were killed as a suicide bomber rammed his car into the gates of a Nato airbase and airport at Jalalabad.

Taking sleeping pills increases death risk

People who use sleeping pills are four times more likely to die prematurely according to research by the British Medical Journal Open. The risk increased with how many tablets were consumed, with as few as 18 a year tripling the death rate.

Woman guilty of GBH charge on schoolboy

A woman was convicted of conspiring to cause grevious bodily harm to a schoolboy who was stabbed to death at Victoria rail station, London. Victoria Osoteku was remanded in custody with the jury to resume deliberations on a separate murder charge today.

Micro-apartments all the rage in Rome

Rome's landlords are responding to price of real estate and rents in the capital by flooding the market with "micro-apartments". Tiny flats with just 4sq m of floor space are appearing on the market as young professionals find it difficult to afford to rent one-bed apartments.

Dogs' snow-walking secret 'revealed'

A Japanese scientist has the answer to a question that may have been puzzling you – how dogs walk bare-pawed in the snow. The secret lies in how dogs circulate their blood to prevent cold surfaces from chilling the rest of their bodies, claims Hiroyoshi Ninomiya, at Yamazaki Gakuen University.

Couple's 'artifacts' bought in bazaar

Egyptian authorities were embarrassed after they arrested a British couple suspected of attempting to smuggle priceless ancient artifacts, including pharaonic statues, out of the country, only for it to turn out that they were cheap replicas bought at a tourist market.

Lack of older women on screen 'just a fact'

The BBC presenter Kate Humble has said she would not bemoan her TV career ending when she reached a certain age, as the lack of older women on the small screen is "just a fact". She told the Radio Times the "reality" was that there would come a time when TV might not want her.

Mumbling pilot causes mid-air panic

Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight from Baltimore to Long Island panicked after the pilot announced a birthday greeting for a "Mom on board". Many misheard and thought he had said there was a "bomb on board". Several passengers have complained.

Higson wants super 'Fast' internet set-up

Fast Show star Charlie Higson is attempting to set up an online comedy channel with friends Paul Whitehouse, Harry Enfield and Steve Coogan. The actor said the internet was the "future" for TV and that he was keen to make an early move into the technology with his friends.

First Chinese man wins coveted prize

Architect Wang Shu, known for his striking, environmentally sustainable work has won the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize, the first Chinese national to do so. He will collect the £63,000 in prize money at a ceremony in May. Past winners include Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Tadao Ando.