The News Matrix: Tuesday 29 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Briton on £1.6m drug smuggling charges

A British housewife could face the death penalty after she was arrested under suspicion of smuggling cocaine worth £1.6m into Bali. Lindsay Sandiford, 55, is accused of carrying almost 4.8kg of the drugs sewn into her suitcase. Initial reports suggested her children had been threatened. MORE

Man hangs himself over son's death

The father of a man killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown has hanged himself in protest after two decades of failed attempts to seek government redress. The Tiananmen Mothers group said 73-year-old Ya Weilin's body was found in a parking garage in Beijing. MORE

Shopping mall fire kills 19 foreigners

At least 19 foreigners, including 13 children, were killed in a fire that ripped through an upscale shopping mall in Qatar yesterday. Four of the dead children were Spanish. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze at the Villagio Mall in Doha's west end.

Jail for couple who kept son in coalhouse

A couple who locked their 11-year old son in a freezing, filthy coal bunker have been jailed for two years. The boy was starved and forced to use a potty while living and sleeping in the room, described as a "cell from a third world country". MORE

Controversial candidates in runoff

The runoff vote for president will pit the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate against the last Prime Minister to serve under Hosni Mubarak. The Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq were the top two finishers.

Teachers' unions make strike threat

The two biggest teachers' unions have threatened co-ordinated strikes to fight the Government's "attacks" on the profession. The National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT want an agreement reached before the start of the next academic year to avert industrial action.

Police to question Bieber over scuffle

Justin Bieber is wanted for questioning by police in Los Angeles after a photographer trying to take pictures at a shopping centre of the star and his girlfriend, Selena Gomez, complained of being roughed up.

Wild buzzard risk to safeguard shooting

The wildlife minister has sanctioned plans to destroy wild buzzard nests in order to protect pheasant shoots. The research was requested by six estates in Northumberland who complained the protected birds took too many of their pheasants. MORE

Commissioner to study Warsi claims

The Lords' sleaze watchdog is investigating Baroness Warsi's expenses after she asked him to examine allegations she claimed for accommodation while staying rent-free overnight at a friend's house in Acton, west London. The Tory co-chairman says the payments were within regulations but has asked the Lords Commissioner for Standards to scrutinise. MORE

Nuclear lobby blamed for disaster

Japan's former prime minister has said his office was "overwhelmed" during last year's Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and advised that all its reactors be scrapped to avoid a repeat. But in remarkable testimony yesterday, Naoto Kan laid most blame for the disaster with the nuclear lobby. MORE

Woman arrested over money laundering

A woman has been arrested by detectives investigating the phone-hacking scandal. The 42-year-old suspect was detained on suspicion of money-laundering and questioned by officers at a south-west London police station, before being released on bail.

Jailed activist to end hunger strike

The jailed Bahraini activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja yesterday planned to end a hunger strike that has lasted more than three months because he had succeeded in drawing attention to the issue of imprisoned activists, his lawyer said. MORE

Golden Gate Bridge celebrates 75 years

San Francisco's most celebrated landmark turned 75 at the weekend with pomp, pageantry, and fireworks. Hundreds of thousands of revellers crammed the city's waterfront on Sunday night to pay homage to the Golden Gate Bridge, which opened to the public on 27 May, 1937.

A Big, Fat complaint about 'racist' posters

A billboard campaign for Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Weddings will be investigated by the advertising watchdog after complaints of racism. The Advertising Standards Authority had initially decided not to probe the campaign, which printed the words "Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier" over pictures of children.

Judicial hearing into protests begins

Police showed an "impermissibly low level of tolerance for protest" ahead of last year's royal wedding which amounted to suppressing anti-monarchy sentiment, the High Court was told yesterday. Activists' lawyers made the accusation at hearing into the handling of the protest.

Elvis Presley's grave up for sale

Elvis Presley's original crypt is to be sold to the highest bidder. The tomb is located at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis. Presley was interred there alongside his mother, Gladys, after he died in 1977.

Patients misled about NHS care

Dentists may be deliberately misleading their patients about their NHS entitlements to prompt them to pay for private care, a watchdog has said. Half a million patients a year may have unnecessarily paid after receiving inaccurate information, an Office of Fair Trading study found.

Surprise cameo in police documentary

Social media sites and blogs have lit up after eagle-eyed viewers spotted a surprise cameo in a Chinese TV documentary about the country's police force: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. The pair were seen walking behind two officers for a few seconds.

Mandela moves to his home village

The former South African President Nelson Mandela is to take up residence in his eastern home village of Qunu, President Jacob Zuma said yesterday. He said Mr Mandela was "in good health" and constantly assured "of the love, support and good wishes of millions of South Africans".

'I was broke,' admits Sgt Pepper artist

Pop art pioneer Sir Peter Blake, famous for his Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, has revealed that his financial troubles got so bad five years ago that he was visited by bailiffs. Sir Peter, 79, told the Radio Times: " I was totally broke. I had no cash and no way to earn it."