The News Matrix: Tuesday 4 December 2012


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The Independent Online

Cameron to miss Nobel ceremony

The Prime Minister will not attend next week's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at which the European Union will be given the coveted award. His absence is thought to be a move to placate Conservative Eurosceptics. Nick Clegg will represent Britain at the high-profile event in Oslo, which will be attended by Angela Merkel and François Hollande.

Osborne to reveal shale gas plans

The Chancellor is to unveil plans to generate up to half Britain's energy needs from gas, giving the go-ahead for the extraction of shale reserves from under large parts of the UK. Up to 30 new gas-fuelled power stations could be commissioned within the next 15 years. MORE

Council leader kills wife, then himself

A Conservative leader of North Norfolk district council is believed to have shot and killed his wife before turning the gun on himself, police said yesterday. Keith Johnson, 58, and his wife Andrea, 44, were found dead outside their bungalow near the town of Cromer. MORE

Nato to OK missile defence for Turkey

Nato is set to authorise Patriot missile defences on Turkey's border with Syria over fears that Bashar al-Assad's regime could launch chemical-weapon attacks. Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the missile system could be in place within a matter of weeks.

Growth forecasts to be downgraded

Official growth forecasts for the economy will be sharply downgraded, Treasury figures reveal. Tomorrow, as George Osborne presents his autumn statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility bulletin is expected to show that GDP will shrink by 0.1 per cent this year. MORE

Private cash needed for green energy

The Government needs to attract tens of billions of pounds of private investment in low-carbon energy to meet environmental targets. Figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance showed that spending on renewable energy has more than halved in the past three years. MORE

Price is right for the Turner Prize

Elizabeth Price won the Turner Prize last night for her "seductive and immersive" video trilogy. Price was the first video artist to win for more than a decade. She beat heavy favourite Paul Noble. MORE

Rat clubbed to death by takeaway owner

The owner of an Indian takeaway in south London astounded health inspectors by clubbing a rat to death in front of them. But Rajakumar Rajalingam's actions at the New Chutney Express in Tooting did no good, as rat after rat appeared. Mr Rajalingam was fined £20,000. MORE

Ancient hymn book could fetch $20m

Members of the Old South Church in Boston have voted to auction off a 372-year-old hymn book which could fetch up to $20m (£12.4). The church owns two of only 11 copies of the Bay Psalm Book still in existence. The book, one of the first-ever published in America, is dated to 1640. Congregants voted by a majority for its sale.

Winehouse house sold at auction

The Camden house where Amy Winehouse was found dead from alcohol poisoning last year has been sold at auction for just under £2m. The auctioneer McHugh & Co sold the semi-detached house, described as a "spacious well-planned accommodation arranged on four floors", for £1.98 million.

TV channel fined over The Simpsons

A broadcasting watchdog is fining a television channel $30,000 (£18,600) for insulting religious values. RTUK took umbrage at an episode of The Simpsons on CNBC-e which showed God taking orders from the devil. In one instance, the devil asks God to make him a coffee. Most Turks are Muslim but it is a secular republic.

‘Three Cups of Tea’ author kills himself

David Oliver Relin, author of the book Three Cups of Tea, has committed suicide at the age of 49 after a TV programme questioned whether parts of the book were fabricated. It tells of Greg Mortenson’s efforts to build schools in Afghanistan, but an investigation showed some of the schools may not have existed.

BBC will film Rowling's novel

The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling's first novel for adults, will be dramatised by the BBC. The adaptation is expected to air on BBC One in 2014. "I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television and I think the BBC is the perfect home," the author said. The number of episodes has yet to be decided.