The News Matrix: Tuesday 4 March 2014


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The Independent Online

Student charged over terror offences

A 20-year-old student from Birmingham has been charged with funding terrorism overseas. Mouloud Tahari, from Ashway, Sparkhill, will appear at Westminster magistrates' court today. He is the third person charged over Syria-related terror offences.

Flights cancelled by freezing rain storm

A powerful winter storm has hit the East Coast with freezing rain, snow and Arctic cold. About 2,250 flights were cancelled, Washington's airports were shut down, and schools and local governments were closed. The storm is the latest weather system to pummel the US. MORE

'News of the World' almost shut earlier

News International considered closing News of the World due to concerns it had become a "toxic brand" months before revelations that voicemails of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been accessed, Rebekah Brooks told a court yesterday. MORE

Fawlty star Prunella 'has Alzheimer's'

Actor Timothy West has told how his wife, Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales, 81, is suffering from "a sort of mild Alzheimer's". She is best known for her role as Basil Fawlty's wife Sybil in the sitcom. Her husband, 79, talks about her condition in a More4 documentary, Grand Canal Journeys.

Reid swaps morning sofas

Susanna Reid has quit the BBC Breakfast sofa to join ITV's new rival morning show. The news came after days of speculation about the 43-year-old presenter's departure and the axing of ITV's Daybreak. Reid will be joined by former GMTV star Ben Shephard. MORE

A Papal faux pas in front of thousands

Pope Francis accidentally used some unholy language during a Papal address to thousands in St Peter's Square on Sunday. During his speech in Italian the Pope stumbled over the Italian word for "example" – caso – and instead the word that slipped out was cazzo, a swear word.

A third of people prefer Coalition

A ComRes poll for i found that 34 per cent of people believe Britain is better off with a Coalition Government than if the Conservatives or Labour had won the last election outright. Last night Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was setting up a team to prepare for negotiations with other parties in the event of a hung parliament after next year's general election. MORE

Famine expected to hit 300,000 people

More than 300,000 people face famine, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco has warned. Speaking on state radio, he said the famine, which affects the central and southern areas, was caused by drought, flooding and insect plagues. Crops were also being destroyed by elephants and hippos.

Body found in Ouse is missing student

The parents of Megan Roberts paid tribute to their daughter after police confirmed that a body found in the River Ouse was that of the student. She had been missing for more than five weeks after a night out.

Historic inn sells for £2m in Cornwall

A historic inn immortalised by an eponymous Daphne du Maurier novel has sold for more than £2m. Jamaica Inn, on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, was put on the market in January. It has been bought by businessman Allen Jackson, from Dorking, Surrey, who made an offer.

Parents fail to block baby's transfusion

A couple who tried to prevent their baby son from receiving life-saving blood transfusions because they are Jehovah's Witnesses have been overruled by a High Court judge. The boy had a complex heart disease and no "long-term prospect of survival" without cardiac 10

Arby's gets ahead with Pharrell's hat

The fast food restaurant Arby's has paid $44,100 (£26,400) for the Vivienne Westwood hat, made famous when Pharrell Williams wore it at the Grammy Awards in January. The Arby's logo uses a design similar to the brown fedora. The singer put the hat on eBay two weeks ago.

Copé hits back over corruption claims

The leader of French opposition party, Jean-François Copé, has attacked claims that he cheated the party by authorising friends to overcharge for election events. Mr Copé, 49, insists he has been the victim of a "manhunt" and "public lynching". MORE

Police 'stole' DNA to catch sex attacker

Police have used ground-breaking anti-terrorism powers to catch a violent sex attacker. Wiltshire Police recovered DNA from a café cup used by Keith Henderson at the end of a surveillance operation. The DNA linked him to a horrific assault on two teenagers in 2001. MORE

Call for continued street protests

The opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was jailed after helping to launch a nationwide protest movement against President Nicolas Maduro, urged sympathisers to maintain street protests against the government. At least 18 people have died in the demonstrations.

Travellers scammed out of £7m a year

Online tricksters are swindling at least £7 million a year from unwary travellers, according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Nearly 5,000 cases of holiday booking fraud were reported last year, with three out of 10 victims scammed for accommodation, the most lucrative travel fraud.

First artificial heart transplant man dies

The first patient fitted with an artificial heart made by the French firm Carmat has died. The 76-year-old's death was confirmed by the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris on Sunday where the transplant was performed 75 days earlier. MORE