The News Matrix: Wednesday 13 March 2013


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The Independent Online

Cameron U-turn over drink pricing

Plans to ban cheap beers and spirits by imposing a minimum price on units of alcohol are set to be shelved by David Cameron following a Cabinet row over the moves. The Prime Minister and Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, support a minimum price of 45p per unit, but the moves have been opposed by the Home Secretary, Theresa May. MORE

Ahmadinejad's hug for Mrs Chavez a sin

Senior Iranian clerics have scolded President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for consoling Hugo Chavez's mother with a hug – a physical contact considered a sin under Iran's strict Islamic codes. The rebuke follows a widely published photo showing Ahmadinejad embracing Chavez's mother at his funeral.

£40m plan to save Jessica's stadium

The site of the doomed Don Valley stadium in Sheffield, where Olympic champion Jessica Ennis began her career, could be transformed into a new £40m sport, technology and education facility.  MORE

Alcohol ban mulled for duty free shops

Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry is considering a ban on the sale of alcohol in airport duty-free stores after it received complaints that it goes against the country's Islamic principles, ministry officials said yesterday. Duty Free officials said the ministry has been reviewing the policy for about four months.

Unemployed man sets himself on fire

A unemployed young man set himself on fire in Tunis yesterday in a gesture recalling the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, whose death ignited a revolt in Tunisia that echoed across the Arab world. The man was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Sorry, who did you say you were?

She may be the Queen's granddaughter, but it seems that Zara Phillips isn't a household name quite yet. The decorated equestrian looked flustered yesterday after a security guard at the Cheltenham Festival appeared to prevent her entering the enclosure. She was eventually allowed in to enjoy the day's events.

Tesco's meatloaf was up to 5% horse

Tesco has withdrawn its own brand Simply Roast Meatloaf after tests revealed it contained between 2 and 5 per cent horse meat. The supermarket apologised, and admitted that 600g packs of the meatloaf made between October and January at Eurostock in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, had been pulled.

Huhne may become 'green champion'

Chris Huhne, the disgraced former Cabinet minister, is considering devoting himself to championing green issues on his release from prison. Huhne and his former wife, Vicky Pryce, were both sentenced to eight months in prison on Monday for perverting the course of justice. MORE

Bang goes his chance of a new library card

A man has returned a library book 69 years late, blaming war-time bomb damage to the library for the delay. The book was checked out on 7 March 1944, while Estonia was occupied by Nazi Germany. A man in his mid-80s brought it to the country's central library, with an apology and an offer to pay a late fee.

Mantel could make it a literary hat-trick

Hilary Mantel could become the first author to win all three major literary prizes in one year. The Bring Up The Bodies author, already a Costa and Booker winner, has made the longlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction, form-erly the Orange Prize. Standing in her way is Gillian Flynn, the US novelist with her thriller Gone Girl. MORE

'Sick leave' shark wrestler sacked

A British charity worker hailed as a hero after grappling with a shark in Australia has been sacked because he was on sick leave at the time. Paul Marshallsea, 62, from Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, lost his job with a children's charity because he had been signed off with work-related stress since last April. MORE

£150m 'sports aid for primary schools'

The Department for Education is set to commit up to £150m to help primary schools improve the quality of their sports provision, the BBC claimed last night. The Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board and Lawn Tennis Association are being briefed.

Winnie Mandela may face murder inquiry

Police have opened a murder inquiry after forensic scientists dug up two bodies believed to belong to young activists. They were last seen 24 years ago at the home of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who is still seen by many as "the mother of the nation" but by others as a vengeful force. MORE