The News Matrix: Wednesday 20 April 2011

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The Independent Online

Islamist group bids to protest at Abbey

Police have pledged to stop Muslim extremists turning the royal wedding into a “nightmare” after one radical group, Muslims Against Crusades, applied for permission to demonstrate outside Westminster Abbey on 29 April.

Arsonist strikes at Gaudi masterpiece

About 1,500 people were evacuated from Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona yesterday after an arsonist started a small fire inside. The church attracts more than 2 million visitors a year.

Police release CCTV footage of Britons

Detectives investigating the Florida murders of Britons James Cooper and James Kouzaris have released CCTV footage of their final hours. The men can be seen in a bar, drinking and talking. MORE

Hundreds killed in post-election riots

Hundreds of people are feared dead after supporters of losing presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari went on the rampage. Soldiers patrolled the streets and cities were under curfew last night.

Britain saw oil as ‘vital’ to its needs

The British Government saw Iraqi oil as “vital” to the UK’s long-term energy security, and the effective privatisation of its oil industry was central to the post-invasion plan for the country, according to previously unseen Whitehall documents. MORE

Postmistress killer gets life sentence

A shopkeeper who bludgeoned his wife to death then blamed a robber has been jailed after a jury rejected his story. Robin Garbutt knew Diana had been unfaithful and feared his theft of thousands of pounds was about to be discovered. MORE

Assad lifts 48-year state of emergency

President Bashar al-Assad yesterday bowed to the most serious and sustained challenge to his authoritarian rule and agreed to lift the 48-year state of emergency. The concession – a key demand of those protesting Assad’s 11-year rule – failed to placate opposition leaders who described it as a sham designed to mask a continued brutal crackdown. MORE

No charges for riot policewoman

A Tunisian court dropped charges against a policewoman whose row with a fruit vendor sparked a chain of uprisings around the Arab world. Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight after the officer slapped him and his wares were confiscated. MORE

Apple sues rival Samsung for copying

Apple is suing rival company Samsung over what it claims is the “slavish copying” of some of its products. The manufacturer says Samsung’s Galaxy range bears too close a resemblance to its own goods.

Radioactive water pumped from plant

The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant began pumping highly-radioactive water out of the basement of one of its buildings yesterday, in a crucial step towards easing the nuclear crisis. MORE

Big Issue sellers to become bloggers

Homeless people selling The Big Issue are to be equipped with smartphones to produce digital content for the magazine. John Bird, who founded the publication, said he wanted the sellers to become “news gatherers” by blogging, tweeting and taking photos.

Six hurt in circus gunfight

A shootout between two circus families competing over tent space left six people injured. Police said the disagreement came to a head and the families fired guns, used knives and attacked each other with batons in the Bavarian city of Regensburg.

Air controller piped film track to aircraft

An air traffic controller has been suspended for watching a film on duty and accidentally transmitting the Samuel L. Jackson thriller Cleaner to planes in airspace he was monitoring. His microphone was activated, transmitting the soundtrack for more than three minutes.

Bainbridge finally wins Booker Prize

Dame Beryl Bainbridge, a five-time loser of the Man Booker Prize, was finally recognised last night almost a year after her death. After a public vote, a special prize called the Man Booker Best of Beryl was posthumously awarded to the author.

TV’s Doctor Who actress dies aged 63

Doctor Who actress Elisabeth Sladen has died at the age of 63. She joined the BBC television series in 1973 as the Doctor’s assistant, Sarah Jane Smith, before going on to star in the spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures.