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The News Matrix: Wednesday 20 March 2013

Budget minister quits amid fraud inquiry

The Budget minister quit yesterday after becoming embroiled in a tax fraud and money-laundering scandal. The President's office said Jérôme Cahuzac had asked to be removed from his post. Earlier, Paris prosecutors launched a judicial inquiry into the alleged laundering of money gained through tax fraud.

Stone had no idea about murder plot

Singer Joss Stone knew nothing of the alleged plot to decapitate her, she told Exeter Crown Court yesterday. Kevin Liverpool, 35, and Junior Bradshaw, 32, deny conspiracy to rob and murder her. MORE

Bank chief fired for suing old employer

A former bank director was fired from her £150,000-a-year job after her boss found out she was suing her former employer for discrimination. Latifa Bouabdillah moved to Commerzbank AG but kept her claim secret. When her new bosses found out, she claims she was compared to a "shoplifter" and fired.

Woman jumps from window fearing rape

A British woman was injured after jumping from an Indian hotel balcony to escape what she feared would be sex assault. The 32-year-old fled when the hotel owner allegedly offered her "a free body massage" and tried to force his way into the room. He has been arrested. MORE

Opposition chooses new prime minister

Syrian opposition leaders chose Western-educated technocrat Ghassan Hitto as provisional prime minister in what they hope will be the first step to fill a power vacuum arising from the two-year revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. MORE

Bombings mark US invasion anniversary

Insurgents sent a bloody message on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion, carrying out bombings across the country which killed at least 65 people. The nearly 20 attacks demonstrated how dangerously divided Iraq remains a year after US troops withdrew. MORE

Husband 'could have' started fire

The mother accused of killing her six children in a house fire has said it was "possible" her husband started the blaze. Mairead Philpott denied she was responsible for the incident and claimed she did not know why there was petrol on her clothes or in a sink at her home in Derby. MORE

Senate drops ban on assault weapons

A ban on assault weapons, the most controversial part of the gun control measures proposed by President Barack Obama following the Sandy Hook school shooting that left 28 dead, has been dropped by the Senate, it was announced last night. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the bill simply did not have enough support within the chamber to succeed.

A walk on the wild side

A tightrope walker plans to cross the Grand Canyon on a wire 1,500ft in the air – without a harness. Nik Wallenda, 34, said he would traverse a remote section of the canyon owned by the Navajo Nation on live TV in June. Last year, he became the only person to wire-walk over the brink of Niagara Falls.

Daisy gets namesake after finding fossil

A species of flying dinosaur dating from 115 million years ago has been named Vectidraco daisymorrisae after Daisy Morris, a nine-year-old who found its first fossil. She found the relic at Atherfield beach on the Isle of Wight in 2009 and took it to local dinosaur expert Martin Simpson, who has confirmed its status.

Burglar comes clean three decades later

A burglar expressing guilt about stealing $800 (£530) from a western Michigan store three decades ago has repaid the money, plus some interest. The anonymous thief sent a note and $1,200 in $100 bills to the Barry County sheriff's department in Hastings, admitting he broke into the Middle Mart in Thornapple Township.

World No 1 is the 'Bieber of chess'

A 23-year-old Norwegian dubbed the "Justin Bieber of chess" is competing in London. Magnus Carlsen, ranked world No 1 for four years, is playing a tournament at the Institution of Engineering and Technology that will determine who faces reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand, of India, in November. MORE

PSY's worries over title that may offend

Global pop star PSY says he will change the title and lyrics of his potential "Gangnam Style" follow-up over worries it could offend Arabs. The title can be written as "Assarabia" or "Assaravia" in English. It's slang used by South Koreans to express thrills and there are fears that Arabs might misinterpret it.

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