Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The News Matrix: Wednesday 21 November 2012


Customers to be put on cheapest tariffs

Energy firms must switch all customers to the cheapest tariffs, the Secretary of State for Energy, has announced. Ed Davey said people have been paying more than they need to "for too long". Suppliers currently have more than 1,000 different tariffs, but they will now be forced to offer just four core tariffs for gas and electricity. MORE

Pussy Riot prisoners sack lawyers

The two jailed members of Russian punk act Pussy Riot have replaced their lawyers with Irina Khrunova, who successfully appealed the case of freed member Ekaterina Samutsevich. Ms Samutsevich claimed the other lawyers were out to profit from the band's fame, while they accused her of being a Kremlin collaborator.

Man jailed for murder of girlfriend

An 18-year-old man was jailed for at least 22 years after torturing and murdering his girlfriend. Adam Lewis tied Hannah Windsor to a tree, strangled her, sexually assaulted and stabbed her. Mr Justice Holroyde said he had caused his victim "immense suffering".

Prince William photos recalled

Behind-the-scenes photos of Prince William's daily routine as an RAF helicopter pilot were hastily removed from his website yesterday over fears they breached security. The pictures, including shots of the Duke of Cambridge resting with colleagues and training with computers, were amended and reissued following an "administrative oversight".

Israel 'holding up Gaza ceasefire'

Hopes that a truce would be reached to end a week of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip were dashed last night after a Hamas official said the Israeli government had yet to respond to proposals. There was speculation that a truce would be agreed when Egypt's President predicted airstrikes would end within hours. MORE

Man jailed for tying 'bomb' to teenager

A banker who chained a fake bomb to a Sydney teenager in an extortion bid has been jailed. Paul Peters tethered a bomb-like device and a ransom note to the neck of Madeleine Pulver, 18. He failed to convince a judge that the crime was a result of psychological breakdown. MORE

'Too much emphasis' on Asian sex rings

Society's preoccupation with Asian-led child sex rings means investigators could be ignoring other forms of exploitation, the deputy children's commissioner, Sue Berelowitz, has warned. MORE

Vending machine for the sweet-toothed

Sweet-toothed shoppers in Glasgow can get their sugar fix quicker than ever with a new ATM which dispenses cupcakes. Customers insert their payments cards in the vending machine in Glasgow's Enoch Centre and a cake is dispensed in a protective box. Flavours include Irn Bru and Malteser.

Rise in number of babies breastfeeding

One in three babies is still breastfeeding at six months, new statistics have shown. In 2010, 81 per cent of mothers initially breastfed their children at birth, compared with 25 per cent in 2005. Women aged 30 and over and those from a minority ethnic group were more likely to start breastfeeding.

Passenger completes emergency landing

A German passenger has been hailed as a hero after helping to land a plane at Dublin airport on Monday. The off-duty pilot took over the controls when the first officer on the New York-to-Frankfurt Lufthansa flight became "incapacitated" over the Atlantic. The Air Accident Investigation Unit is examining the incident.

Mendes 'working on new Bond story'

Skyfall director Sam Mendes could return to the Bond franchise, according to the spy series' screenwriters. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade revealed they are quitting the franchise, but claimed Mendes has been working on a potential storyline for the follow-up. Skyfall has taken $668m at the worldwide box office.