The News Matrix: Wednesday 26 September 2012


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The Independent Online

Concerns raised about Megan's school

Serious concerns about child protection at Megan Stammers' school had been raised even before the teenager ran away to France with her maths teacher, it emerged last night. Two other figures connected to the school have been linked to underage sex allegations in the past three years, including a supply teacher who was sentenced to seven years for grooming two pupils.

Ipswich in bid to ban strong beer and cider

Ipswich has launched a campaign to stop the sale of super-strength alcohol in what is believed to be the first initiative of its kind in the UK. Off-licence owners are being asked to remove strong beers and ciders from their stores in an effort to tackle alcohol abuse. MORE

Obama urges defence of freedom

President Barack Obama appealed to world leaders to reject attacks on US diplomatic missions in the Muslim world sparked by an anti-Islam video. Mr Obama also told the UN General Assembly the United States "will do what we must" to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. MORE

GPs should measure children's obesity

GPs should measure children's body mass index to help curb the obesity epidemic, academics say. Obese children pose the threat of a "disease burden" to the population and parents often do not recognise the problem, according to researchers at University College London.

Clegg: prosperity is a long way off

Nick Clegg will tell his Liberal Democrat critics that it is too late for the party to turn back to the comfort zone of opposition. In his closing speech, he will warn the country still faces several more years of spending cuts before it enjoys "the rewards of shared prosperity".

Virus victim now on artificial respirator

A man who contracted a potentially fatal Sars-like virus has been connected to an artificial lung to keep him alive. The 49-year-old, from Qatar, is being treated in an intensive care unit at St Thomas's hospital in London after he became infected with a new coronavirus.

Gangnam Style star's father in the money

The father of South Korean singer Psy, left – whose K-Pop song "Gangnam Style" has become a worldwide smash hit – has seen the value of his semiconductor company D I Corp surge to 113.5 billion won (£62m).

No action over body at Sandringham

No action will be taken against two men arrested after the discovery of a teenager's body on the Queen's estate. The men were arrested in connection with the death of Alisa Dmitrijeva, 17, who was found on the Sandringham estate, Norfolk, on New Year's Day.

Moves to tighten anti-religion laws

Russian lawmakers are calling for jail sentences of up to three years for anyone guilty of offending religious feelings, in a move that could further tighten the bonds between President Vladimir Putin and the resurgent Orthodox Church.

Workers to protest at long-hours culture

Workers have been urged to leave their office on time today to highlight the damage caused by the UK's long-hours culture. Charity group Working Links organised Go Home On Time Day to encourage people to think about how to balance their work and home lives. Ideas include a "ceremonial switch-off" at going-home time.

Merkel: painful reform is necessary

Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that Europe could only hope to come out of its crisis stronger and compete in a globalised world if its members pressed ahead with painful reforms. Ms Merkel made her remarks as Greece was reported to be up to €30bn off track in meeting its bailout terms. MORE

Managers aged 40 most likely to steal

Forty-year-old men employed in middle management are the most likely to steal from their company, an association of private detectives has revealed. Spokesman Johann Fesl said the people colleagues most often deal with have "the attitude that they had reached as far as they were likely to go in the company".

Warning of Dutch elm disease repeat

The UK faces a disaster along the lines of Dutch elm disease among ash trees without swift action to stop a destructive fungus spreading from Europe, conservationists have warned. The Woodland Trust is calling for a mandatory ban on the import of ash trees.

Rome's roaming python caught

Police in Rome captured one of two pythons seen slithering down a street near an exotic pet store yesterday morning. Investigators said the snakes were seen in the Torpignattara neighbourhood and were probably abandoned in front of the store before it opened.

$1.5m diamond dug up in mine

A Russian diamond mining company has unearthed a rare 158.2-carat diamond worth more than $1.5m (£920,000). Alrosa, Russia's largest diamond mining company, said the gem was at the Nyurbinsk mine in the Republic of Yakutia, north-eastern Russia.

Armani: my good looks helped me

Fashion designer Giorgio Armani has revealed his early career as a window dresser was easy – because he was so handsome. "I didn't have to work very hard. The female managers used to favour me, making things really easy for me," he said at Milan Fashion Week.

You too can have Einstein's brain

A new iPad app promises to make images of Albert Einstein's brain more accessible than ever before. The app will allow scientists and novices to peer into his brain as if looking through a microscope. Slides were made from slices of Einstein's brain after his death.

Beijing launches aircraft carrier

China formally put its first aircraft carrier into service yesterday, underscoring its ambitions to be a leading Asian naval power, although the ship is not expected to carry a full complement of planes or be ready for combat for some time.

Cut the takeaways and save £80,000

The average Briton wastes £80,000 during their lifetime on things they don't need, according to a new survey. By spending money on chocolate bars, takeaways and CDs, respondents claimed they spent £107 a month on unnecessary items, equivalent to £1,284 a year.