The News Matrix: Wednesday 27 March 2013


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The Independent Online

Dragon's Den presenter advises on 'coming out'

The BBC broadcaster Evan Davis has revealed that he was "tortured" by the discovery that he was homosexual and advised young people to adopt a "casual" approach if they choose to "come out" as gay, in an interview with the website R U Coming Out.

Opposition leader talks to Arab League

The Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib urged Arab rulers to free political prisoners and join Syrians in breaking "a link of repression", departing from the anodyne rhetoric common at Arab summits. Taking Syria's seat at the Arab League gathering in Qatar for the first time, Mr Khatib pulled no punches. MORE

Firms may be forced to up storage levels

Ministers may amend the Energy Bill to allay fears over gas rationing. Firms could be forced to hold a minimum level of gas storage to prevent a repeat of recent supply scares. The UK has a lower storage capacity than other countries due to its previous reliance on the North Sea's supply. MORE

Court reluctant to rule on gay marriage

US Supreme Court justices have signalled reluctance to rule broadly on the right to marriage for gays and lesbians. As demonstrators massed outside, the court completed an hour and 20 minutes of oral argument on whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage. MORE

North Korea repeats threats against US

North Korea repeated threats yesterday to target US military bases as Washington and its allies tightened economic sanctions against the isolated country by targeting Pyongyang's main foreign exchange bank. The US condemned North Korea's rhetoric. MORE

100-car pile-up on snowy motorway

Up to 100 vehicles have collided on a snow-covered stretch of an Austrian motorway, leaving one person dead and a mile-long trail of wrecks. The accident happened 40 miles west of Vienna and crews from six fire departments are at the scene. Several people were injured in the pile-up.

New scheme will not solve shortages

George Osborne's plans to boost home ownership could raise house prices in the short term without tackling housing shortages, the Office for Budgetary Responsibility has warned. Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the all-party Treasury Select Committee, challeneged the Chancellor on whether he was "just ploughing money back into the boom-bust property cycle". MORE

Expat drugs Baron admits guilt

A multi-millionaire who pretended to be a businessman renting out deckchairs in Spain has admitted conspiring to import 60 tonnes of cocaine and cannabis into the UK. Philip Baron, 57, was the kingpin of a network that smuggled in drugs worth £350m. His conviction follows a five-year investigation. MORE

Telegraph to start charging for website

Visitors to the Daily Telegraph's website will no longer have unlimited free access to articles. The newspaper announced that it will operate a metered paywall, allowing just 20 free articles per month. Full access will cost £1.99 per month. The Sun also announced last night that it would be charging for its website.

TV talent show is game for a Taff

A Welsh singer has become a star in China after singing the praises of Communism on a talent show. Iain Inglis, 30, dressed in an army uniform, below, to appear on China's Got Talent. The university lecturer has accused the Chinese authorities of censorship after he was prevented from taking part in the final.

Case against Phil the groundhog dropped

An Ohio prosecutor who filed a tongue-in-cheek indictment against the famous Pennsylvania groundhog over his "prediction" of an early spring dropped the charge yesterday. Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said Punxsutawney Phil has a "defence with teeth in it" since the animal's handler is taking the blame.

Bones dug up in search for Alfred

Centuries of debate over where King Alfred the Great is buried could soon be over after archaeologists exhumed bones from a graveyard. St Bartholomew's Church in Winchester ordered the exhumation when the discovery of Richard III's remains intensified speculation King Alfred could be buried in their graveyard.

Director donates deepsea explorer

Film director James Cameron is donating the Deepsea Challenger craft he used to make a record-setting solo dive a year ago to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Cape Cod, to speed research into the deepest parts of the world's oceans and bring the technology he developed for the craft into the mainstream.