The News Matrix: Wednesday 27 November 2013


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The Independent Online

Israeli ambassador looks to new allies

Israel’s ambassador to the UK has told i that new alliances could be forged in the Middle East between the Jewish state and former antagonists in a bid to counter the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Daniel Taub criticised the historic deal struck between Western powers and Iran, which lightened sanctions in exchange for nuclear restrictions. MORE

CIA recruited agents from Guantanamo

The CIA recruited a number of Guantanamo Bay detainees between 2002-2006 as double agents, sending back the former prisoners to their homelands to infiltrate al-Qa’ida. The US lost contact with some of the agents, who vanished when they returned home. MORE

Berlusconi’s party breaks up coalition

Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right party has said it will vote against the 2014 budget, confirming its break with the ruling coalition a day before the Senate moves to expel the media tycoon over a tax conviction. Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government has called for a vote of confidence.

Goldman Sachs got rid of £25m in shares

An analysis of Royal Mail’s official share register has found Goldman Sachs – whose pricing advice saw taxpayers lose more than £1bn when the company floated on the stock market last month – off-loaded 4.5 million shares worth at least £25m, at the top of the market. MORE

Lee Rigby killing trial begins

The trial of two men accused of murdering Lee Rigby is expected to open on Friday. Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, will stand trial at the Old Bailey following the conclusion of legal submissions. They are charged with murdering the Fusilier on 22 May.

Fake death fraudster may return to jail

John Darwin, the canoeist who faked his own death to cash in on life insurance and pensions, faces a return to prison after being photographed in the Ukraine, in breach of his parole conditions. MORE

High salt content of drugs is a ‘stroke risk’

The high salt content of common drugs such as soluble aspirin is putting millions of Britons at risk of heart attack and stroke, according to a major study. Taking effervescent and soluble drugs such as paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen and vitamin C leads to a 22 per cent higher chance of a stroke.

Painting looted by Nazis given to gallery

A Baroque-era painting looted by the Nazis in 1944 was returned last week to its owner, who promptly announced plans to donate it to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, her former employer. The life-size figure of St Catherine of Alexandria was painted in Italy around 1615 by Bernardo Strozzi.

Burial battle goes  on – as do the puns 

The long-awaited battle over where the remains of King Richard III should be reburied ended – for the time being yesterday – with an adjournment at the Royal Courts of Justice. During the case a volley of puns related to skeletons and bare bones flew across from counsel’s row to the judges’ bench.

Fashion designers doll up for Unicef

Prada, Chanel and Christian Dior are among dozens of fashion houses taking a momentary pause from the red carpet to design a series of dolls for charity. The miniature figurines, which sport bejeweled skirt-suits and satin full skirts, will go under the hammer in Paris next month in an auction organised by Unicef.

Man, 92, asked for  ID to buy alcohol

A 92-year-old great grandfather has reportedly been refused alcohol at a Tesco store after he didn’t have any ID to prove he was over 18. Tony Ball wanted to buy two bottles of vodka in the supermarket but was told by the woman at the checkout that he would need to prove he was old enough.

Wild pigs costing states millions

Virginia in the US is battling a wild pig population explosion, causing widespread damage to crops, prompting some state game officials to shoot them from the air. Experts blame the outbreak of pigs, which cause around $1.5bn (£927m) of damage a year, on hunters who imported the animals to shoot them.