The News Matrix: Wednesday 28 November 2012


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The Independent Online

Arafat's body is exhumed for tests

Grave-diggers have hacked through the several metres of concrete protecting Yasser Arafat's body to obtain bone samples that could reveal whether he was poisoned. Many Palestinians believe their former President was assassinated by Israel, which it denies. Mr Arafat died eight years ago at the age of 75 and his wife refused to allow an autopsy. MORE

Back-to-work scheme a 'miserable failure'

The Government's flagship Work Programme has been declared a "miserable failure" after it was revealed that just 3.5 per cent of those taking part had found employment. The Department for Work and Pensions predicted that without the scheme's existence, 5 per cent would have found work. MORE

Russian supergrass dies suddenly

A supergrass who was helping prosecutors uncover a multi-million pound money-laundering scheme used by corrupt Russian officials has died. Alexander Perepilichnyy is the fourth person linked to the scandal who has died suddenly. Surrey Police said a post-mortem examination proved "inconclusive". MORE

'We're not all in it together,' says public

The public does not feel the Chancellor's mantra of "we are all in it together" rings true, says a ComRes survey for i. By a margin of 2-1, people say the burden of the Government's spending cuts is not been shared equally. George Osborne is expected to announce higher taxes on expensive homes to balance more cuts in welfare. MORE

Leveson prepares to deliver press verdict

Lord Justice Leveson will deliver his verdict on how the newspaper industry should function tomorrow, landing David Cameron with a dilemma on how the press should be regulated by the law. The Leveson Inquiry was sparked by illegal phone hacking by journalists at the now defunct News of the World.

Huge public protest in Square at Morsi

More than 100,000 people flocked to Cairo's Tahrir Square yesterday to protest Eqyptian president Mohamed Morsi's decree to grant himself almost limitless powers. The elected Muslim President no longer requires the court to review his decisions, prompting widespread anger. MORE

Gormey wants Gove locked up in steel

Angel of the North sculptor Antony Gormley has said Education Secretary Michael Gove should be locked in his monumental new steel artwork for failing to make art compulsory as part of his GCSE overhaul.

Nearly one in three schools 'failing'

More than two million children are in schools that fail to provide a good standard of education, chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned. Around 30 per cent of schools are failing to provide pupils with a strong education, but the regional variation is considerable. MORE

Abortion ban to be reformed next year

The government is to reform the ban on abortion in the new year. The Health Minister James Reilly said a decision on whether to bring in legislation will be made by the end of the month. There was controversy when a dentist died after a miscarriage despite requesting a termination.

Olympic companies used jobs blacklist

Sir Robert McAlpine and Balfour Beatty both used a secret industry "blacklist" to screen out potentially troublesome left-wing workers for contracts they had for Olympic projects, Ian Kerr, the man who ran the vetting blacklist, told MPs yesterday.

Naked activists storm Speaker's office

Seven Aids activists, saying they wanted to highlight the "naked truth" about potential spending cuts in HIV programmes, were arrested yesterday after taking their clothes off in the lobby of House Speaker John Boehner's office. They said people with Aids were "under attack".

Suicide bomber 'was only pretending'

The alleged ringleader in a suicide bomb plot was only pretending to prepare an attack, Woolwich Crown Crown heard yesterday. Irfan Naseer, 31, said he was only "bragging" on police recordings. Nasser said he was reacting to local suspicions he was an agent for the Pakistani secret service.

Paralympics sets record for viewers

The London 2012 Paralympics were a global television ratings winner, figures show. New International Paralympic Committee (IPC) data reveals that viewers based outside the UK who tuned in to watch the Games totalled 3.4 billion, a 37 per cent increase on Beijing's Paralympics in 2008.

'Santa-sans' trained to deliver goods

A Santa Claus Academy in Japan took in 88 apprentice Father Christmases this weekend to give them lessons in how to behave as "Santa-san". "There are many children who don't believe in Santa Claus anymore," said Masaki Azuma, head of the school, who decided a revival was needed.

Cossacks start patrol of Moscow streets

They were renowned for their tough approach to justice in tsarist Russia, but now the Cossacks have been called upon to deal with Moscow's petty crime. Eight Cossacks patrolled a train station yesterday as the paramilitary squads attempt to appease nationalists.

Casablanca piano to sell for $1.2m

The piano used for the song "As Time Goes By" in the 1942 film Casablanca could fetch up to $1.2m (£750,000) when it goes up for auction at Sotheby's in New York on 14 December. A Japanese collector bought the piano for $154,000 in 1988. The film is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Globe to stage plays whatever the climate

Shakespeare's Globe has announced a new indoor venue to allow audiences to see plays all year round. The audience will watch candlelit performances in the central London venue, which will be built, from 17th-century plans, next to the existing Globe by the river Thames.

Zuma £14m home ad not shown on SABC

An advert featuring a cartoon version of President Jacob Zuma eating fish and chips was rejected by South Africa's national broadcaster. The advert shows Mr Zuma in a mansion which has had $23,000,000 (£14m) in state-funded renovations. SABC declined to show the clip, due to air on Monday.

Bog-standard theme park opens to public

The world's first toilet theme park has opened. Among the exhibits are traditional squat toilets, bedpans and Marcel Duchamp's Fountain sculpture. The park is an hour outside of Seoul near to the headquarters of Samsung, and centres on a toilet-shaped museum building.

Students battle for place in grand final

The results from the qualifying round of the first iQuiz – the quiz for university students – will be announced in tomorrow's i. Teams of students from 18 universities across the country took part in the opening round last night, all competing to win a 14-day trek across America.