The News Matrix: Wednesday 31 October 2012


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The Independent Online

Kingdom bans all protest meetings

The Sunni-ruled kingdom banned all protests and gatherings on what it claimed were public safety grounds following more than a year of clashes involving anti-government Shia demonstrators. MORE

Breed falls victim to handbag fashion

The Old English Sheepdog, a breed synonymous with Albion and Dulux paint, is being hit by the popularity of "handbag" breeds such as Chihuahuas. The Kennel Club says just 316 purebred Old English puppies have been registered this year.

Should one tweet a wedding invitation?

The leading authority on etiquette, taste and style has produced a guide to proper online behaviour. Netiquette is a definitive guide to digital dilemmas and how to deal with them by Debrett's. The book works through the potential minefield of communicating in the 21st-century world of fast-moving technology.

Fugitive flamingo has zoo in a flap

Zoo officials are desperately trying to capture an escaped flamingo before in migrates for the winter or dies from exposure in the cold weather on the northern island of Hokkaido. Experts have tried to net the bird – which fled from Asahiyama Zoo – on the lake it has made its home, using captive flamingos as bait.

School turns old jet into kindergarten

A school in the city of Rustavi has got its pupils' early education off the ground – by transforming an aeroplane into a kindergarten. It bought a fully-functional Yakovlev Yak-42 from Georgian Airways and filled it with educational equipment – but left the cockpit intact so the children can play at being pilots.

Not-so-busy bees as honey output slumps

The summer's rain and cold weather resulted in honey yields from hives falling by almost three-quarters. The average crop per hive was down 72 per cent compared to 2011, with just 8lb of honey produced compared to an annual average of 30lb, the annual honey survey by the British Beekeepers Association revealed.

Iran sends warships in show of support

Iranian warships arrived in Port Sudan yesterday in a show of solidarity between Tehran and Khartoum. The move comes a week after the Sudanese government accused Israel of attacking an arms factory in Khartoum, a charge the Israelis have refused to comment on. MORE

Cuts force sale of New Scotland Yard

New Scotland Yard is to be sold as the Metropolitan Police tries to find cuts of more than £500m. The force hopes to save about £6.5m per year by moving to a smaller base. The headquarters have been in Victoria Street, central London, since 1967. MORE

Protesters demand release of activists

Several hundred demonstrators rallied peacefully in Moscow yesterday to press for the release of opposition activists. Participants demanded that authorities free more than a dozen people who are in jail on charges relating to a May protest that turned violent.

Liberalise drug laws, says Lord Turner

Drugs laws should be liberalised to avoid criminalising whole societies, a contender for the position of Governor of the Bank of England has said. Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, was reiterating comments made in a 2003 lecture but insisted it was a personal view.

Director says he has more stars' names

Two unnamed celebrities have been implicated in sexual abuse allegations which have emerged as part of the Jimmy Savile scandal. Mark Williams-Thomas, the director of ITV documentary which tore the lid off the Savile scandal, said he had been told of two other well-known names who might be involved.