The News Matrix: Wednesday 4 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Shooting suspect 'was teased in class'

A South Korean former student suspected of opening fire at a small Christian college in California, killing seven people and wounding three, may have been targeting a school administrator and former classmates who he felt had treated him unfairly, police said yesterday. MORE

Stress of job taking its toll on teachers

Stressed teachers are having to turn to doctors for support and taking sick leave because the pressures of the job are damaging their health. A new survey reveals that four out of 10 said they had been to the doctors over stress, while one in four were forced to take sick leave.

Guerrillas free last 10 military hostages

New hopes for an end to the 48-year-old civil conflict with the Farc were ignited in Colombia yesterday, after the Marxist guerrilla army released the last 10 of its military and police hostages and pledged to end all further civilian kidnappings for ransom. MORE

Sarah's Law reveals 160 ex-paedophiles

Dozens of sex offenders have been revealed under Sarah's Law, which allows parents to request a check on those with access to their children. Under the law – named after eight-year-old Sarah Payne, murdered in 2000 – 160 child sex offenders have been revealed in the last year. MORE

Dick Cheney doing well with new heart transplant

Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney left hospital yesterday, 10 days after undergoing a heart transplant. Mr Cheney, 71, has a history of heart disease, including five heart attacks, the first striking him at 37.

Legal decision could halt library roll-out

A national roll-out of Big Society libraries could be halted after the High Court ruled that a county council's decision to hand-over 10 libraries to volunteers was unlawful. Surrey County Council "failed to have due regard to equality issues" when it decided to remove trained librarians from 10 out of 52 libraries in order to save money and prevent closures, the judge said.

Qatar refuses to hand over Hashemi

Qatar has said it will not hand over Iraqi Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is accused by Iraq's authorities of running death squads. The case against Hashemi, a senior Sunni Arab politician in a government led by Shi'ite Muslims, risks reoopening sectarian divisions in Iraq.

Regime lays mines to prevent exodus

Bashar Assad's regime is intensifying its attempts to prevent refugees fleeing across the border to Lebanon in order to escape violence by using landmines. Meanwhile the government claims to have begun withdrawing forces from cities in accordance with UN demands. MORE

Water nuisance as hosepipe ban kicks in

Hosepipes will be turned off across the south of England from midnight tonight as a ban comes into force to help cope with drought conditions. The firms invoking the ban do not know when it will end.

Ancient laws are set for the chop

Ancient laws decreeing unusual rules, such as telling pet-owners they will be forced to give up their animals to pay off the King's debts, are to be wiped from the statute book. The Law Commission has discovered more than 800 dead laws that control bizarre practices and should be binned. MORE

Coil 999! Scottish 'boa' is a no-goer

A woman who called in animal rescue after finding what she thought was a 5ft snake in her loft was left blushing after it proved to be a novelty draught excluder. Animal welfare officers called to the house in Kingswells, near Aberdeen, spotted it was a snake-shaped draught excluder with a red felt tongue.

Bono finds what he's looking for online

U2 lead singer Bono appears to have found what he is looking for in the business world, after making an investment in the latest internet sensation Dropbox. The file-sharing service has been backed by the singer and the Edge.

Vroom with a view in New York cabs

New cabs hitting the streets of New York City next year will have more leg room, a large skylight roof to gaze at the city skyscrapers and even odour-reducing and anti-microbial fabric to help deal with passengers being sick. A prototype of the Nissan NV200, selected from among three finalists, was unveiled yesterday.

Hair attacker banned from carrying scissors

A 48-year-old man has been banned from carrying scissors in public after sneaking up on two women and cutting their hair. Darren Dixon, from Salford, was given a three-year community order and an Asbo. One of his victims was in the shampoo aisle of her local supermarket when she was attacked.

Pandacam turned off - and so are the pandas

A pandacam which allows viewers to tune in on the panda enclosures at Edinburgh Zoo has been turned off during the mating period. The pair of pandas were brought together to mate yesterday but have not yet done so. The animals, a gift from China, only have a 36-hour potential pregnancy window.

Politician calls rabbit killings on net 'cool'

A politician in Munich has been criticised after "liking" a cartoon of barbecued bunnies on Facebook. The cartoon shows the real killings of two rabbits, Hoppel and Lieselotte, killed by intruders to a nursery in 2010. Nikolaus Hoenning, who hopes to run in the city's 2014 mayoral election, left the comment "cool operation" on the site.