The News Matrix: Wednesday 8 January 2014


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The Independent Online

Make people work longer, urges report

People should work longer before they retire and the state pension should be replaced with compulsory private schemes to meet the costs of Britain's ageing population, a report recommends. The right-wing Institute of Economic Affairs also suggested cutting employment regulations aimed at protecting older employees.

Robbers kill couple and shoot daughter

A former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spear, 29, and her ex-husband Henry Berry, 49, reportedly from Ireland, have been shot dead in front of their five-year-old daughter in a robbery. The girl was shot in the leg. MORE

Princess Cristina suspect in fraud

A court has ordered the daughter of King Juan Carlos to appear before it as a suspect in a money-laundering investigation. A magistrate summonsed Princess Cristina to appear on 8 March for questioning over allegations her husband embezzled millions of euros. MORE

Trapped rescue ship breaks free of ice

A Chinese icebreaker that became trapped after trying to rescue a Russian research ship stuck in heavy sea ice broke free yesterday, according to state media. Helicopters from the Xue Long rescued 52 of those on board the Akademik Shokalskiy – which is also said to be making its way out of the ice.

Mogul calls for cull of talent shows

Music mogul Simon Fuller, who turned Pop Idol into the world's most valuable television format, says too many copycat shows are killing the talent show genre. In a rare Radio 2 interview, Fuller said that the marketplace has become too "cluttered". MORE

Delay eligibility for welfare, PM is told

David Cameron has been urged to extend the Government's three-month ban on migrants claiming state benefits when they arrive in Britain. London Mayor Boris Johnson has suggested a two-year wait, while Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, called for a five-year ban on all permanent immigration. MORE

Comedian banned just before first show

French mayors, including those in Marseille, Bordeaux and Tours have banned shows by comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala. He has been accused of threatening public order with anti-Semitic jibes. The local authority in Nantes has barred the opening date tomorrow. MORE

Cocaine sent to supermarkets

Boxes filled with bananas and cocaine, said to be worth around six million euros (£5m), were delivered to five supermarkets in Berlin in what police called a "logistical error" by drug smugglers yesterday. Staff at the Aldi-Nord stores discovered the boxes, believed to have come from Colombia, just before they went on sale.

Ban lifted on foreign game consoles

Gaming consoles can be sold in China again after the country's State Council announced that it had temporarily lifted a 14-year ban. So long as the consoles are produced within Shanghai's free-trade zone, and are inspected by the authorities, foreign companies, such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, can now sell them.

Alarming increase in racist bullying

Childline has seen the number of children reporting racist incidents to the charity increase by two-thirds in the past year, while contacts from suicidal young people surged by a third. The 24-hour service also saw an 87 per cent increase in the number of calls about online bullying. MORE

Dinosaur bone find in Saudi Arabia

Dinosaur bones have been identified in Saudi Arabia for the first time, highlighting how widespread the creatures once were. Scientists unearthed 72 million-year-old fossils in the north-west of the Kingdom along the Red Sea coast, including tail bones from a giant plant-eating "titanosaur".

London artist killed in armed robbery

A London artist has been shot dead in South Africa while fending off armed robbers who burst into his first wedding anniversary party. Clinton de Menezes – who relocated to Kenya last summer – was shot in the chest as he fought to fend off the gunmen on New Year's eve.

Hundreds stranded after airport closed

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded as flights were cancelled due to a security alert. There was disruption at Edinburgh Airport for more than three hours when staff found a "potentially suspicious bag" in the security check area. Police concluded that there was no threat.