The News Matrix: Wednesday 8 May 2013


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The Independent Online

Jimmy Tarbuck faces sex abuse charge

Entertainer Jimmy Tarbuck has been arrested by police investigating an allegation of sex abuse involving a boy dating back to the late 1970s. Mr Tarbuck, 73, from Kingston-upon-Thames, was bailed by North Yorkshire Police in relation to an alleged incident involving a young boy in Harrogate four decades ago. His arrest stemmed from Operation Yewtree, established to investigate Jimmy Savile.

UN welcomes reports of missile stand-down

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed reports that North Korea has taken two missiles off launch-ready status. "If the reports about the removal of ballistic missiles from their launch pads are correct, we would welcome that as a step in the right direction," Ban's spokesman said.

Taser guns used on mentally-ill patients

Police have used Taser stun guns to incapacitate aggressive mentally-ill patients in hospitals and care homes 52 times in the past three years. The findings present a potential violation of official guidelines that Tasers should be deployed only as a last resort in psychiatric wards. MORE

US accuses China of cyber espionage

A Pentagon report has accused China's military of hacking American government computer networks in order to boost its own military strategy. Chinese authorities dismissed the accusations as "groundless" and "hype" that would harm relations between the two powers. MORE

Motorists say no to pay-as-you-go road

The UK's first pay-as-you-go motorway, the M6 Toll, is so unpopular with motorists that transport officials are considering slashing prices or re-nationalisation. 72,000 vehicles a day were forecast to use the link, but just half that number of drivers take the route today. MORE

Putin in no hurry to discuss Syria with US

Russian President Vladimir Putin kept US Secretary of State John Kerry waiting for three hours yesterday before a meeting about Syria's civil war, which has seen 70,000 people killed since March 2011. Russia has refused to consider sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. MORE

Khan fractures skull after fall from stage

Pakistani politician Imran Khan fell from a stage at a political rally yesterday, leaving the former cricket star with two hairline skull fractures. Doctors said the injuries were not life threatening. MORE

Microsoft admits failures with launch

Continuing with a track record of disappointing software launches, Microsoft's admission that it was to overhaul Windows 8 after customers found it unusable was described yesterday as the biggest admission of failure for a major product launch in 30 years. MORE

Pope Francis to visit poor in Rio slums

Pope Francis will visit the poor in a favela and meet prisoners when he travels to Brazil on his first international trip as pontiff in July. Francis, who wants to make concern for the poor a hallmark of his papacy, will visit the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro – home to 35,000 people.

Father and son jailed for 'slavery' offences

A father and son who forced destitute men into servitude were jailed yesterday. Tommy Connors, 53, was jailed for eight years and his son Patrick, 21, for five years at Luton Crown Court. The pair had been convicted last July.

Assad says he can face up to Israel

President Bashar al-Assad says Syria is capable of facing Israel. It is the first time he has commented since Israeli airstrikes – aimed at stopping Iranian missiles reaching Lebanese Hezbollah militants – hit Damascus over the weekend. MORE

Zoo has to apologise for abusing tiger

Chinese state media say a zoo has been asked to apologise after a video of a tamed tiger being abused caused public outrage. Two uniformed men are shown slapping and shaking the head of a lethargic tiger and jumping on its back at Wenling Zoo in eastern China's Zhejiang province.

Oh Lordy! Internet title declared a hoax

A back-door into the British aristocracy was officially closed yesterday when an online advert offering a "genuine Lordship or Ladyship title with land in England" for £18.95 was declared bogus. The hoax was created by and banned by the advertising watchdog ASA.

California port says plug in or ship off

In less than a year, many of the cargo ships loading and unloading goods at California ports won't just tie up at dock – they'll also plug in. In January, the state will become the first government body in the world to require container fleets to use electricity for 50 per cent of their visits.

Bollywood star vows to sneak into stadium

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan says he will wear a mask and sneak into a Mumbai stadium to wat-ch his cricket team play in the Indian Premier League. Khan was banned from the stadium for five years in 2012 "What will they do if I enter the stadium? Shoot me?" he said.

Walliams father for first time

Britain's Got Talent star David Walliams has become a father for the first time. He and his wife, Dutch fashion model Lara Stone, have yet to announce a name for their baby boy, their first child after marrying three years ago. In a recent interview, Walliams told Alan Carr that they we're "just going to go with a normal name".

University jelly fight condemned as sexist

Cambridge University students were forced to cancel their annual jelly wrestling contest after a petition of more than 1,000 signatures condemned it as "sexist". The competition, organised by an all-male drinking society, pitches bikini-clad girls against each other in a vat of jelly.

Bad habit of drug trafficking 'nuns'

Three women posing as nuns were arrested on drug trafficking charges on the Colombian island of San Andres. Police were alerted after the women appeared nervous. The chief of the island's judicial police said more than 2kg of cocaine was strapped to the legs of each woman.