The Saturday Matrix: Saturday 20 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Taliban attack kills 10 at British Council

The Taliban brought terror to the streets of Kabul again yesterday with a suicide attack on the British Council compound which left at least 10 people dead. The assault was apparently timed to coincide with the 92nd anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from Britain. MORE

Malema faces ANC disciplinary hearing

The African National Congress party has charged youth leader Julius Malema with “sowing divisions” and bringing the party into disrepute. Mr Malema has called for the nationalisation of the country’s mines and the overthrow of the government in neighbouring Botswana. MORE

Drink-driver jailed for killing pedestrian

A drink-driver who struck and killed a pedestrian on a crossing while unable to see out of her icy windscreen has been jailed for two years. Ex-soldier Nicola Elgie, 27, ran over Stephen Rutter, 35, in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, in March after going through a red light.

Hunt defends plans for local TV channels

The Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt defended plans yesterday to roll out local television channels across the UK. He accused critics of cynicism and said the plans correct a “market failure” going back 50 years when the Tory government “set up ITV on a regional rather than local basis”.

Man died during sex while inhaling gas

A man died inhaling lighter fuel while having sex with his girlfriend, an inquest has heard. James Campbell, 29, had been addicted to butane, using up to eight containers a day. His partner told the Belfast inquest: “He slumped down on top of me. I could not move.”

President’s forces fire up on protesters

Security forces fired at thousands of protesters who poured into the streets throughout the country, killing at least 13 people one day after the United States and its European allies demanded that President Bashar al-Assad step down. Soldiers and tanks were deployed. MORE

Hazare freed to hold public hunger strike

A vast crowd cheered as the activist Anna Hazare walked out of jail in Delhi yesterday to carry on a hunger strike in public. The government jailed the anti-corruption campaigner on Tuesday, then ordered his release and finally allowed him to stage his public fast. MORE

Waiter arrested on suspicion of murder

A 17-year-old Turkish waiter has been arrested after two women from Northern Ireland were found murdered in western Turkey. The bodies of Marion Elizabeth Graham and Kathy Dinsmore, both 54, were discovered in a forest near the city of Izmir city on Thursday night. MORE

Aung San Suu Kyi meets President

The democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met President Thein Sein yesterday. It was her highest contact with government since her release from house arrest, and prompted a member of her National League for Democracy to say it could be “the first step to national reconciliation.” MORE

Goodwill game turns into basket-brawl

A goodwill game in Beijing between a US college basketball team and a local club descended into an on-court melee witnessed by Vice President Joe Biden. Georgetown University were playing the Bayi Military Rockets, drawn from the ranks of the People's Liberation Army. MORE

Youth faces jail over brick that hit girl, 4

A teenager was told yesterday he faced custody after pleading guilty to throwing a brick that hit a four-year-old girl in the face. Kallan Richardson, 18, admitted a charge of grievous bodily harm at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court. Jersey-Lou Perry suffered a broken nose and lost two teeth.

Orange goo is not eggs, but rust spores

A mysterious orange goo that streaked the shoreline of an Alaskan village is made of spores that cause rust fungus, scientists have concluded. Last week, Alaska-based scientists said they thought that the strange matter was formed of microscopic crustacean eggs. MORE

Model’s plans face challenge

Kate Moss has been criticised over plans to renovate her 17th-century home in Highgate, London. The model has applied for planning permission to build a steam room and install CCTV cameras.

Gran’s impulse buy wins £1.1m

A grandmother has toasted an impulse decision to buy an extra lottery ticket as her family celebrated becoming Northern Ireland’s latest millionaires. Maire McKibbin, 64, from Kilkeel, Co Down, landed a cool £1,134,307 on the Lotto for her family’s six-strong syndicate. In June, her daughter won almost £12,000 in a local lottery.

World’s first gay ice-cream bar opens

What is claimed as the world’s first gay ice-cream bar opens in London today. Queens of the Dessert is a pop-up parlour for men over 18 which will be in Covent Garden until the end of September, offering free massages, ice-cream facials and flavours including Brokeback Mountain.

Segway death man leaves £340m

A businessman who died while apparently riding a Segway scooter built by his company left an estate of more than £340m to his family. Jimi Heselden, 62, one of the UK’s 400 richest people, plunged 30 feet from a cliff into the River Wharfe at Boston Spa, West Yorkshire in September.

Kutcher faces probe for plugging firms

Actor Ashton Kutcher could find himself under federal investigation for plugging companies in an online edition of US magazine Details without making it clear he has financial interests in several of the firms. The move could be viewed as a conflict of interest by financial authorities. MORE

‘Morgan’s creepiness made me walk out’

Christine O’Donnell, the former US Senate candidate, said she walked off Piers Morgan’s chat show because of a “very inappropriate, creepy line of questioning”. The Tea Party favourite had been expecting to talk about her new book, but Morgan asked about her views on gay marriage.

Important English habitats preserved

The Government unveiled targets yesterday to create half a million more acres of important habitat such as woodland and meadows in England over the next decade. The strategy for protecting English wildlife forms part of a global effort to halt losses in nature.

Man guilty of putting cat in microwave

A 20-year-old man was spared jail yesterday for microwaving his cat after it scratched his hand. Stephen Stacey, of Omega Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire, was given a 16-week custodial sentence suspended for 18 months for causing unnecessary suffering.

Police catch up with unlucky lottery thief

An Austrian man has been arrested for stealing lottery tickets worth €70,000 – but despite his criminal efforts, he never won the jackpot. The unidentified 51-year-old, who confessed to the heist, filched the instant tickets over several years from a local shop.