The News Matrix: Friday 10 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Allergies shown to be gender-related

The daughter of a woman with asthma or eczema is more likely to develop the disease than a son, according to new research. The study, based on assessments of 1,456 patients, showed that a child's risk of developing an allergy is doubled if a parent of the same sex has suffered from it. It was previously thought that allergies were simply hereditary, rather than gender-related. MORE

Prostate cancer diagnoses 'harmful'

Prostate cancer diagnoses do more harm than good, according to an expert. Chris Parker, of London's Royal Marsden Hospital, said the annual "toll" of 40,000 cases diagnosed could be reduced by 10,000. Low-risk men diagnosed are more likely to die from another cause. MORE

Fallon claims he refused Oscars gig

US talk-show host Jimmy Fallon has claimed he was asked to host next year's Academy Awards, but declined. Fallon, below, said: "It's an honour to be asked by the academy, but it's not my year." Last year's Oscars host, Billy Crystal, has said he would be open to returning for a 10th turn at leading the ceremony.

The face-chewer 'seemed friendly'

A homeless man whose face was chewed off by an attacker in Florida in May told police his attacker "ripped me to ribbons". Ronald Poppo said the man seemed friendly but then went berserk, leaving him without an eye, eyebrows, nose and parts of his forehead and cheek.

Hit-and-run 'was attempted murder'

A hit-and-run collision which left a 56-year-old man with serious head injuries is being treated as attempted murder. Police believe the victim, from Plymouth, was injured after trying to stop his car being stolen. The victim left his home to buy a newspaper and stood in the road to prevent the thief driving away.

Jinder, 6ft 7in singer, is top of the pops

A 31-year-old singer-songwriter from Oxfordshire is quite literally top of the charts, his 6ft 7in height making him the tallest musician in the UK. Jinder, who has just signed with Universal Records, previously sang with band The Mercurymen. He is the same height as blues star Long John Baldry who died in 2005.

Midwinter rescue of seriously ill patient

An Australian rescue team flew into Antarctica yesterday in a rare midwinter sortie to evacuate a seriously ill American. The patient was said to be in stable condition but may need "immediate corrective surgery". It is currently winter in Antarctica, meaning there is only a small period of light every day.

Wreck may be sunken pirate ship

The underwater remains of a 19th-century pirate ship believed to contain sunken gold, silver and copper has been found off the coast of the Pacific island of Tonga. The Port-au-Prince sank in 1806 after it was scuttled by Tongan warriors who took over the ship and massacred those onboard, according to legend. MORE

Rebels retreat in Aleppo after assault

Rebels in Syria's biggest city, Aleppo, made a major retreat yesterday from the frontline in the Salaheddine area that has seen intense bombardment in the past two weeks. They made the move after an intense and indiscriminate air and ground assault from regime forces. MORE

US begins Agent Orange clean-up

For the first time since the Vietnam War, the US will begin cleaning up toxins left from the defoliant Agent Orange at a former US air base, which US planes sprayed to eliminate enemy jungle cover. The remaining dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities. MORE

City grandee Walker to chair Barclays

Sir David Walker has been announced as the new chairman of Barclays following the resignation of Marcus Agius over the Libor-rigging scandal. Sir David, 72, is a former chairman of Morgan Stanley International. MORE

Gu Kailai murder trial ends after a day

Gu Kailai's trial for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood has ended after one day. A court official said Ms Gu, the wife of former high-flying politician Bo Xilai, had not contested the charge that she killed Mr Heywood by poisoning in 2011. A verdict is due at a later date. MORE