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The News Matrix: Friday 25 October 2013

Gove ‘inspired by his own education’

Conservative peer Lord Baker has claimed that Education Secretary Michael Gove’s school policies are “entirely derived from his own educational experience”. Speaking at a lecture, the man who did Gove’s job for Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s said his “tough” upbringing underpinned his belief that anyone can “rise to the top”. MORE

Transport firms use tax avoidance ploy

A host of transport companies have been using a legal tax avoidance scam, i and Corporate Watch can reveal. The Channel Tunnel, Gatwick Airport and the M6 toll road, among others, use the scheme to avoid up to 20 per cent taxation on interest accrued on debts. MORE

Football clubs strike over new super-tax

French football clubs will stage a strike at the end of next month in protest at a controversial super-tax on player salaries in an escalation of a row over President François Hollande’s tax policy. The French government is suffering from record low popularity ratings. MORE

Mafia’s role in human trafficking

Italian mobsters are playing a significant role in human trafficking from North Africa to Europe, police claim. Mafia organisations charge would-be illegal immigrants for the dangerous voyage from Africa to Italy – and then hold them prisoner in horrendous conditions. MORE

Radical sculptor Caro dies

The sculptor Sir Anthony Caro has died at the age of 89. Credited with changing the face of his craft in the Britain, Mr Caro worked every day in his Camden studio. Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, called him “one of the outstanding sculptors of the past 50 years”. MORE

Billionaire attempts to push Clinton bid

Billionaire financier George Soros is backing an effort to persuade former US Secretary of State Hillary  Clinton to run for president in 2016. Mr Soros, 83, has pledged $25,000 to the Ready For Hillary group.

Boy carrying fake gun is shot dead

A 13-year-old California boy carrying a replica of an assault rifle  in Santa Rosa, California, was shot dead by a sheriff’s deputy who believed the gun was real, authorities said. The day before, a 12-year-old boy killed a teacher at a Nevada middle school with a gun he then used to take his own life.

Now you can see who’s watching you

A new web tool allows users to find out which commercial organisations are tracking their movements online. Lightbeam, available today as a download from Mozilla, shows users which third parties –  including commercial organisations that could be sharing their data – are active on the websites they visit.

Lumley poised to be Walliams’ Queen

Joanna Lumley has been confirmed in the part of the Queen in a TV version of David Walliams’ bestselling children’s book Gangsta Granny. She is joined in the cast for the hour-long BBC1 special by Miranda Hart, Rob Brydon, Julia McKenzie and Walliams himself. Gangsta Granny was Walliams’s fourth children’s book.

Dog gone: George the great Great Dane dies

The world’s tallest dog, a Blue Great Dane named Giant George, has died aged seven. George, who measured 7ft 3in on his hind legs, passed away at the home of owners Dave and Cristie Nasser in Tuscon, Arizona. The canine consumed 180lb of food a month and slept in its own queen- sized bed.

Pumpkin power conquers Solent

Artist Dmitri Galitzine, 27, has become the first person to sail a hollowed-out pumpkin across the Solent. Fitted with an outboard motor, it took the vessel 56 minutes to complete the journey.

Horse-punching fan jailed for 12 months

A football fan who punched a police horse after his team lost to their arch rivals has been jailed for 12 months. Barry Rogerson, 45, was charged after trouble flared when Newcastle United lost 3-0 at home to Sunderland in April. He was drunk and squared up to one of the horses before punching it in the head.

Moose gets loose in a commode of errors

A Norwegian hunter who took aim at a moose missed his target and hit a man sitting on the toilet in a cabin. The bullet whizzed past the animal, pierced the wooden wall behind it and struck the OAP in the stomach. The victim was flown to hospital but his injury was not life-threatening. The moose escaped unscathed.

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Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil