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.