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The News Matrix: Friday 29 July 2011

Police call off search for more victims

The search for victims of last week’s massacre on Utoya island was called off yesterday, in a move that Norwegian police have said they hope will help people to get back to a semblance of normality. Officials also say they are increasingly certain that Anders Behring Breivik acted alone. MORE

Cycle helmets not essential, say doctors

Cycle helmets should not be made compulsory, say doctors, in a surprise verdict. Medics responding to a survey said that the evidence that cycle helmets reduce injury was not conclusive, and that making helmet wearing compulsory might deter people from taking up cycling. MORE

Youngsters shun drink and drugs

The number of 11 to 15-year-olds smoking, drinking and taking drugs has fallen dramatically. Health experts said the figures illustrate a changing attitude among young people towards drugs and alcohol, with drunkenness seen as increasingly unacceptable behaviour. MORE

BT forced to block filesharing site

Illegal filesharing websites face a fight to survive after Hollywood studios won a legal ruling forcing BT to block access to a site providing links to illegal downloads of films, music and games. It paves the way for companies to force other UK internet providers to ban filesharing sites. MORE

Joe Pesci sues over 30lb weight gain

Joe Pesci is suing a company making a film about the mobster John Gotti after his part was given to another actor. Pesci claims his health has been adversely affected after he gained 30lb to play the role.

‘Super antibody’ developed to fight flu

Scientists have developed a “super antibody” against flu which could be used as a universal treatment and pave the way for the development of a universal vaccine against the disease that affects billions of people every year. If successful, the treatment could save lives, reduce pressure on intensive care units during flu epidemics and save millions of pounds of NHS money. MORE

McCain warns rebels over human rights

John McCain, a leading US Republican spokesman on foreign affairs, has called on Libya’s rebels to take “decisive action” to stop human rights abuses. In a letter to the Transitional National Council, he warns them that critics will seize on transgressions by rebel fighters. MORE

Annual plastic bag use soars to 6.4bn

The number of single-use plastic bags rose last year – the first increase after five years of progress. Customers bundled their purchases into around 6.4 billion carrier bags, up on the 6.1bn of the previous year. Conservationists expressed disappointment at the news.

Zawahri praises Syrian protesters

Ayman al-Zawahri, who replaced Osama bin Laden as al-Qa’ida’s leader last month, has used his first video address to call for the ousting of Syria’s President Assad and to renew the group’s opposition to the West and Israel. The seven-minute video was posted online.

Strauss-Kahn maid: ‘We cry every day’

The woman who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault appeared in public for the first time yesterday. In broken English, Nafissatou Diallo insisted her claims were true. “We cry every day, we can’t sleep,” she said. MORE

Six ministers oppose high-speed rail link

David Cameron faces a growing ministerial backlash against plans to build a £32bn high-speed rail link between London and the North of England. Six ministers whose constituencies are on its proposed route are resisting the scheme. MORE

For sale: Rolls Royce built to hunt tigers in

Auction house Bonhams is selling a rare Rolls Royce Phantom modified for tiger hunting by an Indian maharaja during the days of the British Raj. The custom-made 1925 vehicle, featuring a mounted machine gun and a cannon, may fetch up to $1m (£610,000) when it goes under the hammer in California next month.

Museum rhino horn stolen

Police are investigating after a rhino horn was stolen from Ipswich Museum. It’s the latest in a spate of similar robberies throughout Europe, as illegal trade in the horns soars due to demand from China, where they are used in traditional medicine and can fetch up to £50,000.

Blast-proof undies for UK troops

The Ministry of Defence is to supply 12,000 sets of anti-blast shorts – special underpants and “pelvic body armour” for British troops serving in Afghanistan. The equipment was requested as an urgent requirement for soldiers operating metal detectors that scan the ground for improvised explosive devices and will be deployed in the near future.

DIY hernia surgery with a butter knife

A 63-year-old American man with a hernia plunged a butter knife into his abdomen to try to fix the problem, and later put a lit cigarette in the wound, according to police. They found him lying naked on the porch of his apartment in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale in California.

Nappy worker’s absorbing plea

Workers at a French nappy factory are raising a stink about management’s plans to close the plant, and have sent a creative plea for help to France’s pregnant first lady. Employees at the Ontex factory in Villefranche-sur-Saone sent 187 nappies to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, one for each employee.

Soldier’s family in row over patriot sign

When Corey Burr left to serve with USforces in Afghanistan in January, his parents erected a banner in their front yard with his photo and a message: “Our son defends our freedom.” Now Timothy and Jodi Burr are entangled in a legal dispute with their Louisiana homeowners’ association which demands the sign comes down.

Police tackle ends naked city sprint

A man was arrested yesterday after a naked sprint around the centre of Manchester. The man, believed to be in his twenties, was tackled by 12 officers in a Piccadilly Tesco having been seen running through the Northern Quarter and taking a bus ride.

Fattest orang-utan loses fifth of weight

Britain’s fattest orang-utan has lost a fifth of her body weight after being put on a diet. Oshine weighed 15 stone – more than twice her natural weight – when she arrived last year at Dorset’s Monkey World sanctuary from South Africa, where she was raised on a diet of sweets and jelly.

Belgian UFO photo is identified as fake

A Belgian UFO photograph that became a worldwide hit was faked with a piece of polystyrene, one of the people behind the picture has revealed more than 20 years later. “We managed to trick everyone,” one of the forgers said.

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