The News Matrix: Friday 4 March 2011

Cuts to fire stations ‘could risk lives’

Heavy cuts to fire-service funding will force up to 1,500 job losses – many of them firefighters – and the closure of stations around the country, a survey by i has shown. Critics warned that lives could be at risk as fire brigades underwent cuts. MORE

Spying allegations at Renault ‘a hoax’

Allegations of top-level industrial espionage at the French car company Renault were nothing more than a malevolent hoax, counter-intelligence agents believe. But the company insisted yesterday that the spying investigation was still alive. MORE

Accused rapist tried to blame son

Delroy Grant, accused of being the serial rapist dubbed the “Night Stalker”, who broke into the homes of elderly people and subjected them to sex attacks, sought to blame his son for his 17-year campaign of terror, a court heard yesterday. MORE

Tories unimpressed by Big Society

David Cameron is failing to rally party activists behind his Big Society theme, a survey reveals. Only 37 per cent of Tories believe he is right to make the Big Society his flagship, while 47 per cent say he is not. Tory members also want David Davis, a leading backbench critic of the Government, to be party chairman. MORE

Citizens urged ‘not to buckle’ to terrorism

Pakistan’s President has said the country must not buckle to terrorism in the aftermath of Wednesday’s assassination of the Christian minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, who spoke out against controversial blasphemy laws. MORE

Last Great War veteran is 110

The last surviving First World War combat veteran celebrated his 110th birthday in Perth yesterday. With the death last Sunday of US veteran Frank Buckles, pacifist Claude Choules is now the sole survivor. MORE

Ban for Touré after test proves positive

Kolo Touré, the Manchester City defender, has been suspended from playing after testing positive for “a specified substance”. Touré, 29, was informed by the Football Association that an A-sample provided by him returned positive. MORE

First retrospective of Hirst’s work planned

Tate Modern is to host the first major retrospective of Damien Hirst’s work next year, including some of the artist’s most celebrated – and reviled – pieces, such as the shark stored in formaldehyde.

Anti-corruption boss forced to resign

India’s top anti-corruption official has resigned after the Supreme Court ruled his appointment was inappropriate because he once faced corruption charges. PJ Thomas and other officials were accused of accepting a higher-priced contract for the import of palm oil. MORE

CS Lewis’s ‘Aeneid’ translation is found

CS Lewis’s translation of The Aeneid, believed to have been lost in a bonfire in 1964, a year after the author’s death, has now resurfaced. It was rescued by Lewis’s former secretary, Walter Hopper, 79. The complete translation is to be published in the book CS Lewis’s Lost Aeneid. MORE

Humanists warned census ads offend

The British Humanist Association has altered its census poster slogan from “If you’re not religious, for God’s sake say so” to “Not religious? In this year’s census, say so”, after being told the original could be offensive.

Dog bites man’s foot off ‘trying to help’

Adiabetic man in the state of Oregon woke up one morning to find that his dog had eaten part of his foot, where he had no feeling due to his medical condition. According to one vet quoted by The News-Review in Roseburg, the pet may have been trying to help his owner by removing dead tissue.

Guides campaign on cosmetic surgery

Girlguiding UK has launched a digital campaign Give Yourself A Chance urging teenage girls who are considering plastic surgery to think twice. It is in response to a national survey that found half of females aged 16 to 21 would consider cosmetic surgery.

I am Number Four: new shrimp surfaces

Dr Alan Jamieson found the 2.4in (6cm)white shrimp in trenches on the floor of the world’s deepest ocean. The Princaxelia Jamiesoni, seen at the bottom of the Northwest Pacific Ocean, is only the fourth species of the Princaxelia shrimp family to be discovered.

Police crack down on drug ‘festival’

Nepalese authorities have banned the sale of marijuana during a popular Hindu festival during which holy men traditionally smoke the drug and share it with young men and women. The police said they would no longer tolerate the sale of narcotics under the guise of religious worship.

Call for books for working-class boys

Actor and director Peter Mullan has called for more books to be written forworking-class boys. Mullan, whose film Neds charts the story of a teenager who joins a gang, said there had to be more literature that young men could relate to.

Concerns of men lead to low rates

Some men do not like the idea of their partners breastfeeding in public, according to a survey from Brunel and York universities. This could be having an impact on low rates of breastfeeding in new mothers across the UK, the research suggests.