The News Matrix: Friday 6 May 2011

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The Independent Online

Hague expels two more Libyan envoys

Two more Libyan diplomats have been expelled from the UK. Foreign Secretary William Hague gave them until 11May to leave. It follows the expulsion of the Libyan ambassador after the destruction of the British embassy in Tripoli by a mob.

Mass foot and mouth culls maybe avoided

Scientists believe they have discovered away to help avoid mass culling during an outbreak of foot and mouth. The study has revealed it is possible to identify infected animals and therefore eliminate them before they pass on the illness to the rest of the herd. MORE

Suicide bomber kills 20 police officers

A suicide bomber driving an explosives-packed vehicle rammed his way into a barricaded police compound yesterday and killed 20 police officers in the second deadly blast in Iraq this week. It suggests al-Qa’ida-linked groups in Iraq remain a threat.

97-year-old goes on trial for war crimes

Ninety-seven-year-old Hungarian Sandor Kepiro proclaimed his innocence yesterday as his war crimes trial began for the 1942 killings of civilians in Serbia. MORE

UN demands that activists be freed

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has demanded that Bahrain free the activists it has seized since crushing anti-government protests and called for an independent investigation into allegations of torture.

Boy, 11, is youngest gun crime suspect

An 11-year-old boy has become one of Scotland Yard’s youngest gun crime suspects. He is currently on bail after being questioned about a firearm. A police spokesman said he was believed to be one of the youngest suspects arrested in relation to the offence.

Warm climate affects crops and wildlife

Poor harvests are expected for many crops including wheat, barley and maize because of the lack of rain, placing pressure on prices, while the British Trust for Ornithology has warned it is making life hard for garden birds seeking food. MORE

Pensioner jailed in £100k heroin haul

Pensioner David Pryor, 73, was jailed for five years for trying to smuggle £100,000 of heroin into Britain in three wicker baskets concealed in his suitcase. Isleworth Crown Court heard that Pryor, of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, was arrested at Heathrow on a flight from Tanzania.

First workers enter damaged reactor

Workers entered one of the damaged reactor buildings at Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant for the first time since it was rocked by an explosion in the days after a devastating earthquake on 11 March. The operator said work was done to reduce radiation levels before the cooling system that was knocked out by the quake and tsunami can be replaced. MORE

University rescinds its degree offer

A New York university has withdrawn its offer of an honourary degree to the award-winning playwright Tony Kushner after a row over his views on Israel descended into accusations of slander. Trustees at the City University of New York voted to block the degree.

William to rescue days after wedding

Prince William took part in two mountain rescues in the week after his wedding. William was on board an RAF Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley in Anglesey which airlifted a 70-year-old walker in Snowdonia who had a heart attack, then helped four men after one of them suffered vertigo.

Signora Mussolini hits out at sexist MPs

Benito Mussolini’s granddaughter Alessandra has vowed to launch a retaliatory campaign against sexist male colleagues in Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling party after learning that they were preparing a list of the best backsides in parliament for a weekly newspaper owned by the premier.

Researchers find gene for happiness

A happiness gene has been located by researchers, proving that some people are born with sunnier dispositions. The research at the London School of Economics discovered the efficiency of the 5-HTT gene, which regulates the brain chemical serotonin, has a direct link to satisfaction. MORE

La vie en rose-tinted glasses in Piaf letters

Edith Piaf craved a “normal” life with children, “pretty curtains” and a cycling champion for a husband, according to a volume of her love letters published in France. The letters – not the first of hers to be published but among the most frank – speak with the passionate voice of her songs.

St Paul’s puts on Elbow concert

Its famous dome has seen royal weddings and state funerals. Now St Paul’s will swap evensong for Elbow when it stages its first rock show on May 26. The Manchester band’s gig will be invitation only.