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The News Matrix: Friday 7 February 2014

Bombardier ‘had help with Crossrail’

Canada’s Bombardier, which has a plant in Derby, was advised by the Department of Business on its bid for the £1bn Crossrail contract, it has emerged. The firm, which lost out to Siemens on the Thameslink project, beat Japanese bullet-train maker Hitachi and Spain’s CAF. MORE

Castaway thankful for islanders’ help

After a haircut and a shave, a Salvadorean man who says he spent more than a year drifting in the Pacific Ocean appeared in public yesterday to thank about 50 officials in the Marshall Islands. Jose Salvador Alvarenga appeared weaker than he had when he was found.

Breakthrough on breast cancer DNA

Personalised medicine to treat breast cancer is a step closer after a breakthrough by French scientists. They scanned the genomes of women with late-stage cancer and found “proof of principle” that the technique could be used to understand its genetic cause.

Workers vote to accept 9% pay rise

Royal Mail workers have voted overwhelmingly to accept “a ground-breaking” pay deal. Covering pensions and job security over the longer term, it will see workers get a 9 per cent above-inflation increase over the next three years and ends the threat of industrial action.

Drugs suspect had Hoffman’s number

At least one of four people arrested over Philip Seymour Hoffman’s suspected heroin overdose had the actor’s phone number, it has emerged. The 46-year-old was found dead at home on Sunday afternoon.

Clegg school head jailed for sex abuse

A former headmaster at Nick Clegg’s school has been jailed for eight years for sexually abusing five pupils. Roland Wright, 83, abused boys aged between eight and 13 at Caldicott Prep School in Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, from 1959 to 1970, a court heard. Mr Clegg was a pupil there from 1974 until 1980.

Threat to cancel family reunions

North Korea threatened yesterday to cancel reunions for families divided by the Korean War, blaming forthcoming US-South Korean military drills. The apparent about-face fits a pattern of North Korea agreeing to things South Korea covets and then pulling back until the regime gets what it wants.

Cameron’s shiny, happy courtship

David Cameron has revealed that “Perfect Circle” by R.E.M. was “our song” during his courtship with his wife, Samantha. In an interview for the radio station BBC Manchester, the Prime Minister told presenter Mike Sweeney: “In June this year, we’ll have been married 18 years. I remember it all as clear as day.”

School sorry for its ‘racist’ history menu

Officials at a school in California apologised after a lunch menu to celebrate Black History Month angered parents and students by offering stereotypical ethnic foods. Students and parents were left offended when the school announced a menu of fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon.

‘Don’t whiz on the Alamo’… or face jail

A man from El Paso, Texas, faces up to 18 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to urinating on the Alamo, the iconic structure seen as the symbol of the Texab spirit. “The message is, ‘don’t whiz on the Alamo’,” said the Bexar County district attorney Susan Reed, adding that she would oppose any request for probation.

Officials make point with apostrophes

A council has been praised for its “sensible decision” to reverse a ban on street signs that use apostrophes. Cambridge City Council was criticised by “defenders of grammar” for its decision to remove punctuation in new road names, with some campaigners filling in apostrophes missing from signs.

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