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The News Matrix: Monday 14 May 2012

Gay marriage not a priority – Hammond

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has broken ranks with the Government over plans to legislate for gay marriage. The first senior member of the Government to raise doubts over the Coalition's commitment, he said the issue was too controversial and not a priority with voters. MORE

Children held in degrading conditions

The UK Border Agency is detaining children in "degrading and disgraceful" conditions at Heathrow airport, an official report claims. A Border Force spokesman said the agency had raised the concerns with BAA, which provides the accommodation. BAA was unavailable for comment.

Coalition talks set to end in stalemate

The Greek President Karolos Papoulias met with the heads of three parties that emerged as the country's largest after last week's elections, in a final bid to form a coalition. As the day drew on without a breakthrough it seemed likely that Greeks will go to the polls again next month. MORE

Blair: Israel must save hunger-strikers

Tony Blair, envoy to the Middle East, has urged the Israeli government to take "all necessary measures" to avoid the deaths of Palestinian hunger-strikers. Some of the hunger-strikers, protesting at the practice of "administrative detention", have gone without food for over 70 days. MORE

Boss resigns over degree that wasn't

The Yahoo boss embroiled in a scandal over a non-existent computer science degree on his CV has stepped down. The internet search company confirmed yesterday that Scott Thompson had resigned.

Hard left leader to run against Le Pen

In France, the hard left will battle the far right for a parliamentary seat on 17 June. Jean-Luc Melenchon of the Front de Gauche, has announced that he will challenge the champion of the right, Marine Le Pen, for a constituency she has been nursing near Lille. The news comes amid a renewed volley of insult-slinging between the two losing candidates in the presidential election.MORE

Nearly half autistic workers are bullied

Nearly half of adults with autism have left or lost their job because of mistreatment at work – of those, a third had been bullied or discriminated against. They also claimed they had received poor support from their employer, according to a survey by the National Autistic Society. MORE

Experts warn of IVF dangers in Britain

Women and children are put at unnecessary risk by the aggressive fertility treatment practised in IVF clinics in Britain, experts have warned. The UK industry uses expensive, risky procedures, and high doses of drugs, they say. MORE

Ditched helicopter had faulty gearbox

Bond Offshore Helicopters, the owners of a helicopter that came down in the North Sea carrying 14 passengers last week, has grounded more aircraft after an investigation into the crash revealed a faulty gearbox shaft.  MORE

Adventurer Bear Grylls praises Scouts

TV adventurer Bear Grylls has praised Scouts, saying he is "proud" of youngsters set to volunteer to help their communities. The survival expert, who is the UK's chief Scout, has commended youngsters who will scrub graffiti, renovate car homes and build habitats for bees as part of Scout Community Week.

Forger to imitate Renoir in new film

A master-forger who fooled the art world for decades is set to appear in a feature film – as the artist he imitated. Guy Ribes, who faked Renoir paintings, will appear painting canvases in a film on the French Impressionist master to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival. MORE

Baldrick's plan to lift passengers

In a cunning plan of Blackadder star Tony Robinson, weary passengers on trains between Birmingham and London and at Marylebone Station will be greeted with witty announcements written by actor and Green Wing writer Richard Preddy.

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Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

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Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor