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The News Matrix: Monday 15 April 2013

Prisoners’ perks to go under new rules

Prisoners could lose their automatic access to gym equipmentand other perks under plans for a tough new regime in Britain’s jails. Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, is finalising proposals that will be announced soon to combat complaints that prisons are too lax. MORE

Addicts to get ‘safe haven’ to take heroin

Drug users could be offered safe havens to take heroin or crack without fear of prosecution. The idea of sanctioned “drug consumption rooms” has been put forward by a commission instigated by the Green MP Caroline Lucas in Brighton. MORE

Syrian rebels hire Occupy activist

Syrian opposition members have hired a top Occupy Wall Street activist as their US lobbyist. Carne Ross is known as a driving force behind Occupy, and also worked as an advisor in the Foreign Office until 2004, before disagreements with the Government over the war in Iraq. MORE

Children admit to cheating at sport

Two out of three children admit to cheating in school sports because they feel under pressure to win. A poll of just over 1,000 eight to 16-year-olds also revealed that 75 per cent believed their team-mates would cheat if they believed they could get away with it. MORE

Armed robber in prison break

A convicted armed robber is being hunted after staging an escape from Sequedin prison, outside Lille. Redoine Faid set off explosions and took four guards hostage. Police say he is still armed. MORE

Animals die as zoo is hit by blaze

A fierce fire at a Scottish zoo claimed the lives of a number of animals, including an otter, meerkats and reptiles. The blaze broke out in the tropical house of the Five Sisters Zoo at Polbeth, West Calder, West Lothian, shortly before 4am yesterday. Around 50 firefighters tackled the blaze at its height and managed to stop it spreading to other enclosures at the attraction. MORE

Palestinian PM Fayyad quits

Palestinian officials have blamed the interference of Western officials for the resignation of the US-backed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the weekend, a development that deals a blow to efforts to bring peace with Israel. Mr Fayyad quit on Saturday after months of tension with President Mahmoud Abbas. MORE

Mass arrests in ugly return of violence

A total of 27 football fans have been arrested and three police officers injured after violence erupted following a derby match in Newcastle. Missiles were thrown at police as a group of Newcastle fans tried to confront Sunderland supporters in Central Station, Newcastle, after the home side’s 3-0 defeat at St James’ Park. MORE

Ramsay’s signature ‘made by machine’

The row between Gordon Ramsay and his father-in-law has taken a new twist – amid a High Court claim that a “ghost-writing” machine was used to put the chef’s signature on a property deal involving a London pub. MORE

Pope Francis: we must set an example

Pope Francis has told priests to practise what they preach, saying the church’s credibility is on the line. Francis said yesterday that Catholics need to “see in our actions what they hear from our lips”. He has so far refused many of the trappings of the papacy.

Award recognises Courtenay’s career

Sir Tom Courtenay has received a lifetime achievement award in the 50th anniversary year of his classic film Billy Liar. Sir Tom, 76, accepted the award at the 19th Bradford International Film Festival.

Hurricane Katrina inspires Noah’s Ark

Rodolfo Almira is building a replica of Noah’s Ark in Miami-Dade County, Florida, that will become a petting zoo to raise environmental awareness, after being inspired to do it following Hurricane Katrina.

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
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Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
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11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker