The News Matrix: Monday 15 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Rebels raise flag but victory still unclear

Libya’s rebels raised their flag in the key town of Zawiyah, but opposition from pro-Gaddafi forces threatened their efforts to consolidate what would be their most significant victory for months. Zawiyah provides the Tripoli regime with its main supply link to the outside world. MORE

FBI widens inquiry into News Corp

US authorities have widened their investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp beyond allegations that News of the World journalists attempted to hack the phones of 9/11 victims. The FBI is now examining claims of wrongdoing at the company’s US subsidiaries. MORE

Error leads to sneak peek at A-levels

An exam board blunder meant that around 50 A-level candidates got an early glimpse of their results at the weekend. The online service, run by exam board Edexcel, had been mistakenly opened during a testing session in advance of the publication of results on Thursday. MORE

Five people die as stage collapses

An investigation has been launched into the collapse of a concert stage in Indianapolis that killed five people and injured 40. Music fans had filled the area at the main stage waiting for the band, Sugarland, to perform when a lighting rig toppled after being struck by a gust of wind. MORE

Suu Kyi tests limits of her freedom

Well-wishers lined the streets to welcome the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she tested the limits of her freedom yesterday by taking her first political trip into the countryside since her release from house arrest. MORE

Siblings more likely to develop autism

The siblings of autistic children are almost twice as likely to develop the disorder than was previously believed, according to research published today. Scientists found that almost 19 per cent of participants with an autistic sibling developed autism spectrum disorders – a considerably higher figure than in previous estimates. MORE

Child abuse linked to depression

Victims of child abuse are twice as likely as those with no history of abuse to suffer from long-lasting depression in later life, and less likely to respond to treatment, a study has found. Scientists examined data from 26 separate studies involving more than 23,000 participants.

Teenager’s family are left ‘devastated’

The parents of a British teenager who drowned in a canoeing accident on Friday while on holiday in America say they are “devastated” by their son’s death. Mckinley Day, 14, from Cheshire, was on an outing with his friends and relatives on the Beaver river in upstate New York. MORE

Killer bull claims a third human victim

A 1,100-pound killer bull has claimed another victim after fatally goring a 29-year-old man in Valencia. “Raton”, which means mouse, has killed two other people in the last decade. Organisers charge double prices at his festival performances due to his fearsome reputation. MORE

Rembrandt work snatched from hotel

A lithograph by Rembrandt, valued at more than £150,000, has been stolen from an exhibition in San Francisco. “The Judgement” was snatched on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Police described the operation as a well-planned heist.

Bid to dispel cancer myth of rhino horn

Britain will ask China and other Asian countries to dispel long-valued beliefs in traditional Asian medicine in a bit to halt an unprecedented rise in rhino poaching. Beliefs that the rhino horn may cure cancer has seen its price rise to £50,000 a kilogram. MORE

Gladiators’ pitch battle by Colosseum

Police have donned togas and sandals in an undercover operation to stop a turf battle among gladiator impersonators who make money by posing for camera-carrying tourists outside the Colosseum and other landmarks in Rome. There have been reports of fights over the most lucrative spots.

A postcard finally arrives – 57 years late

A postcard dated 23 December 1954 has been delivered – 57 years late. Eighty-year-old Margaret Eastham from Preston, Lancashire was shocked to get the card, sent by her late sister Dorothy, from a postbox in what is now Yemen while she was travelling to emigrate to Malaysia.

Couriers use runners to beat London traffic

Couriers have come up with a solution to avoid traffic chaos in central London by dispatching runners to take parcels around the capital. Addison Lee, alongside sportswear brand Asics, has employed 20 athletes to pound the streets as part of their running courier service.

Gay man marries transsexual

A gay man and a woman whose sex-change operation was paid for by the state have tied the knot. Bride Wendy Iriepa, 37, arrived at a wedding hall in a vintage Ford and a white gown with flowers in her hair.

Jackpot winner sues casino over lost cash

A man is suing an Austrian casino after a slot-machine showed he had won a payout of over £37m, but the money never arrived. The Bregenz Casino in Voralberg province does not dispute that the machine showed the amount Behar Merlaku is claiming, but argues the machine was faulty.

Budgie rescued after supermarket tweet

A budgerigar has been taken into police custody after it was found flying around a supermarket. A police detective was buying her morning paper at the Co-op in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff, Essex, when a bird started flying around the store, chirping loudly and in obvious distress.

Talking cactus returns to park

A talking cactus named Spike has returned to the Winter Gardens at Duthie Park, Aberdeen, after more than 12 years’ absence. The cactus, which has a periscope eye, was removed in 1998 after breaking down. It follows an online campaign calling for its return.

Bat on a plane fuels rabies scare in US

US health authorities are still trying to track down 15 more passengers, who were on board a flight from Madison to Atlanta when a bat emerged, to make sure they have not been infected with rabies. Officials have so far contacted 35 of the 50 passengers on the plane.