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The News Matrix: Monday 15 August 2011

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.

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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor