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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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee