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The News Matrix: Monday 16 May 2011

Blood test ‘could predict lifespan’

A blood test that could estimate how long you have to live is to go on sale in Britain later this year. The test measures structures on the tips of chromosomes, called telomeres, which, scientists say, indicate how fast someone is ageing. MORE

Huckabee’s heart says ‘no’ to race

Mike Huckabee has announced that he will not seek his party’s presidential nomination in 2012, adding uncertainty to the race to pick a Republican challenger to President Barack Obama. “All the factors say ‘go’, but my heart says ‘no’,” he said. MORE

Police examining claim against Huhne

Essex Police confirmed they have been handed information which may lead to an investigation into allegations Energy Secretary Chris Huhne avoided a driving ban by entering another person’s name on a speeding fine. He denies the allegation. MORE

Mao’s grandson cuts actress from epic film

Chinese actress Tang Wei may be edited from the country’s propaganda epic The Founding of a Party after Mao’s grandson complained about her role in an erotic thriller. MORE

Prince sets up army of mercenaries

Erik Prince, the founder of the security company Blackwater, is setting up a paramilitary force of foreign mercenaries in Abu Dhabi, it has been claimed. Mr Prince has reportedly arranged a $529m deal to form an 800-strong battalion. MORE

Scientists identify ‘cause’ of depression

Scientists from Kings College London have established a genetic cause for depression, identifying a chromosome called 3p25-26 as the cause. They will next try to find the gene responsible, understand its function, and see if it is treatable. MORE

Marine killed by bomb during search

A Royal Marine from 42 Commando was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan yesterday, while searching a compound in Nad Ali in Helmand. His family has been informed. The fatality takes the total of British deaths in Afghanistan since 2001 to 365.

Two charged with 15-year-old’s murder

Two teenagers have been charged with the murder of 15-year-old Temidayo Ogunneye, in south London last Wednesday. Kieron Carew-Donaldson, 18, of Brixton, and Darius Kwakye, 18, of Camberwell, appear at Sutton Magistrates court today.

Security heightened for the Queen’s visit

Security is tight in Ireland ahead of the Queen’s historic state visit. Around 8,000 police officers and 2,000 Irish soldiers will police the four-day tour, which begins in Dublin tomorrow. The visit has been subject to threats from dissident republican groups. Armed royal-protection officers from the Met will also accompany the Queen. MORE

Rise in hayfever drug sales after dry spell

Sales of hayfever treatments have risen 40 per cent after one of the driest springs for 40 years. Extra supplies have been ordered for the 10 million sufferers in Britain.

Woman ‘molested’ by Donald Duck paid off

April Magolon, who claims she was molested by a Disney World Donald Duck, has settled her lawsuit with Disney after suing for $50,000 (£30,900). She says the employee grabbed her breast when she asked for an autograph.

Dizzee hits new heights in film world

Rapper Dizzee Rascal has turned his talents to photography, with shots of east London cityscapes joining rural vistas captured at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in a collection commissioned by Microsoft. MORE

Charity launches free abuse helpline

The NSPCC has launched a text number, 88858, to encourage more people to report cases of child abuse. The charity said the free number was intended to help the public be the “eyes and ears” of social workers. It is part of a pilot scheme, and is available 24 hours a day.

Study reveals butterfly recovery

Some of Britain’s most threatened butterflies are showing signs of recovery after decades of decline. A programme run by Butterfly Conservation and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology saw rare species, including the wood white and the marsh fritillary, record large increases last year.

Dylan speaks out about ‘censorship’

Bob Dylan has denied speculation he allowed government censors to remove subversive songs from his set during his recent tour of China. In a message released on his website, the usually reclusive singer told fans he wanted to “clarify a few things about this so-called China controversy”.

Competitors face a hairy time in Norway

Competitors from more than 15 countries have descended on the Norwegian city of Trondheim for the World Beard and Moustache Championships. All the competitors will be vying for the overall top prize – gold in the Best Facial Hair category.

Big Brother knows if you are greedy

The next time children in some Texas primary schools try to sneak extra french fries on to their tray at lunchtime, the eye in the sky will be watching them. Using a $2m grant from the Department of Agriculture, schools are installing sophisticated cameras that monitor what types and quantities of food children are eating, with the aim of improving nutrition.

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Day In a Page

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We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home