The News Matrix: Monday 28 March 2011

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The Independent Online

Drug treatments to curb breast cancer

The soaring rate of breast cancer could be curbed with preventive drugs, experts have concluded. One in ten women at highest risk would benefit, and drug trials could lead to preventive treatment being offered to half of post-menopausal women. MORE

Israel fast-tracks Gaza missile shield

After escalating violence culminated in a bomb attack on Jerusalem last week, Israel yesterday deployed its “Iron Dome” missile defence system. The shield, brought into use earlier than planned, is supposed to thwart the missile attacks from Gaza that have plagued Israel for years.

Suspect in courton Sian murder charge

Christopher Halliwell, 47, will appear at Swindon magistrates’ court today charged with the murder of Sian O’Callaghan. The 22-year-old disappeared from a nightclub in Swindon nine days ago. Her body was discovered on Thursday. MORE

Woman cruise ship worker still missing

The parents of a British cruise ship worker who disappeared while working on the Disney Wonder have spoken of their agony at not knowing the fate of their daughter, Rebecca Coriam, 24.

Cuts to BBC’s Hindi service criticised

The BBC’s Hindi service yesterday massively scaled back its broadcasts in a move that critics said indicated the BBC did not care about India. The writer Vikram Seth said the BBC World Service cuts would contribute to “a loss of goodwill and increase of mistrust in India”. MORE

High radiation reading a ‘mistake’

Operators of the stricken nuclear plant apologised for a “mistake” in reporting radiation levels at 10 million times normal levels. Despite the mistake, levels at reactor 2 were still high enough to warrant the evacuation of workers. MORE

MPs say Arts Council must still slash costs

MPs have used an official report to criticise the Arts Council’s spending “waste” two days before nationwide arts funding cuts are announced. The report recommends the Arts Council cuts “administration costs” by a further 50 per cent. MORE

China leads world on death penalty

China has used capital punishment more than any other country in the world put together over the last year. The report for Amnesty International reveals the recorded number of those executed may have gone down, yet thousands of executions still take place in China every year. MORE

Merkel party suffers key defeat at polls

After six decades, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats are set to lose the key state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The Greens and Social Democrats gained a combined 48.5 per cent of votes, with Ms Merkel and her allies on 43 per cent, according to exit polls. Analysts say the defeat could be a body blow to Ms Merkel’s political prospects. MORE

British workers now earning £1,000 less

Two years ago you were £1,000 better off, tonight’s Panorama will reveal. The BBC 1 programme’s investigation will show that British take-home pay has dived 5 per cent since the middle of the recession. MORE

Suspected burglar dials 999 from well

A 21-year-old suspected burglar called the emergency services after falling 30ft down a well, when chased from the scene of a break-in by local residents in Boothtown, West Yorkshire. The man, from Halifax, was arrested by police after firefighters rescued him.

Two face jail for snakes on a plane

Jakarta airport officials have detained two men who tried to smuggle 40 pythons onto a flight to Dubai. X-rays showed the men’s bags were filled with sedated snakes. They said they planned to sell the snakes in the United Arab Emirates and now face seven years in jail. MORE

Let the happy couple eat lots of cake...

Prince William and Kate Middleton have chosen a multi-tiered fruit cake for their wedding. The cake will be made by Fiona Cairns, whose creations sell in Harrods, Selfridges and Waitrose. A rival said: “I’m surprised they’ve chosen someone who designs cakes for a supermarket.” MORE

President orders a permanent summer

Russia yesterday put the clocks forward for what the President, Dmitry Medvedev, insists will be the last time, enacting a move to “Permanent Summer Time”. Medvedev wants to make the winter evenings lighter and believes changing the clocks is bad for public health. MORE

Cameron exits from Nasa starring role

Nasa has told the movie director James Cameron that he’s fired for running late and overbudget. Mr Cameron, whose films Avatar and Titanic were tardy and expensive, had been working on two 3D cameras for Nasa’s forthcoming Mars mission. MORE