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The News Matrix: Monday 30 July 2012

Romney talks tough on Iran strike

The Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney pledged last night to "stand with" Israel, hours after one of his senior advisers had said he would "respect" a decision to launch a unilateral strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Mr Romney said "no option should be excluded" in preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power and added: "We recognize Israel's right to defend itself." MORE

Mayor: help us fight the Islamists

The mayor of Timbuktu has spoken of "desperate conditions" there and called for international intervention in Mali to liberate the historic city from the control of Islamic militants linked to al-Qa'ida. Halle Ousmane Cissé made the appeal to the United Nations Security Council. MORE

Debris from jet causes airport fire

Officials in the United States are trying to determine why debris fell on to the runway from the engine of a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, starting a fire and forcing officials to shut Charleston International Airport in South Carolina for more than an hour on Saturday.

Tories suffering a membership crisis

Three-quarters of Conservative associations are losing activists as the party suffers a recruitment crisis. The latest estimates put Tory membership at between 130,000 and 170,000, compared with almost 300,000 shortly after David Cameron became party leader. MORE

New setback in Dewani trial

Efforts to bring to trial the alleged killers of honeymooner Anni Dewani have hit a new setback after a Cape Town judge agreed that a neuro-psychologist needs to examine one of the men before proceedings can begin. Defendant Xolile Mngeni has a malignant brain tumour. MORE

RBS warning on Libor-rigging

The Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive warned that the bank will have its "day in the spotlight" and could face fines similar in size to Barclays. Stephen Hester confirmed that the bank was being probed as part of the FSA investigation into Libor-rigging.

Three arrested for posing as police

Three men have been arrested for allegedly posing as police officers and planning to steal cash and credit cards from tourists visiting London. Scotland Yard said the arrests came after a number of visitors to the capital were approached by men claiming to be officers.

Fears yachtsman has been murdered

The family of a British round-the-world yachtsman who vanished in the Indian Ocean fear he may have been murdered at sea. Sean Terry, 48, from Watford, was last heard from on June 18. MORE

Bid to salvage the bell from HMS Hood

Salvage teams are to try to recover the bell of the battle cruiser HMS Hood, which was sunk in 1941. The bell will be used as a memorial to the ship and the 1,415 men who were lost when it was sunk by the Bismarck in the North Atlantic.

University relaxes its dress code

Oxford University has revised its dress code following concerns that it "did not serve the interests" of transgender students, allowing men to attend formal occasions in skirts and stockings and women in suits and bow ties.  MORE

Hollande delivers foie gras message

François Hollande has vowed to defend foie gras after it was banned in California, saying that outlawing the delicacy goes against the principles of free trade. He said he would bombard US political leaders with gifts of foie gras. MORE

Boat man loses hand, faces charge

A boat captain whose hand was bitten off by a 9ft alligator has been charged with unlawful feeding of the reptile. Wallace Weatherholt, a tour guide in the Everglades, in Florida had hung a fish over the side, it was alleged.

Bank to consider interest rate cut

The Bank of England will debate whether to slash interest rates beyond current historic lows when they meet this week. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee will consider halving the base rate from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent.

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

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Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

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Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

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Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

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Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

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