The News Matrix: Monday 4 July 2011

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The Independent Online

Israel denies ‘James Bond’ dirty tricks

Greece has arrested the captain of a ship bound for Gaza, the latest blow to the flotilla planning to break the blockade on the strip as activists claim they are victims of an Israeli “dirty tricks” campaign. Israel has dismissed the suggestion as the “paranoid” fantasies of people who believe life is “a James Bond film”. MORE

NHS chiefs fear veto for family costs cap

NHS executives fear that plans to reform elderly care in Britain could be vetoed by the Treasury because they are too expensive. The proposals, to cap the amount families have to pay for long-term care, would cost an estimated £2bn. MORE

Hama prepares for military onslaught

Civilians were bracing themselves for a military onslaught last night as tanks converged on the city of Hama, scene of a notorious massacre in 1982. Dozens were detained in sweeps of the city that saw some of the country’s largest protests on Friday. MORE

Britain to send £38m of food to Ethiopia

Britain has pledged £38m in food aid to Ethiopia, which is suffering its worst drought for a decade. The UK will provide food for 1.3 million people, as well as extra aid to help starving children and more effective healthcare for mothers. MORE

Probe into treatment of whistle-blowers

A parliamentary inquiry is to be held into the treatment of NHS whistleblowers amid evidence of health service cover-ups. It is likely to demand that regulators punish clinicians and managers found complicit in wrongdoing through their silence. MORE

Pressure grows over Strauss-Kahn case

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has enjoyed his first weekend of freedom while pressure mounted on the District Attorney who pushed through the attempted rape charges. MORE

Women soldiers may be sent to front line

Australia may be one of the first countries in the world to send female troops to the front line after a review. The move would remove all gender barriers in the military, where positions closed to women include the infantry and parachute regiments. MORE

Royal couple share a private brunch

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco marked the start of married life with a private brunch after three days of celebrations overshadowed by the prince’s playboy past. MORE

Heir’s lobbying is called into question

Prince Charles has been accused of hiding behind stringent new freedom of information restrictions to conceal unconstitutional lobbying of the Government, after it was revealed that he met at least eight ministers during a 10-month period. MORE

Peers to oppose a cap on payments

Labour and Liberal Democrat peers will oppose moves to impose an annual limit on benefit payments, following warnings from within Whitehall that the plans risk making 40,000 families homeless.

Dan Brown Oxfam’s most donated author

More Dan Brown books were donated to Oxfam than those by any other author for the third year in a row, its annual survey revealed today. Next most donated were crime writer Ian Rankin, author of the Detective Inspector Rebus series, and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. MORE

Fugitive baboon back behind bars

An escaped baboon which became a minor celebrity after sightings in the parks and gardens of New Jersey has been captured after three days on the run. A search team had spotted the baboon on a golf course on Friday but it dashed into woods before they could tranquillise it. MORE

Shed of the year makes sweet music

A small garden shed used to host music performances has won Shed of the Year – even though it is in a state of disrepair. Jon Earl of Clevedon, North Somerset, beat off shedloads of competition to win the accolade after impressing judges with the “unusual use” of his structure.

Man held after truck wrecks village

A man arrested after a digger was driven on a wrecking spree around a village, will appear in court today. Steven Regan, 34, from Leeds, was detained after the JCB caused damage throughout Church Warsop, near Mansfield, Notts.

US holiday to have less bang

The Independence Day holiday will have less of a bang in parts of the US today, with towns banning fireworks and cancelling public displays because of the danger of wildfires. In Arizona, worst hit by fires, fireworks have been banned in several cities.

West Ham hits back over bidding claims

The row over the future of London’s Olympic Stadium took a new twist yesterday as the successful bidder, West Ham United, said it was taking legal action against Tottenham Hotspur and The Sunday Times over allegations surrounding the bid. MORE

Temple‘puzzle’ finally solved

An ancient Cambodian temple has reopened after decades of work described as the world’s largest puzzle. Restoring the 11th century Baphuon ruin involved piecing together hundreds of thousands of sandstone blocks.

Puzzling sandstone temple open again

An ancient temple described as the world’s largest puzzle has reopened to the public after decades of painstaking work. The restoration of the 11th-century Baphuon ruin has involved many thousands of sandstone blocks.

Car vandal, 3, too young to charge

A boy of three caught vandalising cars in a street near his home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was seven years too young to be prosecuted. The incident in May was revealed after a Freedom of Information Act request.