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The News Matrix: Monday 4 June 2012

U-turns are a sign of strength, says PM

Budget U-turns are a sign of strength not weakness the Prime Minister said yesterday, in an attempt to dodge criticisms about a series of last-minute changes in tax measures. "Nobody thinks this government lacks resolve, strength and grit," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr.

Rescued hostages were facing death

The hostages, including British aid worker Helen Johnston, rescued by the SAS from Taliban kidnapperson Friday were at risk of execution. Telephone interceptions revealed that the kidnappers, who died during the operation, were debating which one to kill. MORE

Death of 'Desperate Housewives' actress

The Desperate Housewives actress Kathryn Joosten, a two-time Emmy award winner, has died of cancer. Joosten was also well-known for her role as Delores Landingham in The West Wing. MORE

Woman 'too young' to get IVF on NHS

A 24-year-old, infertile after appendicitis, is claiming age discrimination after being denied IVF treatment because she is too young. National guidelines allow free IVF for women aged 23 to 39, but Andrea Heywood has been told by Portsmouth PCT she must wait until she is 30. MORE

Boy, 16, arrested in drugs death inquiry

Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of supplying drugs following the death of a teenager in Liverpool. Rose Farley, 15, died on Saturday amid reports her drink was spiked with Ecstasy just days after police warned of the dangers of the drug circulating in the city. MORE

Protests as ex-PM runs for president

The former dictator Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison at the weekend, but Egypt's streets again became the site of protest, as Egyptians directed their anger at Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak's last prime minister, and at present a presidential candidate. The protesters want to have Shafik's candidacy declared invalid on the basis of his connection to the ousted regime. MORE

Sister joins force that got brother's killers

The sister of a black teenager killed in an unprovoked racist attack has joined the police force that caught his killers. Seven years after her brother Anthony was killed, Dominique Walker, 26, is patrolling the tough Merseyside estates where his attackers grew up. MORE

Musicians to mime at opening ceremony

Musicians in the London Symphony Orchestra will have to mime their performance in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics because a live performance is deemed "too risky" because of the shape of the stadium and worries about the weather. MORE

Dead murderer's body eaten by bear

Authorities have identified a corpse, partially eaten by a black bear, as the body of Rory Nelson Wagner, who pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in 1994, was paroled but went missing from his halfway house last month.

Teen mother drives off with baby on roof

A pot-smoking teenage mother from Arizona, Catalina Clouser, was arrested after leaving her five-week old son, strapped in his safety seat, on the roof of her car as she drove off. The baby fell off the car at an intersection, where he was found, unhurt.

The Voice loses viewers battle

More than seven million viewers tuned in to see the final of BBC talent show The Voice. Overall it lost the viewing figures battle to rival series Britain's Got Talent last month. The winner of The Voice was Leanne Mitchell.

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Day In a Page

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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor