The News Matrix: Monday 8 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Gene breakthrough for ovarian cancer

A cancer charity says it has made the most important breakthrough in understanding ovarian cancer for more than a decade. A study by Cancer Research UK found that a fault in a gene that normally helps the body to repair DNA increases a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer six-fold. MORE

Fifty killed in raids by security forces

Tanks rolled into two cities in Syria that have seen major opposition protests to President Assad’s regime, killing more than 50 people yesterday. The latest assault in the crackdown on unrest focused on the towns of Deir al-Zour and Houleh. MORE

Newlyweds killed in quad bike accident

Tributes were being paid to a couple killed on their Maldives honeymoon yesterday. Jonathan and Emma Gray, both 25, from Halifax, Yorkshire, were killed in a quad bike accident at the Kuredu Island Resort. MORE

Fall in the number of first-time buyers

The number of first-time buyers in the UK has tumbled over the past two years, resulting in seven out of 11 regions become “black spots” for the market. The level of buyers in most of the country made up just 20 per cent of the total transactions in July, according to Rightmove’s survey. MORE

Protesters demand food price cuts

More than a quarter of a million people took to the streets of Israel over the weekend in an escalation of the protest movement that is demanding the government take action to reduce the cost of housing and food. The protests pose a political challenge to PM Benjamin Netanyahu. MORE

Former MPs among freed detainees

Bahrain freed a group of detainees yesterday, including two former members of parliament, charged over anti-government protests in the Gulf state earlier this year. The former MPs, Jawad Fairouz and Matar Ibrahim Matar, are from the Al-Wefaq Shi’ite opposition group.

Eight shot dead after family row

A family argument in Ohio has ended in at least eight deaths, including an 11-year-old. Copley Township police chief Michael Mier said one person shot five people in one location on Sunday, then two more nearby, before police killed the gunman.

Coastal towns batten down for typhoon

More than 200,000 coastal residents in eastern China were evacuated and thousands of ships were called back to port yesterday as Typhoon Muifa bore down on the country after battering the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. MORE

Alaskan village agog over mystery goo

Residents of a remote Alaskan village have been baffled by a mysterious neon orange goo that appeared in the area’s lakes and ponds after a series of rain showers last week. Since then locals have been boiling their water. They are now awaiting answers from scientists examining samples in the state capital of Anchorage. MORE

Swimmer braves sharks for a first

US endurance swimmer Diana Nyad departed last night on her bid to become the first person to swim the 103-mile Florida Straits without the aid of a shark cage. The 61-year-old will be accompanied by 45 people on five boats during the trip through shark-infested waters from the Cuban capital of Havana to the Florida Keys.

Rapper Big Boi held on drug charges

Grammy-winning OutKast rapper Big Boi has been arrested in Miami on charges of illegally possessing drugs. The rapper, whose real name is Antwan Patton, was charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia yesterday.

Former conjoined twins’ 10th birthdays

Twin sisters who were born conjoined but defied the odds to survive separation surgery have celebrated their 10th birthdays. Josie and Teresita Quiej-Alvarez, from Guatemala, were separated in a 23-hour procedure at a Los Angeles hospital in 2002. Among the guests at their party on Saturday were members of the 50-strong surgical team. MORE

US ‘supercop’ would consider Met role

High-profile US “supercop” Bill Bratton confirmed that he would be interested in leading the Metropolitan Police if he were allowed to apply, saying: “I have been interested in looking at that position.” But Home Secretary Theresa May appears to have blocked any chance of his succeeding Sir Paul Stephenson.

Musicians want right to say no to charity

Professional musicians who play charity and fundraising events are being “emotionally blackmailed” into working fee-free, the Musicians Union says in a motion to next month’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) annual conference. The union says this is particularly “unjust” when other support staff are paid.

Ex-finalist Cher is top of singles chart

Cher Lloyd, a former finalist in the talent search the X Factor, has claimed top spot in the singles chart with her debut release Swagger Jagger. She said a number one was “the best thing I could have asked for”. In the album chart, Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black is number one and her debut, Frank, number three.

Sheep rustling soars as meat prices go up

The price of meat is encouraging the theft of sheep, farmers have warned. Figures released by the National Farmers’ Union reveal sheep rustling is almost double the rate of six months ago. The animals are being stolen dead or alive for their meat. MORE

Colosseum closed for suspect object

A suspicious device that forced the evacuation of the Colosseum yesterday turned out to be a false alarm, Rome’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno, said. The Colosseum was evacuated about an hour before the site was scheduled to close after tourists saw the suspicious object.

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