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The News Matrix: Saturday 2 February 2013

Missing tycoon is found wandering

A multimillionaire property developer from Galway who went missing for eight months has been found wandering on a country road. Kevin McGeever, 68, has been reduced to "skin and bones", with a long beard and fingernails. He was reportedly kidnapped from his home. MORE

Dead birds coated in 'oil mixture'

Hundreds of seabirds washed up dead along England's south coast were coated in a "refined mineral-based oil mixture". An RSPCA spokesman said it had the texture of "sticky Vaseline". The RSPCA's West Hatch rescue centre in Somerset has taken in 185 birds. MORE

Suicide bomber targets US embassy

A far-leftist suicide bomber killed a Turkish security guard at the US embassy in Ankara yesterday, officials said, blowing open an entrance and sending debris flying through the air. The attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body after entering an embassy gatehouse. MORE

Man who killed wife with gnome is jailed

A former RAF sergeant who bludgeoned his wife to death with a garden gnome before stabbing her was jailed for four years. Frederick Gilliard, 76, told officers he "just lost it" after having a row with Josephine. Gilliard was suffering from a "depressive episode" , Preston Crown Court heard.

Search goes on for survivors of blast

Rescue workers pulled out more bodies from debris at the headquarters of Mexican state oil giant Pemex yesterday after a powerful explosion killed at least 32 people. It was still not clear what caused the explosion on Thursday, blamed in early reports on a faulty boiler. MORE

Soccer star Sterling on assault charge

Teenage soccer star Raheem Sterling has been charged with assaulting a 27-year-old woman. The 18-year-old Liverpool and England winger, who lives in Woolton, did not attend the hearing at Liverpool Youth Court yesterday. His lawyer said he denies the allegation.

Halal meat products had non-Halal traces

The Ministry of Justice has suspended a prisons' meat supplier after it discovered that Halal pies and pasties sourced from a properly Halal-certificated supplier may contain traces of non-Halal meat. The products have been withdrawn and Justice minister Jeremy Wright has apologised.

Female police officer held over 'plebgate'

A female police officer tasked with protecting Government officials was arrested over alleged leaks to the press about the so-called "plebgate affair". The 46-year-old works in the Diplomatic Protection Group. It is the fourth arrest in the investigation, which is known as Operation Alice.

Troops hunt for Islamist leaders

While celebrations continue for the liberation of Timbaktu, French troops, with a core of special forces, are hunting Islamist commanders in the deserts and mountains of Mali. Fighters disappeared into the northern fastness followed by dozens of gun-mounted trucks. MORE

Second airline pilot faints during flight

A Seattle-bound Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Oregon after its pilot passed out. It was the second such fainting spell involving the US carrier in 10 days. Flight crew and passengers helped revive the pilot while the co-pilot took control and landed safely in Portland.

Clinton warns over backing for Syria

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged Iran and Russia to rethink their support for Syria, saying the conflict could spill well beyond its borders. Speaking ahead of her State Department departure, Ms Clinton said Russia continues to aid the Syrian government. MORE

Man stabbed in entrance to court

A young male was stabbed in the entrance to a court building yesterday and a gang of youths was seen running from the scene. The young black man lay in the security entrance to Inner London Crown Court while paramedics treated him. The man is not in a life-threatening condition, police said.

Former NY Mayor Ed Koch is dead

Former Mayor Ed Koch, who presided over New York City in the late 1970s and 1980s and came to personify the city with his outspoken style, died yesterday aged 88. He died of congestive heart failure at New York-Presbyterian Hospital after a year of repeated hospitalisations.

Stars home in a boat for charity

Celebrities including Dara O'Briain and former Spice Girl Mel C have completed a tough Zambezi challenge for Comic Relief – despite their support team capsizing. The stars have battled rapids daily as they headed down the African river with five days of paddling but last night

Judge fired for napping in court

A Russian judge has been fired after taking 40 winks in court then sentencing a defendant to five years. Judge Yevgeny Makhno of Blagoveshchensk City Court was forced to resign after the defence lawyer posted videos online of him asleep in court.

'The Bell Jar' gets judged by its cover

The publishers of a new edition of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, which shows a woman fixing her make-up on the cover, have been accused of treating the tale about depression and women's place in society as "chick lit". "They may as well have called it 'Bell de Jar'," a book designer said. MORE

Teenager posing as doctor arrested

In a story reminiscent of the film Catch Me If You Can, a 17-year-old Australian has been arrested for impersonating a doctor at hospitals in Adelaide. He was seen at three hospitals wearing fake credentials, before his arrest while helping a 12-year-old girl injured in a scooter accident.

Monkey business over space flight

The veracity of Iran's triumphant claims to have launched a monkey into space has been called into question by before and after pictures of the simian space-traveller that appear to show two entirely different animals.

Comedy choices far from funny

The makers of comedy shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Live At The Apollo only feature a small number of acts who also happen to be their own clients, comedian Stewart Lee claims. "Licence-payer money is being spent to increase the value of a tiny coterie of people," he says. MORE

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