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The News Matrix: Saturday 26 October 2013

Jack Straw signals end of his MP career

Jack Straw is standing down as Labour MP for Blackburn at the next general election. The former Home Secretary said his “love affair” with the town was “not going to end on 7th May 2015, nor is my connection with it.” Mr Straw, 67, has stood in eight general elections since 1979. MORE

Teaching unions halt strike for talks

Teachers have agreed to suspend a national strike after ministers agreed to discuss the dispute. Two of England’s biggest teaching unions, the National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT had planned a one-day walkout in a continuing row over pay, pensions and conditions.

Quake spark fears for Fukushima

An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck off Japan’s eastern seaboard last night, prompting fears of a tsunami hitting the coastline at Fukushima, the site of thenuclear power plant damaged in a 2011 earthquake. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Officer charged with rape and assault

A police constable has been charged with raping a woman. West Mercia Police said Vinod Kumar Dahiya, 44, from Telford, Shropshire, had been charged with two counts of rape alleged to have been committed in May and June this year. He has also been charged with assault.

Deal struck to build iron ore mine

One of the last unspoilt countries on Earth has struck a deal with a mining company to build a giant iron ore mine. Greenland awarded a 30-year licence to London Mining to build an open-cast mine. Its parliament also voted to end a 25-year ban on digging for radioactive materials. MORE

Urban site yields 1,000-year-old relics

An archaeological site in the middle of Peru’s bustling capital Lima has yielded yet another pre-Incan prize: an undisturbed Wari tomb containing two mummies wrapped in ceremonial fabric. The tomb, estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, also contained intact artifacts. MORE

Massive storm for England and Wales

A giant storm may batter England and Wales this weekend. The Met Office report that a powerful weather system is developing over the Atlantic, which could bring with it some of the worst weather conditions the country has seen since the Great Storm of 1987. MORE

Veteran shooting suspect handed over

A National Guard recruiter suspected of shooting and wounding two of his superiors was due to be turned over to federal authorities yesterday. The veteran had been called into a meeting near Memphis on Thursday. Local media reported that the  supervisors were set to relieve him of his duties.

Beaten man’s injuries as bad as in ‘car crash’

A homeless man found savagely beaten had head injuries similar to car-crash victims, a court has heard. Vladimirs Kazlausks, from Latvia, was attacked while he slept in an underground service road in Newport. Two teenage boys, charged with his attempted murder, deny the attack.

Russell’s branded a t*** for never voting

Comedian Russell Brand has been described as a “t***” by a Tory MP after admitting on Newsnight that he had never voted. Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said on a live interview on local radio station BBC WM: “I’ve never heard so many big words used to such little effect.”

Breast cancer: a photo diary

A photographer has published a touching photo diary of his wife’s struggle with breast cancer. Angelo Merendino married Jennifer in New York in 2007. Five monthson, she was diagnosed. She died within four years, at 40. “We loved each other with every bit of our souls,” he said. MORE

Hertford claims first doughnut recipe

It’s seen as an all-American treat, but the first doughnut recipe is believed to have been written in Hertford. The Hertfordshire Record Society, which publishes a volume of records a year, has released The Receipt Book of Baroness Elizabeth Dimsdale, which includes a recipe for “dow nuts”.

Politicians offered Facebook tips

Facebook offered some of Brazil’s top politicians advice this week on how to win “friends”. The social media tips came as Congress prepares legislation that could severely limit the way Facebook operates. President Dilma Rousseff wants the site to store data on Brazil’s 76 million users.

Tim Howard wins ‘Beard of Autumn’

The winner of the coveted Beard  of Autumn award has been announced as Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard. Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman came a close second. Hairy Biker and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Dave Myers placed third.

Piper leads young talent on longlist

Billie Piper is up against Dames Helen Mirren and Judi Dench for best actress in this year’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards. The 31-year-old is among many young talents recognised on the longlist. Tom Sturridge and Harry Hadden-Paton face off for best actor.

Somali refugees to join ice world cup

Eleven Somali refugees will travel to Siberia early next year to compete in world championships for bandy – a Nordic version of ice hockey. Coached by a Swedish professional, the side, the first in Africa, have set their sights on the 2014 World Bandy Championships in Irkutsk in late January. MORE

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