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The News Matrix: Saturday 3 March 2012

 

Cameron invites mounting criticism

David Cameron has admitted that he rode Raisa, the retired Metropolitan Police mount loaned to the former chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks. The revelation prompted calls for him to "come clean" on his relationship with the newspaper stable. MORE

Protests over plans to amend constitution

Demonstrators gathered in central Bangkok yesterday to protest at the Thai government's plan to amend the constitution, which critics say is a ruse to allow ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return from exile. Yingluck Shinawatra became Prime Minister last July.

Putin says he will not suppress rivals

Vladimir Putin denied he plans a crackdown on opposition groups if he returns to office, as expected, in a presidential vote tomorrow. The country today enters an official "day of silence" when campaigning is forbidden before the presidential vote. MORE

BBC unveils the John Peel wing

The BBC is to name a wing of its newly refurbished Broadcasting House after the late John Peel, the DJ renowned for discovering new bands The section of the central London building, currently known as the Egton wing, was home to Radio 1 for around a decade. MORE

Tornadoes wreak havoc in Alabama

Tornadoes destroyed houses and tore the roof off a jail in Alabama yesterday, two days after storms killed 13 people in the Midwest and South. Forecasters said strong storms could hit other parts of the US later in the day and thousands of schoolchildren in several states were sent home.

Livestock virus cases now at 92

Nine more farms have reported cases of a disease which causes birth defects and miscarriages in livestock, taking the total to 92. The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency said the Schmallenberg virus had been detected in 85 sheep and seven cattle in the south and east of England.

Comic Bishop's week in hell raises £1.6m

Liverpool comic John Bishop has completed a "Week from Hell" challenge, including a 185-mile Paris to Calais bike ride, rowing across the channel and three marathons on three consecutive days. He raised more than £1.6m for charity. He said: "That money is going to change lives."

Public sectors cuts 'put women at risk'

Public sector cuts have placed women's lives at risk, campaigners have warned. A 31 per cent cut in Government funding means refuges for women suffering physical violence and mental abuse are closing and specialist counsellors are losing their jobs. MORE

Harry ready for reggae or a rumble?

Prince Harry is to meet Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, who has called for Jamaican independence from the crown, when he visits the Commonwealth nation next week. However, locals appear to have only one thing on their minds: where Prince Harry will party. MORE

Travellers lose relocation appeal

Travellers evicted from the UK's largest illegal settlement in Essex have lost their bid for permission to live on a new site. Former Dale Farm residents launched an appeal against Basildon Council's decision to refuse planning permission for 12 pitches on land at Church Road, Laindon.

Mubarak aide to be extradited to Egypt

A Spanish court ordered a close aide of Egypt's ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, to be extradited to Egypt. Hussein Salem. who was arrested in Madrid in June, will also face charges of money laundering and corruption. Investigators froze £27m of Salem's assets and seized homes worth £9m.

Voters take part in parliamentary poll

Iranians went to the polls yesterday for the first time since the 2009 elections which sparked protests over accusations of vote rigging to return President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. Parliamentary polls yesterday were largely a battle between supporters of the president and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. MORE

Radiohead's 'ethical' set-up just the ticket

Radiohead have set up an "ethical" ticket exchange after discovering that fans were paying touts up to £630 to see them on a recent US tour. Fans will be able to exchange their tickets for close to cost price and a small handling fee by going through the ticket trust. MORE

Beatle's son to play Cavern Club gig

Sir Paul McCartney's son will follow in his footsteps by playing Liverpool's Cavern Club – where the Beatles made their name. Musician James McCartney, 34, will play the Cavern Club next month, as part of a short series of dates. He has performed on several of his famous dad's albums.

Text from 'gunman' was schoolboy error

A teenager accidentally sent his school into lockdown after his phone's automatic spell-check changed the word "gunna" to "gunman". The recipient of his text message alerted the police, who closed West Hall high school in Oakland, Georgia, while they investigated.

Pop stars take the Argentinians' side

First it was Sean Penn who voiced his support for Britain relinquishing sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. Now singer Morrissey has told the crowd at an Argentinian gig that they "belong to you". This week, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters also said the islands should belong to Argentina.

Scotland pipped to sheep-shearing title

After a nail biting battle of the blades New Zealand won the world team machine shearing title on their home turf of Masterton last night. The Scottish team were runners-up in the Golden Shears championships in which around 4,600 sheep were sheared.

Clooney: nothing wrong with being gay

George Clooney has responded to speculation over his sexuality. The Oscar-winner told a gay magazine he "doesn't give a s***" if people think he is gay, saying he was "not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing." The actor is dating former wrestler Stacy Keibler.

Blinded matador goes back to bullring

His face is partly paralysed, he cannot chew food, his balance is shaky and he is blind in his left eye – but less than five months after a horrific goring, matador Juan José Padilla is to make a triumphant comeback. He will be back in the ring tomorrow in the town of Olivenza. MORE

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Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit