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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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform