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The News Matrix: Thursday 09 May 2013

April suspect seemed ‘normal’ says teacher

April Jones’ headteacher said Mark Bridger “behaved normally” at a parents’ evening the night he is accused of kidnapping and murdering the schoolgirl. A court yesterday heard from an eight-year-old girl who said Mr Bridger invited her to a “sleepover” just before April went missing, as well as her mother’s 999 call. Mr Bridger denies the charges.

Diamond gang hunt: 31 people arrested

Unlike the brilliant thieves in Ocean’s Eleven, it appears that those behind the clockwork-precision, £32m diamond heist at Brussels Airport may not get a Hollywood ending. The authorities have detained at least 31 people in a three-nation sweep. MORE

Abu Qatada could  be freed by weekend

The extremist cleric Abu Qatada will make another bid for freedom tomorrow at an immigration tribunal. If the Special Immigration Appeals Commission agrees to his lawyers’ application for bail, Qatada could be released by the weekend despite strong Home Office resistance.

Khan to recover fully from fall

The prominent politician Imran Khan is expected to make a full recovery despite fracturing three vertebrae and a rib in a fall at a rally, his doctor said yesterday. Khan’s main competitor,  former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, suspended his campaign for a day on out of respect.

GCSE shake-up ‘will hit results for years’

GCSE results could vary “more than normal” for years after a proposed overhaul of the exams, it is claimed. In a letter to Education Secretary Michael Gove, Ofqual chief regulator Glenys Stacey warns against downgrading the importance of English and maths qualifications. MORE

French icon placed under Nelson’s nose

A French icon – a giant blue cockerel  – is coming to London. The 4.7m work by artist Katharina Fritsch will stand on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth, within crowing distance of naval hero Lord Nelson, for 18 months from July.

Seven die as ship slams into dock

Rescue workers in diving gear found seven bodies yesterday after a cargo ship slammed into the dock at Genoa, toppling the busy Italian port’s control tower into the harbour. Four people were taken to hospital and two others remained unaccounted for, rescue officials said. MORE

US fugitive is found living in Kent

One of New York City’s most wanted fugitives has been found living in Chatham, Kent. Sean Lopes, 47, has been on the run since 2004 and faced charges of kidnapping and attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend. Kent Police arrested him following a joint investigation with the New York Police Department.

Swimming ape debate resurfaces

Are humans descended from swimming apes? That question will be discussed today by a scientists, academics and medics who are all proponents of the Aquatic Ape Theory. The target of much derision from the scientific mainstream, the theory was devised in 1960 and last discussed in 1992. MORE

Woman survives harpoon accident

A woman in Brazil miraculously survived after her husband accidentally shot her in the mouth with a harpoon. Elisangela Borborema Rosa’s husband was cleaning his spear gun when it went off, firing a harpoon that hit her cervical spine.  A neurosurgeon at the hospital said the harpoon came within 1cm of killing her.

Tycoon not obliged to support ex-wife

A millionaire green tycoon is not obliged to make financial contributions to his former wife, who shared his New Age lifestyle, a judge has ruled. Dale Vince, 51, separated from Kathleen Wyatt almost 30 years ago and they divorced a decade later. At the time, Vince was a “most improbable candidate for affluence”.

Man, 22, sent €29m tax bill by mistake

A 22-year-old Austrian had the shock of his life when he received a tax bill for €29m (£24.5m). Agadir B, who was earning €600 a month, told the Heute newspaper he received the bill after filing his tax return for 2008. However, a second letter later came declaring the first one void and apologising for the “technical error”.

Dylan’s chance of award goes to pot

Bob Dylan’s pot-smoking, peacenik antics in the 1960s and 70s may have put him out of the runaning for France’s highest award, the Legion of Honour, according to claims in the media. The people behind the award were reportedly alerted to Dylan’s past activities by the habitual police check of potential laureates. MORE

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