The News Matrix: Thursday 12 May 2011

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The Independent Online

Coalition ‘has made Government weaker’

A year after the Coalition was formed, voters think the Government has become weaker and less decisive. A study by a Whitehall think-tank suggests Nick Clegg has failed to persuade people, including Liberal Democrats, that coalitions are desirable. MORE

Intelligence ‘failings’ in Special Forces ops

A report has warned that systemic failures in US military intelligence-gathering are persistently leading to civilian casualties in Special Forces raids. It focuses on an air strike last September that the Afghan government says killed 10 civilians. MORE

Bin Laden’s children may sue the US

Osama bin Laden’s children are considering suing the US over what they term the “criminal” killing of their father. Omar bin Laden, Osama’s fourth son, said the family want to know “why an unarmed man was not arrested and tried in a court”. MORE

Suspension for Laws over expenses claim

Former Liberal Democrat minister David Laws is set to be suspended from the Commons for seven days over his expenses claims on a property owned by his partner. MORE

Mass protest at cuts to disability services

Up to 5,000 demonstrators gathered in Westminster yesterday to attend the Hardest Hit protest, organised by the United Kingdom Disabled People’s Council, to protest cuts to services for people with disabilities.

BA crew disput emay be resolved today

The long-running dispute between British Airways and some of its cabin crew may be resolved today. Union officials were said to be “content” with recent negotiations with BA. An offer will be put to a meeting of members at Heathrow today.

Gaddafi loyalists target oil fields

As the battle for Libya nears a stalemate along the Mediterranean coast, a guerrilla war has begun in the desert, where the country’s strategic oil and water reserves lie. There are also reports rebels are poised to take the airport in Misrata. MORE

Vitamin D pill may be ‘best cancer drug’

A leading cancer specialist has said thatVitamin D pills, available for a few pence in any local chemist’s, could help to extend the lives of cancer patients and may even be more effective than drugs costing £10,000 a year. MORE

Obama renews focus on immigration law

Barack Obama has visited the southern border of Texas to renew his call for a shake-up of the country’s immigration system that will provide a “path to citizenship” for the roughly 11 million people living illegally in the United States. The President also launched an aggressive attack on Republicans who call him “soft” on immigration. MORE

Station fined over Berlusconi bias

The TG1 news programme on the Rai Uno channel – the equivalent of BBC1’s Ten O’Clock News – has been fined €100,000 (£85,000) for giving too much air time to Silvio Berlusconi before local elections. The opposition parties said the fine showed the Prime Minister unduly influences media. MORE

Channel 4 to show Class A drug-taking

A Channel 4 series is controversially to show live footage of volunteers taking Class A drugs. Drugs Live participants will take narcotics such as ecstasy under clinical conditions so that viewers will able to see the effects of the substances. MORE

First theft in 20 years in Forbidden City

Officials scrambled yesterday to find out how thieves broke into China’s Forbidden City and stole seven pieces made of gold and jewels. It was the first theft in 20 years at the historic site, prompting an overhaul of security. MORE

Peahen tweets taunt Bronx Zoo keepers

First it was the Egyptian cobra, whose escape for a week in March led to a media frenzy in which a fan set up a Twitter account for the fugitive. Now a peahen has escaped from the Bronx Zoo, and she too now has a fake Twitter feed, taunting handlers who are trying to track her down.

Fashion designer to publish Nietzsche

Karl Lagerfeld intends to print all 12 volumes of the work of Friedrich Nietzsche with typeset print alongside the philosopher’s manuscripts, complete with handwritten corrections and annotations. “It’s very easy to read if you understand this type of German,” said Lagerfeld. MORE

‘Mini-Mao’ woos Communist Party

A12-year-old schoolboy, Huang Yibo, is a rising star in Chinese politics, achieving high office in the Young Pioneers of China. It remains unclear whether the precocious politician – nicknamed Mini Mao – is a creation of propaganda or of pushy parents. MORE

Britain’s youth told to embrace ‘McJobs’

The president of the UK arm of McDonald’s says there should be no snobbery towards youngsters getting a job at the chain. Jill McDonald told fellow directors: “With youth unemployment at 20 per cent, McJobs are increasingly popular, with 15 applicants for every vacancy.”

Palin’s daughter admits jaw surgery

The daughter of 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin insisted she has not had plastic surgery, despite her new slim face and sculpted chin. Bristol Palin said she had jaw surgery in December so her teeth would align properly.

Burglars break into Derbyshire prison

Thieves have broken into HMP Sudbury in Derbyshire, stealing metalwork tools. Staff discovered a hole in the perimeter fence of the open prison on Monday, and it appears the criminals had forced open a workshop door.