The News Matrix: Thursday 16 June 2011

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The Independent Online

Welfare Bill sparks row in Commons

A dispute over the treatment of cancer sufferers dominated Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. Ed Miliband and David Cameron had a war of words after a cancer charity said 7,000 people would be worse off under the new welfare Bill. MORE

Wheat harvest at a 30-year low

England’s wheat harvest will be 15 per cent lower than the five-year average. The National Farmers’ Union says blames drought conditions for the lower production particularly in the south-east. It will be the lowest yield since the 1980s.

Scoter gangs head north for the birds

Hundreds of bird watchers will descend on the tiny Scottish hamlet of Blackdog to see a species never before seen in Britain – the White-winged Scoter, a US native.

Bolton man charged under Terrorism Act

A Bolton man has been charged with four offences under the Terrorism Act. Asim Kauser, 25, of Halliwell, is accused of possessing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, between 2009 and 2011.

Islamic militants attack southern city

Militants with links to al-Qa’ida have attacked a city in southern Yemen, seizing entire neighbourhoods before withdrawing. The assault comes as the country struggles for stability, with President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of the country.

Five interrogated over ‘CIA links’

Pakistan’s powerful spy agency is interrogating at least five Pakistanis on suspicion of colluding with the CIA in the months leading up to the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The arrests represent the latest attempt by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency to shut down what it sees as unauthorised CIA operations on its soil. MORE

Review of decision on Tesco ‘riot store’

A judicial review was granted yesterday into Bristol City Council’s controversial award of planning permission to a Tesco store. The council’s decision led to violent demonstrations over Easter in which eight police officers were injured.

Scottish student in fatal fall in Alps

A 19-year-old has died after falling 1,300ft in the French Alps. Robbie Cammack, from Craigellachie, had been trapped on a mountain in a storm. The youngster was a student at the University of Edinburgh.

UK applications for top US colleges soar

Ivy League universities in America are proving a bigger draw than ever. Several of the leading US colleges report increased applications from UK candidates, who now face intense pressure for UK places and tuition fees to rival the Ivy League. MORE

Adjani accused of ordering attack

The French actress Isabelle Adjani has been questioned by police after an anonymous letter-writer accused her of ordering her bodyguard to assault a former boyfriend, which she denies. Stéphane Delajoux, 44, was attacked by two hooded men in the street in 2009.

British Museum wins £100,000 prize

The British Museum has won the £100,000 Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year, largely thanks to its History of the World project. The project included a 100-part BBC Radio 4 series which examined the historical significance of objects from a Roman gravestone to a Honda Civic.

James Joyce’s pub riddle finally solved

An Irish software developer has masterminded a way of crossing Dublin without passing a pub. In doing so, Rory McCann, 27, answered writer James Joyce’s notorious riddle: can you cross Dublin without passing a pub? Using online maps, he worked out a way to do just that.

Abandoned chick loses fight for life

An abandoned penguin chick being cared for by keepers at a Torquay zoo has died. Its parents rejected it before it even hatched on 25 May. To hand-rear the chick, keepers wore a home-made penguin glove puppet during feeding to prevent it from becoming used to humans.

Son for ‘Black Swan’ star Portman

The actress Natalie Portman has given birth to a boy. It is the first child for Portman and her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied. He was a choreographer on the film Black Swan, which won the 30-year-old a Best Actress Oscar this year for her portrayal of a tormented ballet dancer.