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The News Matrix: Thursday 16 May 2013

More people choose to donate organs

The number of people who give one of their organs to a complete stranger has almost trebled in a year. The Human Tissue Authority said there were 104 living donors in 2012-13, compared with 38 a year earlier. One donor gave part of their liver, while the rest donated one of their kidneys. However, around 10,000 people are still in need of an organ transplant.

Hollande faces recession again

France’s economy is in recession again – and that could spell trouble for Europe. The national statistics agency said that GDP fell 0.2 per cent in the first quarter. News of the country’s poor economic condition comes on the first anniversary of François Hollande’s swearing in. MORE

Dorries’s UKIP plan rebuked by Cameron

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has claimed she will speak to her local party about standing as a joint Tory-UKIP candidate in the 2015 election. Prime Minister David  Cameron slapped down the  comments, saying his party “doesn’t do pacts and deals”.

Rebels attempt to free jailed allies

Syrian rebels attacked the main prison in the northern city of Aleppo yesterday with a pair of car bombs in an attempt to free hundreds of regime opponents believed to be held in the facility, activists said. The city’s prison is believed to be holding some 4,000 inmates.

Cameron faces court bedroom tax fight

Ten disabled people have taken the Government to the High Court, claiming the so-called “bedroom tax” breaches human rights laws. Jacqueline Carmichael, a spina  bifida sufferer from Southport, said: “David Cameron should go back to the drawing board.”

Simpson in court bid for fresh kidnap trial

O.J. Simpson began testifying yesterday in his bid for a new trial over the Las Vegas armed robbery and kidnap case that saw him jailed. The 65-year-old former US football star was convicted in 2008. MORE

Oxfordshire council chief to stay in job

The chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council has rejected calls to resign despite council bosses’ failure to uncover a prolific child sex abuse gang. Joanna Simons said her “gut feeling” was that she would remain in her position, despite David Cameron saying police and council needed to question themselves. MORE

Star Trek film goes out of this world

The crew of the International Space Station is boldly going where no one has gone before – to see the new Star Trek film in zero-G rather than 3-D. A NASA spokesman said the movie was beamed up on Monday and the two Russians and American on board had a day off on Tuesday.

Chef plans to put cicada on the menu

A Connecticut chef known for his use of Mexican grasshoppers, meal worms and crickets might soon be recognised for his cicada dishes. He plans to fill a freezer with Brood II cicadas, once the bugs’ 17-year life cycle brings them above ground for about five weeks. “I plan on eating a whole bunch of them myself,” he said.

Men walk off with army tank shells

Two men spotted walking away from a beach near a Dorset army firing range carrying 120-millimetre tank shells over their shoulders are being sought by the Ministry of Defence. The pair were spotted between Worbarrow Bay and Tyneham on Monday. Other walkers thought they were “carrying rugs”.

Comedian arrested after ‘drunken row’

Comedian Rory McGrath has been arrested on suspicion of a drunken assault on a couple in Cornwall. Police were called to a property in Pool after a man and a woman were allegedly assaulted when they tried to assist a man who was “heavily in drink”. McGrath, a panellist on They Think It’s All Over, was bailed until 5 July.

City sues group that feeds parking meters

The city of Keene, New Hampshire, has sued a group that feeds change into parking meters that are about to expire, saying members are harassing enforcement officers. The group calls itself “Robin Hood of Keene”. Members walk city streets with rolls of dimes and quarters to feed the meters.

Record sale price for a living artist

A masterpiece by German artist Gerhard Richter has sold for $37m at Sotheby’s in New York. “Domplatz, Mailand”, below, set a record for any living artist at auction. It was purchased by a private American collector. The work depicts a shopping centre  facing Milan’s cathedral and is considered an outstanding example of Richter’s 1960s  photo-painting technique.

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