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The News Matrix: Thursday 18 April 2013

Senate blocks checks on gun owners

US lawmakers have voted down a key part of the gun-control laws inspired by the Sandy Hook school shootings. The Senate rejected a bipartisan plan to expand background checks for weapons buyers, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's campaign to curb gun violence after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Despite broad public support, the measure fell six votes short last night.

CCTV shows mother just before her death

Police spoke to a pregnant woman shortly before she fell to her death and her three young children were found dead, it emerged yesterday. CCTV images show Fiona Anderson holding a teddy bear as she walked around Lowestoft, Suffolk, shortly before she was found. MORE

Arrests over leak of watchdog's expenses

Two police workers were arrested after their force watchdog's travel expenses were leaked to the media. The documents detailed the £700 cost of two trips in a chauffeur- driven Mercedes taken by Cumbria's police and crime commissioner, Richard Rhodes.

Soldiers join quake rescue effort in Iran

More than 300 soldiers were sent to the south-west of the country to help with rescue efforts following the earthquake across the border in Iran. As troops joined doctors and engineers in relief work in Baluchistan, they were jolted by a 5.7-magnitude aftershock yesterday. MORE

Dentist would be alive if law changed

A dentist would probably still be alive if the law in Ireland allowed an abortion as she miscarried, an inquest was told. A leading obstetrician claimed the inability to end Savita Halappanavar's pregnancy until there was a real risk of her death cost her life. MORE

i's Kim Sengupta up for journalism prize

Kim Sengupta, i's defence and diplomatic correspondent, left, is shortlisted for this year's Orwell Prize for Journalism for his dispatches from Syria. He has also reported extensively from Libya, Gaza and Afghanistan.

Eno unveils hospital 'healing' project

The musician Brian Eno has designed an ambient "healing environment" to help hospital patients recover with soothing lights and sounds. The former Roxy Music member, who produced albums for David Bowie and U2, will unveil two installations today at the new Montefiore Hospital in Hove, East Sussex. MORE

Marriage equality law is passed

New Zealand has become the 13th country to legalise same-sex marriage. MPs voted 77 to 44 in favour of the Marriage Equality Bill on its third and final reading, making it the first in the Asia-Pacific region to fully recognise same-sex unions. Jubilant gay-rights supporters celebrated the announcement yesterday. MORE

Bottled message is found after 28 years

A message sent in a bottle from Canada 28 years ago has washed ashore. It was found by surfers cleaning a beach, who almost threw away the bottle before spotting wet paper inside. The message said: "Mary, you really are a great person … I said I would write. Your friend always, Jonathon, Nova Scotia, 1985."

Women gather for breast implant trial

Hundreds of women crowded into a makeshift courtroom in Marseille yesterday for the trial of five men accused of flooding the world with faulty breast implants. Jean-Claude Mas, founder of Poly Implant Prothèse, and four colleagues allegedly substituted a low grade of silicon for the approved type. MORE

Customers throw roadkill into tavern

Police are searching for dissatisfied customers who hurled roadkill into a tavern. The dead groundhog and grouse were tossed into a bar in Brookville, Pennsylvania. Police chief Ken Dworek said the suspects were an underage man who was refused service and another turned away due to "an alcohol problem".

'Peter Kay brother' sought over fraud

Police are hunting a fraudster who claims to be the brother of comedian Peter Kay. Peter Stead, 50, allegedly tricked pub landlords in in Derbyshire out of cash by offering to put on comedy nights for the Lewis Mighty Fund – a charity set up in the name of a seven-year-old who died of cancer – but then failed to do so.

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