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The News Matrix: Thursday 2 May 2013

Three soldiers are killed in IED attack

Three British soldiers have been killed and six others injured in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan. Corporal William Savage, Fusilier Samuel Flint and Private Robert Hetherington, all of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, were travelling in a heavily-armoured Mastiff vehicle on what was believed to be a safe stretch of road in Helmand Province. MORE

Suspicious van at Gatwick blasted

Controlled explosions were carried out last night on a suspicious van at Gatwick Airport. Part of the North Terminal short-stay car park was cordoned off after concern over a vehicle. Police were unable to locate the driver or view all of the van's interior but said the public was not at risk.

Science experiments too costly for schools

Pupils are missing experiments because some schools are too poor. A study showed while one independent school spent £82.12 per pupil on science equipment, a state primary spent four pence. Almost a third of the science budget in secondary schools is on photocopying.

Google faces fresh questioning

Google and its accountants at Ernst & Young face fresh questioning over tax avoidance. Google has said it pays virtually no tax in Britain because it makes no sales here. The Public Accounts Committee suspects it has been "economical with the truth". MORE

Protesters demand safer work conditions

Thousands of workers protested in Dhaka yesterday to demand safer working conditions, with some calling for the death penalty for the owner of the garment factory building that collapsed last week in the country's worst industrial disaster, killing at least 402 people and injuring 2,500. MORE

Badger protest led by Brian May tune

A badger flash-mob has protested against a Government-led cull of the animals. Fifty people danced to Queen guitarist Brian May's own version of the popular YouTube Badgers song outside Defra.

US extremist battles with al-Shabaab

An American extremist in Somalia is fighting former comrades in the al-Shabaab jihadist group, in what he says may be his final stand. Alabama-born Omar Hammami once fought alongside al-Shabaab, but last year fell out with the fighters who now want to kill him. MORE

British explorer dies crossing polar ice cap

A British man with almost no experience of the polar climate has died trying to cross the Greenland ice cap. Phillip Goodeve-Docker was thought to have become trapped in winds of nearly 100mph and was found engulfed in snow. MORE

Force commissioner seeks sponsorship

The police and crime commissioner for Dorset is considering taking private sponsorship to help his force cope with falling funds and pay for more officers. Martyn Underhill said: "We are the lowest-funded force and have seen the worst cuts."

Signs cannibalism helped colonists live

Scientists say they have found solid evidence some early American colonists survived by resorting to cannibalism. The National Museum of Natural History discovered a 14-year-old girl's bones with clear signs she was cannibalised. The remains date to the deadly winter of 1609-1610, known as the "starving time" in Jamestown.

Pink Floyd impostor racks up huge bill

A man is accused of pretending to be a member of British rock band Pink Floyd at a US hospital – and racking up $100,000 (£64,000) in unpaid medical bills. Police say the 53-year-old went for treatment on 20 April and claimed he was singer-guitarist David Gilmour and that he didn't have health insurance, but he signed autographs.

Cash to make movies outside London

Three British films being shot outside of the capital have been offered new funding in what could be seen as a backlash against the London bias in UK filmmaking. Creative England, which is supported by the British Film Institute, has offered support to films being made in Norfolk and Hampshire. MORE

Racist slurs against first black minister

The Italian government ordered an investigation yesterday into slurs on right-wing websites against the country's first black minister. Cecile Kyenge, an eye doctor and Congo-born Italian citizen, was named integration minister in the new government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta last Saturday. MORE

Nat spots a damned good opportunity

Most actors are suspicious of "The Scottish Play", but Oscar-winning star Natalie Portman has signed up to play Lady Macbeth in a new film adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. The movie will be directed by Australian Justin Kurzel, with Shame actor Michael Fassbender in the title role.

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Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone