The News Matrix: Thursday 3 February 2011

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The Independent Online

Unilever agrees to end animal testing

Unilever, which makes PG Tips and Lipton Ice Tea, has agreed to stop testing its teas on animals after lobbying groups threatened a publicity campaign to shame the group. It is a decade since Unilever used chimpanzees to advertise PG Tips. MORE

Girl, 11, locked up on Christmas Day

The UK Border Agency has apologised for holding an 11-year-old girl in an immigration removal centre on Christmas Day, contravening a Government pledge to end child detention. She was detained overnight with her mother and adult sister and deported on Boxing Day. MORE

Number 10 names Coulson successor

The former deputy head of the BBC World Service was yesterday named as the Government’s new director of communications. It is thought that Craig Oliver, who replaces Andy Coulson, will bring expertise in rolling news to Number 10. MORE

Woody Allen’s 41st film to open Cannes

Woody Allen’s latest film, Midnight in Paris, will open the 65th Cannes Film Festival in May. France’s first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, makes her acting debut in it in a cameo role.

Osborne urged to formulate a ‘Plan B’

The Chancellor, George Osborne, needs to prepare a “Plan B” in case the economy continues to slow, according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, which also warns that the Government’s public spending cuts could prove “formidably hard to deliver”. MORE

Cairns braced for onslaught of Yasi

The most powerful cyclone ever to hit Australia smashed into northern Queensland yesterday, bringing new havoc to an area recently devastated by floods. Cyclone Yasi is expected to cause widespread damage to the city of Cairns. MORE

Foreign aid funds used for Pope’s visit

Nearly £2 million was diverted from foreign aid funds to bankroll the Pope’s visit to the UK last September. A select committee report reveals £1.85 million for the visit came from the Department for International Development’s central funds. MORE

Doctors may strike over NHS reforms

Doctors may strike over the Government’s NHS reforms as opposition to the changes within the profession hardens. The British Medical Association will hold an emergency meeting forced by members angered by the Government’s response to its consultation on the White Paper. MORE

Manning ‘should not have been in Iraq’

Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of passing classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, should never have been sent to Iraq, where he is alleged to have downloaded the files. A Pentagon report is expected to say Pte Manning’s superiors ignored advice that he wasn’t mentally prepared for the deployment. MORE

Dairy Milk choc bar downsizes

Cadbury has reduced the size of its Dairy Milk bar by two squares but continues to charge the same price. The 140g bar of the Kraftowned manufacturer’s flagship sweet has been cut to 120g but still costs 99p. Cadbury blamed “economic reasons” for the decision.

Rock duo the White Stripes call it a day

The White Stripes have announced they have broken up. The former husband and wife duo Jack and Meg White, famed for “Seven Nation Army,” said it was to preserve what was “beautiful and special”.

Parking perks for pregnant women

Women having difficult pregnancies would get special parking privileges under a bill due to be proposed by a New York City council man. The bill suggests that pregnant women should be allowed to park in no-parking zones and stand in no-standing zones, said Councilman David Greenfield, the bill’s sponsor. He planned to introduce the proposal at a council meeting yesterday. (Reuters)

Chinese New Year cakes laced with gold

Wealthy Chinese-Filipinos are snapping up rice cakes decorated with 24-carat gold foil and diamonds to celebrate the Lunar New Year in hopes of attracting good luck in the Year of the Rabbit. The rabbit-shaped glutinous rice cakes sell for between $500 and $2,700 (£310 and £1,650). (AP)

Romance linked to speech style

US researchers have found a new way to predict the success of a relationship: compare speaking styles. They found that college students who used similar language were far more likely to want to see each other again than those whose speech differed. (Reuters)