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The News Matrix: Tuesday 13 March 2012


Library protesters to rally in London

Libraries across the UK have been plunged into crisis due to public sector cuts, campaigners will warn the Government today. Protesters will rally in London ahead of a select committee hearing on library closures. More than 100 libraries have closed or been forced to run on volunteers.

Southern states will be crucial to Romney

Surprise victories tomorrow in one or even both of the Deep South states voting in the Republican presidential nomination marathon could all but sew up the win for Mitt Romney and leave his main rivals, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, scrambling for relevancy. MORE

Rogue US soldier had suffered brain injury

The suspected rogue US soldier who killed 16 people is believed to be 38-years-old and married with two children. He had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in the past and had marital problems after his last tour of duty in Iraq, according to an ABC News report.

Ketamine could lose Class C status

Ketamine could lose its Class C status after the Home Office ordered experts on an independent drugs panel to update their advice on the increasingly popular club drug. High doses of ketamine can suppress heart function and lead to unconsciousness.

Actress's brother faces murder charge

The brother of the EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie appeared in court yesterday charged with her murder. Tony McCluskie, 35, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

Survey shows 4.5m always overdrawn

Almost a third of people in Britain have gone into the red at some point in the last 12 months and 4.5 million of us are permanently overdrawn, according to a new survey. Moneysupermarket.com claims that 17 million people have used an overdraft in the past year and 27 per cent of those ended up using an overdraft just 15 days after being paid.

Regime militias 'massacre civilians'

Opposition activists say scores of people were butchered by regime militias roaming through a rebel neighbourhood in Homs, renewing fears that Syria was slipping towards all-out civil war as former UN chief Kofi Annan flew out of Damascus. MORE

Dick Cheney pulls out of speech date

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney has cancelled a speaking date in Canada through safety fears, sparked by fervent protests during a visit to Vancouver last year. Critics had protested over his endorsement of the use of water-boarding against detainees.

Future of health is bright with oranges

Scientists have created a new type of orange that could help combat medical disorders including obesity, heart disease and irritable bowel syndrome. The genetically modified crop combines Valencia oranges with the health-giving red pigments of the Sicilian blood orange. MORE

Ozone layer pioneer dies aged 84

F Sherwood Rowland, the Nobel prize-winning chemist who alerted the world to the thinning of the Earth's ozone layer, has died at the age of 84 in California. Mr Rowland was one of three scientists awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize for chemistry

Boris deputy 'tried to stop hacking probe'

London's Deputy Mayor could be called to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry. Kit Malthouse's alleged attempts to pressurise the Met Police into reducing the scale of their investigation into phone hacking have been raised at the inquiry. MORE

Talented teachers get YouTube slots

Lessons by some of the world's most talented teachers will be filmed and put on YouTube. The project, by US non-profit organisation TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design), will initially put 12 videos online, including one showing a cockroach's brain hooked up to a DIY monitor.

Twenty chefs make world's tallest cake

An 8m-tall cake on display in a shopping mall in Luoyang, Henan Province, has set a new Guinness World Record to become the world's tallest cake. It took 20 chefs around 24 hours to bake the eight-tier cake, using 500kg of eggs, 260kg of flour, 200kg of cream and 80kg of chocolate.

Students learn to survive zombies

Students at Michigan State University will soon be able to sign up for a seven-week summer course called "Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Catastrophes and Human Behaviour," which will teach them about humans react to catastrophic events.

Hackney students readied for Oxbridge

A-Level students at a Hackney college will have lessons in a purpose-built room with leather-bound books, antique rugs and a view of replica classical sculptures to make them feel more at home should they go to Oxford and Cambridge.

Komodo dragons in smuggler's suitcase

Customs officials have seized 49 turtles, 15 chameleons, six komodo dragons and four Cayman crocodiles, as well as pythons and poisonous tree frogs, after a man attempted to smuggle the live creatures in to country in suitcases.

Sachs collection to be auctioned

Art owned by the international playboy Gunter Sachs are going on sale in London. Sachs was friends with Andy Warhol and married Brigitte Bardot. Works include pieces by Roy Lichtenstein and Salvador Dali. MORE

Town for sale: only one careful resident

A town advertised as the smallest in the US is up for auction next month. Buford, Wyoming, had up to 2,000 residents before the Transcontinental Railroad was re-routed. Now, it has just one – Don Sammons – who plans to retire from running his business in the town and move on.

The Cure return after 33 years

It's normally left to Glastonbury for the big surprise when naming headline acts for the summer festivals. In its absence, it has been revealed The Cure will play at Reading for the first time in 33 years. They will join Kasabian and Foo Fighters in playing at Reading and Leeds in August.