The News Matrix: Tuesday 17 May 2011

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The Independent Online

Labour says Huhne is dodging questions

Chris Huhne will be put under further pressure today as Labour claims he is dodging discussions around carbon emissions. Mr Huhne is already fighting to save his political career after allegations involving a speeding offence in 2003. MORE

Trump shelves his presidential hopes

Donald Trump, the entrepreneur and host of The Apprentice, withdrew his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump, whose campaign never strayed too far from the brink of farce, said he had decided to focus on his TV career. MORE

Mother’s tribute to son killed in action

A Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan was named as Nigel Mead, 19, of 42 Commando. His mother, Amanda, said: “I could never write ... how much I loved and thought of you.”

Tube station victim’s killers face jail terms

Teens who attacked and stabbed a 15-year-old to death in the busy rush hour at London Victoria station have been told they face jail. Meanwhile a 14-year-old boy was stabbed in broad daylight on Hammersmith Broadway in the capital yesterday.

Coastguards ‘afraid to criticise cutbacks’

Coastguards are afraid of speaking out against cuts to their service, the MP for Liverpool Riverside, Louise Ellman, has told the Transport minister, Mike Penning. The number of round-the-clock coastguard bases is set to be reduced from 18 to three.

Knesset reels after border breaches

Israeli security and intelligence chiefs traded blame yesterday over who let more than 100 protesters cross the heavily-guarded border from Syria. The incursion came a day after Palestinians marked the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in a string of incidents that left 15 unarmed demonstrators dead and Israel’s doctrine of border deterrence in tatters. MORE

Berlusconi’s man for mayor is thwarted

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was facing political humiliation in his home city of Milan last night after seeing a far-left contender thwart his centre-right candidate in the city’s mayoral elections. The news came hours after his hearing on a bribery charge.

Olympic champion falls to his death

The Kenyan marathon runner Sammy Wanjiru, who won gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, fell to his death at home in the town of Nyahururu on Sunday. Last night, police were investigating whether the 24-year-old had taken his own life.

Biofuel protesters drive message home

A campaign against the use of biofuels is advertising on buses that drive past the London office of the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, every five minutes. ActionAid claims the production of biofuels from crops such as soy and oilseed rape pushes people in poor countries off their land.

Sir Elton at No 10 to highlight Aids work

Sir Elton John visited 10 Downing Street yesterday to tell Prime Minister David Cameron and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell about his fundraising work for Aids and HIV. The star’s Aids Foundation has raised more than £130m for the cause.

Minister: empty homes a ‘scandal’

Andrew Stunell, the Communities minister, said it is a “scandal” that 300,000 homes stand empty in England when four million people are on housing waiting lists. He said that 700,000 people could come off the lists if an average-sized family was allowed to move into each property.

‘World’ vision for song contest

After the success of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, a global version could be on the cards. Boss Jon Ola Sand told Reuters a contest every four years, similar to the World Cup, while a challenge, “would be great”. Saturday’s Eurovision was watched by 125 million people in 55 countries.

Penultimate space shuttle has lift-off

The US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among hundreds of thousands of people who gathered in Florida yesterday to watch Endeavour blast off on Nasa’s penultimate shuttle space flight. Ms Giffords, who was shot in the head in January, waved off her husband Mark Kelly, the mission commander.