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The News Matrix: Tuesday 17 September 2013


Cable does not rule out Coalition split

Vince Cable has raised the prospect of the Coalition breaking up before the general election – despite  colleagues insisting the alliance will “go to the wire”. The Business Secretary said the endgame for the Government had yet to be decided. The comments came during a fringe event organised by The Independent at the Lib Dem autumn conference in Glasgow. MORE

Garment workers faint from hunger

Garment workers in Cambodia making clothes sold on the UK high street are so malnourished they would be classed as anorexic here, according to campaigners Labour Behind the Label. It follows  reports of mass faintings with up to 300 workers passing out.

Officer fights back tears at hearing

An investigation into the death of British soldier Private Jason Smith has revealed the conditions endured by troops in Iraq. Giving evidence at the inquest yesterday, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Cattermull, was close to tears as he described the lack of resources. MORE

Iran plans to put Persian cat in orbit

Iran says it is considering sending a Persian cat into space as the next animal astronaut after claims it launched a monkey earlier this year. The effort is part of Iranian  ambitions to send a human into space by 2018. The animal rights group Peta denounced the plan.

PM criticised over one-woman Cabinet

Australia’s new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has been criticised for naming just one woman in his Cabinet. The country’s opposition leader said that Afghanistan now had more women in its Cabinet and that Australia had taken a step backwards. MORE

Connolly reveals he has Parkinson’s

Billy Connolly will continue to perform on stage and screen despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and having had surgery for prostate cancer, which is still in a very early stage. MORE

Zoo wins the rights to bear’s image

Berlin Zoo has won a trademark battle with a British company over the rights to the name, Knut, a polar bear which became one of its most famous animals. Although Knut  died in 2011 his image on stamps, mugs, postcards and sweets bring in millions of euros in revenue for the zoo. MORE

McDonald’s objects to romantic diners

Two teenagers were asked to leave a McDonald’s in London after setting their table for a “romantic meal” with tablecloth, candles, cutlery and wine glasses. A member of staff objected to the prank, a photo of which has gone viral on Twitter.

First gay mayor ‘will clean up drugs town’

Mexico’s first openly gay mayor has been sworn in at a ceremony in  the town of Fresnillo, which is  notorious for drug trafficking. Singer and gay bar owner Benjamin Medrano, 47, won the election  after he pledged he would tackle organised crime.

Brad Pitt’s ‘cameo role’ at reception

Brad Pitt stunned wedding guests in Buckinghamshire by making an appearance at the reception. The Hollywood actor, 49, was drinking at the bar of the hotel in Stoke Poges where the party was being held and posed in a picture with bride Abi Lingwood, 28, and her husband.

Family in legal battle over $300m will

A legal battle over the fortune of an heiress who died in 2011 aged 104 has begun in Manhattan. Huguette Clark, the reclusive daughter of a copper magnate, spent her last 20 years in a New York hospital and left her wealth to her carers. Now 20 distant relatives are contesting the will. MORE

Bumblebee species brought back to UK

A bumblebee that vanished  from the UK in the 1980s has nested in Kent following a  reintroduction project. Two short-haired bumblebee queens, the populations of which declined after its wildflower-rich natural habitat was lost, were released having been taken from a colony in Sweden.