The News Matrix: Tuesday 19 April 2011

Study links mother’s diet to child’s DNA

Scientists have discovered for the first time that a mother’s nutrition during pregnancy can alter her child’s DNA and cause obesity later in life. The University of Southampton led the study, which included researchers in New Zealand.

Rape case leads site to start criminal checks

The dating website has begun checking its clients against criminal databases after being sued by a woman claiming to have been raped by a sex attacker she met on it. MORE

Government troops target Shia shrines

Bahraini government forces are destroying Shia places of worship in a move likely to exacerbate religious tensions across the Muslim world, activists say. The attacks have provoked a particularly furious reaction in Iran and Iraq. MORE

Commander cleared over interview

General Stanley McChrystal, a former commander of US forces, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Pentagon inquiry over a magazine interview.

Anti-AV campaign joined by John Reid

Former home secretary John Reid has been recruited by David Cameron’s No to AV campaign and shared a stage with him to promote the message. MORE

BNP candidates’ Facebook postings

The BNP has been accused of having a “hardcore group of neo-Nazis and racists” as candidates in May’s local elections. Anti-racism group Hope not Hate said it had compiled a dossier of extremist postings of candidates for the party standing on 5 May. MORE

French blasted for blocking border

The Italian ambassador delivered a stiff protest to France for closing its border with Italy for six hours after 300 Italian activists and 100 Tunisian refugees boarded a “train of dignity” to go to France. MORE

Cable considered the ‘nuclear option’

Vince Cable has spoken of how he nearly left the Government after he was recorded boasting he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch to undercover reporters. MORE

Nuclear plant still unsafe for humans

A pair of robots ventured into the Fukushima Daiichi plant yesterday to measure radiation levels more than five weeks after Japan’s tsunami and earthquake damaged the nuclear power station. The result was disheartening: radiation levels are still far too high for human crews to go inside and try to repair the damaged reactors.

Gourmet solution to outback plague

An Egyptian businessman has come up with a novel solution to the problem of wild camels that have reached plague proportions in the Australian outback: build a massive abattoir and processing plant and export camel meat to dinner tables around the world. MORE

Family coins it in at last

A family’s long-lost inheritance of £80,000 in gold coins which was buried in a garden in Hackney, north London for 70 years has finally been returned to them. MORE

Report cards to fight the fat

Malaysian schools are trying to battle the country’s growing obesity problem by adding a new subject to report cards: weight loss. Pupils’ body mass index will be added to children’s reports so parents can keep an eye on their weight.

Your future’s bright – in the Philippines

Orange has apologised over fears that 40 workers in a Darlington call centre faced relocating to Manila, after a “human resources error”. Unions had voiced concern over changes, saying staff faced redundancy, lower pay or “unrealistic” relocation half-way round the world.

Disabled soldier reaches North Pole

A soldier with an amputated arm said he hopes other wounded service personnel will realise “anything is possible” after he reached the North Pole last week. Private Jaco van Gass, 24, from Middelburg, South Africa, was hit by a grenade in Afghanistan in 2009.

Politician rapped for moonwalking

A 40-year-old Romanian politician has grabbed the attention of the electorate by moonwalking on a television show and doing impersonations of the late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Edmond Talmacean says he wants to bring his political message to a younger generation, but his party have warned him to tone down his light-hearted antics.

Elvis impersonator admits assault

An Elvis impersonator has admitted attacking the son of the late star’s guitarist. Michael Cawthray, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of assault during a brief hearing at Warwick Crown Court in Leamington Spa.

Ancient killing zone caused extinction

An archaeological dig has found stone “killing zones” which our ancestors used 6,000 years ago to slaughter gazelles. This may have made some species extinct.

Judge breaks with tradition in Hague

A judge at The Hague has asked lawyers to shed their wigs next time they appear before her at the International Criminal Court. Justice Ekaterina Trendafilova told attorneys to discard the traditional garb.

Being pretty makes finding work harder

A new study – that involved sending CVs with photos – says good-looking women face discrimination that lowers their chances of getting a job by 20 to 30 per cent. MORE