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The News Matrix: Tuesday 19 February 2013


Country singer Mindy found dead

Troubled country star Mindy McCready, 37, whose singing career was shadowed by substance abuse and suicide attempts, was found dead on Sunday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. MORE

Bail hearing for Oscar Pistorius

Reeva Steenkamp's family will gather today for her funeral in Port Elizabeth. Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of her murder, will appear in court for his bail hearing 600 miles away in Pretoria. Nike said yesterday that it has no plans to use Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius in future ad campaigns following the incident at the sprinter's home last week. MORE

7,000 join 'War of the Tomato'

More than 7,000 people took to the streets of the city of Quillon for the annual "War of the Tomato" and got through 40 tonnes as they pelted each other with the mushy fruit. The tomatoes are supplied by local growers. Similar events are held in the US, Colombia and Spain.

Guard bears brunt for teddy invasion

A Belarusian court has handed out a two-year prison sentence to a border guard who failed to protect the ex-Soviet nation from foreign teddy bears. The guard failed to report a light plane that dropped hundreds of bears with parachutes and slogans supporting human rights.

BBC to make 'War And Peace' series

War And Peace, one of the most widely admired novels of all time, and one of the longest, is to be turned into a TV epic by the BBC. Leo Tolstoy's book will be made into a six-part series, adapted by respected writer Andrew Davies. The new version will be shown by BBC One in 2015.

Tate to show less comic Lichtenstein

The Tate is to show another side of Roy Lichtenstein during its retrospective exhibition, with his widow, Dorothy Lichtenstein, saying that he was "not a fan of comics". This is despite him being one of the central figures in American pop art thanks to his comic strip paintings.

Jay-Z to headline Olympic site festival

Jay-Z will return to the Olympic Park when he headlines the Wireless Festival, which takes place at its new East London home this summer. The New York rapper joins Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dog at the two-day event in July. Emeli Sandé and Rita Ora are also on the bill.

Bank notes in line for 'plastic' surgery

Britons could soon find plastic bank notes in their wallet. The new governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, told Canadian TV he may introduce polymer notes when he takes over from Sir Mervyn King in July. As Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mr Carney introduced the notes there.

Fragments of meteor found in Urals

Scientists have found more than 50 tiny fragments of a meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains. The meteorites plucked from the ice-covered Chebarkul Lake so far are less than a centimetre in size and have an iron content of about 10 per cent.

A really warming cup of coffee

Employees at an air force base in southern Sweden have learned that for two years they have been drinking coffee made with radiator water. The coffee machine was hooked up to the heating unit, which pumps water between the radiators. Workers hadn't noticed the difference.

Chavez back home after treatment

President Hugo Chavez has returned to Venezuela after receiving more than two months of cancer treatment in Cuba. Posting on Twitter, he said: "We've arrived once again in our Venezuelan homeland. Thank you, my God!!" MORE

Dorries examined for expenses abuse

Nadine Dorries has attacked the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority after it announced it was investigating whether she abused her expenses by sub-letting her flat. Ms Dorries said she would use it more were it not for her poorly dog.

Paedophile killer parole bid rejected

Paedophile killer Marc Dutroux has been denied conditional release from jail which would have allowed him to walk the streets with an electronic ankle bracelet. Dutroux is serving a life sentence for kidnapping, torturing and abusing six girls in 1995 and 1996. MORE

Accused man 'an angel of Jesus Christ'

The Bulgarian drug addict accused of beheading a British grandmother in a Tenerife shop has told a court that he was "an angel of Jesus Christ". Deyan Deyanov, 29, denies murdering Jennifer Mills-Westley in 2011. Mr Deyanov reportedly decapitated Ms Mills-Westley. MORE

BBC re-examines Blair's war on Iraq

The BBC is working on a new Panorama investigation into the intelligence deployed by the Blair government to justify the invasion of Iraq. The episode, to air in March, will look ahead to the publication of the Chilcot report into the conflict. MORE

Man, 19, may been shot by mistake

A man shot dead as he sat in a parked car was not a gang member and may have been killed by mistake. Joseph Burke-Monerville, 19, was shot in Clapton, east London, on Saturday. DCI Kenny McDonald, of Scotland Yard, said: "We continue to work to try and establish the motive."

Politician's body left in barrel of cement

Eight people have been arrested in Russia after a politician's body was found encased in a barrel of cement. Mikhail Pakhomov, 36, had been missing since he was kidnapped last week in Lipetsk. A former government official has been accused of ordering the killing over a £50m debt.

Russia under fire for arms sales to Syria

Western diplomats have accused Russia of going back on its promise not to supply weapons to the Syrian regime. The Kremlin has stressed that there was no United Nations prohibition on supplies and it was simply fulfilling its contractual obligations. MORE

Prisoner X 'may have been informer'

Ben Zygier, the Australian known as Prisoner X who worked for Israel's Mossad spy agency, may have been imprisoned for divulging details of its work. Australia's ABC News said Zygier was suspected by Israel of informing Australia's security agency of Mossad operations. MORE