The News Matrix: Tuesday 2 April 2013


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The Independent Online

Off-duty officers earn their stripes

Two off-duty police officers dressed in "onesies" apprehended a violent man. The officers, clad in zebra and monkey costumes, wrestled the man to the ground in Solihull. One joked that the suspect was taken away in a panda car and tweeted: "We go that extra mile".

Five-ton ice cream tub draws crowds

A confectioner has made five tons of ice cream in the hope of setting a world record for the largest tub of the dessert. The production drew hundreds of eager spectators to Tehran to taste the chocolate-flavoured dessert, which measured 5ft by 7ft and cost about £20,000 to make.

Bid to fly solar plane across America

A Swiss balloonist will try to fly across America in an aircraft powered solely by solar energy. Bertrand Piccard will fly a plane with a larger wingspan than a Boeing 747 that weighs less than a car. To keep weight down, the pilot has no heating and no pressurisation. MORE

Afghan equipment airlifted back to UK

A huge airlift to bring thousands of tons of military equipment back from Afghanistan has begun, ahead of the full withdrawal of British troops by the end of 2014. Helicopters, vehicles, trailers and even nuts and bolts are being collected at Camp Bastion.

Carrey under fire following Heston dig

Jim Carrey has angered gun owners by appearing in a spoof online video mocking the late Charlton Heston, a former president of the National Rifle Association. After being criticised on Fox News, the actor said it was a "media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams". MORE

Octogenarian to climb Everest

An 80-year-old mountaineer hopes to become the oldest person to reach the summit of Everest. Yuichiro Miura, who has had heart surgery four times, previously reached the summit in 2003 and 2008. "The record is not so important. It is important to get to the top," he said.

Olympics opening competes for Bafta

The Olympic Opening Ceremony will go head-to-head with The Great British Bake-Off and Strictly Come Dancing at the TV Baftas next month. The shows are nominated for the Radio Times Audience Award, as are Call The Midwife, Game Of Thrones and Homeland.

Court will not patent leukaemia drug

A leukaemia patient who obtained life-saving treatment in the US but was forced to pay for his medicine on his return to India has celebrated a decision by the country's highest court not to patent a drug for the disease. Sourabh Ghosh, who survived by purchasing cheap generic copies of drugs, said: "It would have been a disaster if this alternative was not available." MORE

Bowel cancer rates for men rise by 25%

Bowel cancer rates for men have jumped by more than a quarter in the past 35 years, a study has shown. Higher obesity rates could be linked to the rise. Women have seen a rise of only six per cent, and it is still unknown why there is such a stark difference.

'Facebook phone' set to be unveiled

A Facebook-branded phone is set for launch. The social network has promised to reveal its "new home on Android" at an event later this week. Rather than produce its own handset, the company is expected to work with a hardware manufacturer, such as Taiwan's HTC.  MORE

Shale gas could heat homes in three years

Britain's homes could be using shale gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", within three years, the boss of energy group Cuadrilla claims. The technique, which has been blamed for causing two minor earthquakes around Blackpool, remains controversial.  MORE

Officer's lawsuit 'disappoints' chief

Norfolk's Chief Constable expressed "disappointment" that one of his officers is suing a petrol station owner after she tripped on a kerb while attending a break-in. Phil Gormley said: "This type of claim does not represent the attitude of the overwhelming majority of our staff."

Gas leak kills girl and woman on boat trip

A woman and a 10-year-old girl died yesterday after suffering breathing difficulties on a boat on Lake Windermere. A witness said the victims were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes. They died at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, and a man was still being treated last night.

Pope has had part of one lung removed

The Vatican confirmed yesterday that Pope Francis is missing part of one of his lungs, to correct reports which first appeared in the media in 2005 that his entire lung had been removed. The operation is believed to have taken place in the 1950s.

Centenarian tweets tips for gardeners

A 104-year-old who claims to be Britain's oldest gardener is taking to Twitter to share his horticultural tips. RAF veteran Ralph Hoare will answer questions posted with the hashtag #askralph today.