The News Matrix: Tuesday 20 May 2014


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Forces join general over militants

The commander of the Libyan army’s special forces said yesterday he had allied with renegade general Khalifa Haftar in his campaign to purge the North African country of militant Islamists. The move highlights the failure of central government in Tripoli to assert its authority.

Food and drink giants accused

The “Big 10” food and drink companies emit more greenhouse gases than Scandinavia, new research claims. With an output of more than 264 million tons, they have been accused in an Oxfam report of failing to address deforestation and unsustainable land use.

Activist’s family in new court appeal

The family of Rachel Corrie, the US peace activist run over by an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003 while she was protesting against house demolitions in the Gaza Strip, is to ask Israel’s highest court to overturn a 2012 decision which found the army was not responsible for her death.

Affair key to hacking trial, jurors told

Jurors in the hacking trial have been instructed to consider the affair between News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson to establish if they shared their hacking secrets. The timescale of the relationship was important in determining if they both knew about the hacking of schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone, the Old Bailey trial heard.

MI5 ‘tried to recruit torture victim’

MI5 is facing claims it has been complicit in torture. Ahmed Diini alleges he was questioned by an MI5 officer while being tortured in an Egyptian jail. The claim challenges assurances that MI5 no longer participates in cases where a suspect is tortured.

Astra shares dive as £69bn bid rejected

AstraZeneca lost £6.75bn of its share price value yesterday as the City responded to its rejection of Pfizer’s £69bn “final” takeover bid. Large shareholders voiced their disappointment. The American pharmaceutical giant had upped its offer price late on Sunday.

Britain’s territories rife with unique life

Britain’s remaining colonial territories are teeming with unique animal species. A survey of wildlife on the 14 Overseas Territories discovered more than 1,500 animals and plants found nowhere else.

UK jet breaks down en route to Nigeria

A surveillance jet sent by Britain to help search for more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls missing in Nigeria has broken down en route. The state-of-the-art Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft was forced to stop in Senegal with an unspecified technical problem.

Dogs ‘help prevent public health risk’

Patrolling sheep dogs could help keep recreational beaches clear of bacteria-spreading seagulls, a study has shown. Scientists in the US tested the effectiveness of border collies in reducing gulls  from gathering and the abundance of escherichia coli (E.coli) bugs  in the sand.

Izzard performs in three languages

Comedian Eddie Izzard is to perform his latest show in three different languages to mark the  70th anniversary of D-Day.  He will stage Force Majeure over  three hours on 6 June at Caen  in Normandy, first in German,  then in French and finally  in English.

Cusack discusses Hollywood’s greed 

A new David Cronenberg film paints a “very familiar” picture of the ambition and greed of Hollywood, according to its star, John Cusack. Speaking before the premiere at the Cannes film festival of Maps to the Stars, Cusack, 47, said: “Hollywood’s an eco-system of fear and greed and desperation.”

Choir king Malone to receive award

Choirmaster Gareth Malone is to be honoured at the annual Silver Clef Awards, alongside figures from the pop world such as Pharrell Williams and Paloma Faith. Malone will receive the classical award at the fundraising event, which benefits the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity.