The News Matrix: Tuesday 26 April 2011

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The Independent Online

Government backs cycle safety drive

The Government is backing i’s campaign to increase UK cyclist safety. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has vowed to make a stand with other European politicians when they push for legislation to improve safety on lorries across Europe. MORE

Ash cloud grounding was ‘right move’

The decision to ground millions of airline passengers in response to last April’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano ash cloud was the right move, scientists have reported. Experts found that the ash could have been dangerous for passenger aircraft. MORE

UN diplomat’s arrest after hijack attempt

A UN diplomat from Kazakhstan has been arrested after trying to hijack a flight between Paris and Rome. Valeriy Tolmachev said he wanted the plane diverted to Tripoli. MORE

Tesco in talks with authorities over riot

The future of the Tesco Express at the centre of a riot in Stokes Croft is to be discussed at a meeting today. Police officers, councillors and Tesco officials are due to discuss the future of the shop where violent disturbances occurred last Thursday. MORE

Moors victim mother makes DVD for Brady

The mother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett says she may have just months to find out where her son is buried after she was diagnosed with cancer. Winnie Johnson, 77, has made a DVD appealing directly to Ian Brady after cancer was found in her womb.

Nato bombs Gaddafi compound in Tripoli

Nato jets pounded Muammar Gaddafi’s compound in central Tripoli yesterday, drawing claims from the Libyan regime that the attack had personally targeted the embattled dictator. The assault did not prevent the continued bombardment of Misrata, where as many as 30 rebel fighters were killed in heavy fighting. MORE

Games organiser held for corruption

The chief organiser of Delhi’s 2010 Commonwealth Games has been arrested in a corruption probe. Suresh Kalmadi was charged with conspiracy to allegedly favour certain contractors. The games cost $15bn, despite an estimated bill of only $412m. MORE

BBC to show old man’s dying breath

The moment a dying man makes his “final breath” is being broadcast in a new BBC science series. The second episode of Inside The Human Body, to be aired on BBC1 next month, sees 84-year-old Gerald die at home surrounded by his family.

Teachers warn over rising homophobia

Teachers warned yesterday that homophobic bullying in schools was “endemic” and likely to rise with the number of new faith schools. They added that the discrimination needed to be tackled. MORE

Washington reels at Guantanamo leaks

Barack Obama is trying to prevent the re-ignition of Arab fury over the Guantanamo Bay prison, after leaked documents revealed the flimsy intelligence on which many of the detentions were based. MORE

Theft of human hair flummoxes police

A raid on a beauty-supply business has left police in Chicago scratching their heads. The burglars made off with what police say was a “very valuable” amount of human hair, which is usually used for extensions or wigs. It was not clear why.

PlayStation network offline for sixth day

The hacked online network of Sony’s PlayStation remained down for a sixth day yesterday. The company admitted it had suffered an “external intrusion” which has left 70 million people with PlayStation 3 consoles unable to use the network.

Tunnelling Taliban spring hundreds

Insurgents in Afghanistan have freed about 500 inmates from a prison in Kandahar by digging a 320-metre tunnel. The tunnel underneath checkpoints and a highway took seven months to dig. Authorities in Afghanistan said it showed serious weaknesses in government. MORE

Met Office offers ‘pollen forecasts’

Bless you. The Met Office is offering help for hayfever sufferers with the launch of daily pollen forecasts on its website. They are being introduced as the pollen season gets underway, with tree pollen reaching a peak about now, to be followed by grass pollen in midsummer. MORE

Teenager does a ‘William Hague’

A schoolboy received a standing ovation from a teachers union when he took to the stage to defend the education maintenance allowance yesterday. Joe Cotton, 15, told the National Union of Teachers’ conference in Harrogate how important the grant is to poorer students. MORE

Turning over a new leaf in forecasting

The “race” between oak and ash trees to leaf, once said to forecast summer weather, is a thing of the past because climate change means the oak keeps winning. The Woodland Trust said the last year that ash trees leafed first, predicting a dry summer, was 1953.

Lawn bowls a victim of budgetary cuts

The quintessential English sport, once banned by Henry VIII for being too distracting to the lower classes, is under threat. Lawn bowls is being cut across the UK as budget pressures have led councils to stop spending on lawn maintenance.

Pound in pocket tumbling in value

A pint of beer could cost £8 by 2060, according to a new report. Data from the Office for National Statistics suggests money has fallen in value by 94 per cent since 1960. An 18-fold increase in retail prices means £1,796 has the equivalent purchasing power of £100 in 1960.

Alligator found in woman’s bathroom

A woman in Florida feared for her life after stumbling upon a two metre-long alligator in her bathroom. Alexis Dunbar told a Tampa television station that the reptile appeared to hiss at her, sending her out of the room screaming.