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The News Matrix: Tuesday 28 June 2011

Senior MOD officers to lose their jobs

The Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, has introduced a programme to overhaul the Ministry of Defence, which is likely to see a number of senior officers lose their jobs. The heads of the three services will lose their positions in the defence board. MORE

Volkswagen’s green credentials attacked

Volkswagen has been accused of exaggerating its green record and resisting attempts to make popular models such as the Golf more fuel efficient. Greenpeace claims that VW Group has made less progress on fuel efficiency than its rivals. MORE

Glastonbury death remains a mystery

A pathologist was unable to determine how Christopher Shale, a senior Tory whose body was found in a Glastonbury Festival VIP toilet, died, an inquest heard. MORE

Ships stopped from joining Gaza flotilla

Efforts by pro-Palestinian activists to challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza appeared increasingly doubtful yesterday amid reports that Greece was preventing several ships from leaving port to join a convoy bound for the Palestinian territory. MORE

Knox urges witness to ‘tell the truth’

The appeal by the US student Amanda Knox against her conviction for the 2007 murder of her British housemate resumed in Italy yesterday, with Knox telling a key witness to “tell the truth”, after he insisted she was guilty.

Heatwave claims police dogs left in car

Two Metropolitan Police dogs died after they were left in a car on the hottest day of the year. The Belgian Malanois and German Shepherd puppy were found collapsed in an unventilated vehicle at the force’s training centre in Keston, Kent, on Sunday. The Dogs Trust said it was “saddened” by the deaths.

Protests planned over austerity vote

Athens is braced for a stormy day of protests which will culminate tonight in a vote on a controversial set of austerity measures that European Union leaders have demanded of Greece in return for another economic bailout. MORE

Tea Party star in race for presidency

Michele Bachmann, a rising star of the conservative Tea Party movement, leapt into the race for the Republican presidential nomination yesterday, speaking in Iowa.

Woman faces jail after taunting officer

A woman could be sent to jail after she admitted shouting “bang bang” at the police officer who was blinded by gunman Raoul Moat. Kelsey Donkin was showing off in front of 12 friends when she made the comment, then made a gesture as if she was holding a shotgun.

Calls for information on Chavez’s health

Venezuela’s opposition has renewed demands for information on the health of President Hugo Chavez amid speculation that the socialist leader could be seriously ill. Mr Chavez has not been seen in public since undergoing an operation in Cuba on 10 June to remove an abscess.

Newquay vows to clean up its image

Police have launched a crackdown on offensive clothing and “sexually explicit” inflatables in Newquay in a bid to reclaim the Cornish seaside resort for families. Residents demanded action over summer revellers who descend upon the town to get drunk. MORE

‘Bankruptcy’ for the LA Dodgers

The tragicomedy that is the Los Angeles Dodgers intensified yesterday as one of the country’s most famous sport franchises filed for bankruptcy. The move comes during an especially turbulent summer for professional sports in the United States, with the National Football League paralysed by a still unresolved four-month lockout and the National Basketball Association widely expected to face a similar shutdown soon. MORE

Ex-governor guilty of corruption

A jury convicted the former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich yesterday of nearly all the corruption charges against him, including that he tried to sell or trade the Senate seat that Barack Obama had held. In one FBI wiretap, Mr Blagojevich calls the Senate opportunity “f------- golden.”

Man’s best friend? Not in San Francisco

Lawmakers in San Francisco want to stop people buying and selling pets. The city’s legendary political correctness has seen it outlaw McDonald’s Happy Meals, plastic bags, and the sale of bottled water. Activists say the pet industry causes needless suffering and death. MORE

Japanese metal band hits London

London is braced tonight for the first UK performance of the biggest band you’ve never heard of. X Japan have sold more than 30 million records worldwide, and are the most successful rock band in Japanese history. Tonight the group will perform at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Tyneside used to be ‘like the Bahamas’

Newcastle was once a tropical paradise similar to the islands in the Bahamas. Scientists drilling deep beneath the city have discovered fossil evidence of exotic shells and coral. The 300-million-year-old rocks were extracted in a green-energy project.

Over-50s poke their way on to Facebook

The domination of Facebook by young people could soon be over, as the use by over-50s rises faster than any other group. Membership grew 41 per cent between 2009 and 2011, but among older users, the figure was 84 per cent. MORE

Happy Feet visitor is on the mend

New Zealand’s emperor penguin visitor is more lively and eating fish after undergoing surgery to remove beach sand and twigs that it swallowed, apparently mistaking it for snow. Officials are unsure when or how the penguin can return to the Antarctic 2,000 miles away.

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Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

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The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

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Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

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Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

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