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The News Matrix: Tuesday 31 May 2011

Lecturers back strike action against cuts

Lecturers pledged support for sit-ins and strikes at colleges in protest at fee rises and spending cuts. Staff in further and higher education have already been threatened with redundancy, the University and College Union conference was told. MORE

Energy drinks add to child obesity

Parents are making their children fat and ruining their teeth by buying them sports or energy drinks and should give them water instead, doctors have warned. The drinks contain extra calories that may be contributing to growing obesity. MORE

Zuma flies in to woo Colonel Gaddafi

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi greeted South African President, Jacob Zuma, in Tripoli yesterday for talks aimed at ending the war in Libya, the first time he has been seen since 11 May. MORE

Berlusconi suffers blow in home city

Silvio Berlusconi was dealt a blow yesterday when the communist candidate won the mayoral race in the prime minister’s home city of Milan. Mr Berlusconi campaigned against Giuliano Pisapia, saying Milan would turn into “gypsy-ville” if he won. MORE

Strauss-Kahn builds defence and PR team

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, awaiting trial for attempted rape, has arranged a daunting legal and PR team to try to clear his name, including Michael Jackson’s former defence attorney, Benjamin Brafman. It is thought his wife is funding his defence. MORE

User claims to reveal more injunctions

Another social media user appeared to publish details of celebrity gagging orders yesterday. A new Twitter account posted details of 13 alleged court injunctions yesterday morning. After attracting more than 500 followers in 10 hours, the tweets were removed. The author of the latest alleged Twitter breach used the “anonymous” mask. MORE

First hangings since 2004 to go ahead

India’s President, Pratibha Patil, has refused to commute the death sentences of two men, despite a seven-year moratorium in the country. The death sentence is so rarely enforced in India that one region is advertising for a new executioner. MORE

Wine alcohol content ‘higher than on label’

Modern breeds of stronger wines are even more powerful than is claimed on the label, a study has found. The American Association of Wine Economists says that growers understate the alcoholic content of their wine in order to appeal to consumers’ tastes for “more intense, riper flavours”. MORE

‘Severed head of saint’ sells at auction

Auctions often throw up some pretty unusual lots, none more so than the human head that went under the hammer in rural Ireland at the weekend. And this is not just any old head: it is claimed to be that of St Vitalis of Assisi, the patron saint of genital diseases. MORE

King cobras found on train were to be eaten

Railway officials have discovered venomous king cobras in bags under a train seat in Vietnam. Railroad officials spotted the bags on Friday. The snakes were alive but had their mouths stitched shut, and were likely destined for restaurants, where they would be served as a delicacy.

By Gad, Dickens’ home set to open

The house where Charles Dickens wrote some of his greatest works is to be opened to the public for the first time. Gad’s Hill Place will be converted into a heritage centre, in plans announced by the school which has occupied the building in Higham, Kent, for nearly 90 years.

Joan Collins ‘forced to sell fourth home’

The credit crunch has claimed another victim, as Joan Collins has been forced to sell one of her four homes because she can “no longer afford to keep it”. The actress has put her three-bedroom Manhattan apartment on the market. She told Hello!:“We can no longer afford to keep it.”

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment