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The News Matrix: Tuesday 5 April 2011

Schools inspectors to visit ‘on spec’

Inspectors will drop in on schools “on spec” after claims that heads send home disruptive pupils and poor teachers on scheduled inspection days. The spot-checks will be introduced by Education Secretary Michael Gove to improve behaviour. MORE

Obama declares his intention to stand

Barack Obama intends to seek a second term as US president. His position has been strengthened by the lack of a credible Republican challenge. MORE

Making a condition you can’t refuse

It’s not a good lawyer you need as an Italian Mob boss facing the courts, but a corrupt doctor, a new book has claimed. Mafia chiefs have long sought advice on how to convince expert witnesses they are suffering from conditions to avoid jail terms. MORE

G20 victim’s family protest at police

Relatives of the newspaper seller who died after he was pushed over at the G20 protests walked out of his inquest yesterday after the police officer responsible for the shove said he wanted to “help the family”. MORE

Gaddafi’s son said to be ready to do a deal

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s second son, is trying to strike a deal with rebel leaders. Sources say Saif, acting through middlemen, has been stressing his past links with senior members of the provisional administration in Benghazi. MORE

Disaffected youths ‘key to rise in attacks’

Disaffected young people are playing a key role in the increase in dissident Republican violence that led to Pc Ronan Kerr’s death, Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said, as it emerged the officer was killed by a lunch box-sized bomb. MORE

Grim find for robots in wreckage hunt

Bodies still sitting strapped into their seats have been found by underwater robots hunting for the wreckage of a Paris-bound flight from Rio de Janeiro, which crashed almost two years ago. French authorities say they are confident that the so-called “black box” flight recorders will also be found. MORE

Katie Price demands Channel 4 apology

Katie Price has attacked the media regulator for failing to demand that Channel 4 broadcast an apology for remarks made by comedian Frankie Boyle about her disabled son, Harvey. Ofcom upheld 500 complaints, but did not demand an apology. MORE

Mother of ‘Friday’ star may sue

The mother of Rebecca Black, who shot to fame singing “Friday”, is considering taking legal action against the production company that created her video.

Nuns urge Goldman to cut executives’ pay

Goldman Sachs has developed a Teflon-like reputation for avoiding censure. But the bank, described as a Vampire Squid by Rolling Stone magazine, may have met its match in a group of nuns who are calling for it to reduce pay for top executives. MORE

Sweeney may have killed more women

Police believe that at least three more women could have been killed by John Sweeney, who was yesterday convicted of murdering two of his former girlfriends, Melissa Halstead and Paula Fields. MORE

Joyce joy for singer Kate Bush

Reclusive singer Kate Bush has been given the go-ahead to use the text of James Joyce’s Ulysses for a song, more than 20 years after asking. The singer, who next month returns with her first album for six years, was originally prevented from using the Irish writer’s words.

Inmates charged with drug painting

Three inmates and their loved ones have been charged with attempting to smuggle drugs into a New Jersey jail on the pages of a children’s colouring book, say authorities. The drug, suboxone, was made into a paste and then painted into the colouring book.

Lucy, the Blue Peter retriever, dies

Blue Peter presenters were mourning the death of programme pet Lucy the golden retriever yesterday. She appeared on the show for 12 years and alongside 12 of the hosts of the BBC1 series. The programme paid tribute by screening her career highlights on yesterday’s show.

Gallagher’s band release charity disc

Liam Gallagher’s new band, Beady Eye, are to release a cover of Beatles classic “Across the Universe” to help with disaster relief in Japan. The group performed the song at a fundraising show in London last night, a day after recording the track. MORE

Arnie finally gets a little animated

Arnold Schwarzenegger says his new TV persona is a “superheroic guy” who gets things done without the constraints of laws that thwart his action. The action star-turned-California governor says “The Governator is an animated TV show that’s a funny, action-packed, crime-fighting fantasy.”

Packham calls for fewer children

BBC presenter Chris Packham has courted controversy by calling for parents to have fewer children, saying smaller families should get tax breaks. The Springwatch star also said, in an interview with the Radio Times, that parents had no excuse not to cook their offspring “a proper meal”.

Oxford beats rival Cambridge again

Oxford University widened its lead over rival Cambridge last night after claiming its 15th win on the BBC quiz show University Challenge. Magdalen College took the final by a margin of 205 points, scoring 290 points to York University’s 85.

Top Gear Mexican jibes ‘not racist’

A Top Gear episode which poked fun at Mexicans has been cleared of wrongdoing by the broadcasting watchdog. The BBC presenters branded Mexicans “lazy”, “feckless” and “flatulent”, but Ofcom said the show was well known for its “outspoken humour”.

Biggest jewellery fair is robbed

Thieves stole four diamonds worth several million pounds from a trader’s stand at the world’s biggest watch-and-jewellery fair in Basel last week. Three men distracted the staff by discussing sales, while others opened the showcase.

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Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

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The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

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Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

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Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

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Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?