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The News Matrix: Tuesday 7 August 2012

Mars mission lands bang on target

Life on Mars is the question it set out to answer and the first stage of the Curiosity rover mission was complete yesterday. The space probe will now begin its exploration of the Red Planet using a vast array of sophisticated tools. The achievement has been praised as one of the most momentous in space exploration. MORE

Temple gunman was 'frustrated neo-Nazi'

The gunman who killed six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday was an army veteran and known white supremacist. Civil rights groups described Wade Michael Page as a "frustrated neo-Nazi" who spent six years in the military during the 1990s.

Heavy rain and floods in the North

Northern England and Scotland saw heavy rain yesterday and flash floods ruined homes in Newcastle. The Met Office said that while there will be light showers today, Wednesday and Thursday should be much brighter, with temperatures in the mid twenties.

Girl, 12, died after poor hospital care

A girl with cerebral palsy died after inadequate care by hospital staff, a coroner ruled. Emma Stones, 12, contracted septicaemia after being admitted to Tameside hospital in Manchester with flu-like symptoms. Staff skipped vital checks and failed to take proper medical notes.

War declared on Islamist 'infidels'

Egypt has branded Islamist gunmen who killed 16 police near the Israeli border as "infidels" and promised a crackdown. The massacre has strained Cairo's ties with Israel and Palestinians, after the militants crossed into Egypt from the Gaza Strip.

London gangster's prison letters on sale

Prison letters written by the London gangster Reggie Kray and American cult leader Charles Manson will go up for auction in Glasgow. Among the lots up for sale on Thursday are instructions from Kray to associates.

Mass round-up of illegal immigrants

Around 6,000 suspected illegal immigrants have been arrested in Athens. Police said they will deport more than 1,600 of them to their home countries. Those arrested and awaiting deportation have been sent to holding centres. The rest were freed. Some 4,500 police took part in the weekend roundups. MORE

Fukushima blast footage released

The command centre at Fukushima's nuclear plant shook violently when hydrogen exploded at one reactor after last year's tsunami, leading the plant chief to shout: "This is serious!" That was revealed by videos which the by Tokyo Electric Power Co was ordered to release yesterday.

Blood Brothers finally wave goodbye

The current run of Blood Brothers will come to an end in October after more than 10,000 performances in London. The tragic tale of twins separated at birth and reunited later in life is the third longest running musical to play the West End. Over the years the cast has included former Spice Girl Mel C, Barbara Dickson and Petula Clark.

Sean Bean becomes a ladies' man

Actor Sean Bean tottered around in size 10 high heels to prepare for his new role as a transvestite in the BBC legal drama Accuses. Asked how he got into the part, he told the Radio Times: "By walking round in high heels in the kitchen at home... and one night I went out... arm-in-arm with my middle daughter."

'Reality TV' thieves rob two men

Police have charged two men with robbing two others in Pennsylvania by claiming they were recording a video for a reality television show called "You Just Got Robbed". Police say the incident happened early yesterday. One of the men put the victims into headlocks while the other filmed the robbery on his phone.

Dryer, dryer – pants on fire!

Firefighters were called to put out a blaze in Devon after a man tried to dry his underpants and socks in the microwave. Neighbours in Weymouth heard a fire alarm on Sunday and alerted the fire brigade. A Dorset Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: "All items of clothing were destroyed in the fire."

Pouring oil on a troubled squirrel

Police in Germany had to rub a red squirrel with olive oil to release it from a manhole cover after it became trapped with its head poking above ground and its body beneath. After trying gently to push its head through, officers held back its ears and used the oil as a lubricant. Sadly, the animal later died of stress.

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