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The News Matrix: Tuesday 9 August 2011

Insurgent rocket shot down helicopter

The helicopter that crashed in central Afghanistan, killing 30 US and eight Afghan soldiers, was rushing to help Nato troops on an operation targeting a Taliban leader. The coalition said the helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by insurgents. MORE

Teen almost buried alive on beach

A teenager buried alive in sand while digging a hole on a beach has paid tribute to all those who saved her life. Paige Anderson, 15, was trapped for 15 minutes under 7ft of sand after the hole collapsed in on her at Caister, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on Friday.

New political leader is sworn into power

The man chosen to take over from the Dalai Lama as the political head of the exiled Tibetan community and continue its struggle for freedom was yesterday sworn in. Harvard-educated Lobsang Sangay took the oath of office in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala. MORE

Man gets life for brutal killing of wife

A man who stabbed his estranged wife more than 100 times as their two-year-old son sat nearby was jailed for life for her murder yesterday. Alfredo Merigo, 43, from Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, attacked Linda Merigo, 40, outside her home in Driffield, East Yorkshire last year.

Navy promotes first female ship captain

A woman is to command a warship for the first time in the history of the Royal Navy, it has emerged. Lieutenant Commander Sarah West, 39, will take control of HMS Portland, a Royal Navy spokesman said.

Virtual reality tour of Moat death spot

Jurors at the inquest of Raoul Moat will be given a virtual reality tour of the spot where the gunman died. Newcastle coroner David Mitford said the 3D computer simulation would help the jury decide how the former doorman was killed. He was speaking at a preliminary hearing ahead of the full inquest at Newcastle Crown Court. The inquest is due to last for four weeks from September 5.

Refugee swap plan delayed by court

Controversial plans to expel asylum-seekers to Malaysia as part of a new refugee swap deal were delayed yesterday for at least two weeks until the Australian High Court can rule on its legality. Refugee advocates obtained an injunction against flying out the first 16 asylum-seekers. MORE

Pair drown while swimming in lake

Two men in their 40s have drowned while swimming. Police were called to Longford Lake in Chipstead, near Sevenoaks, Kent, at 7pm on Friday, and discovered the bodies of the men, who had travelled from London. A spokeswoman said the circumstances were not being treated as suspicious.

King urged to open up on ‘slush fund’

King Mswati III of Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarch, is facing mounting calls to open up a secretive fund allegedly used to bankroll his lavish lifestyle. The fund is believed to control up to half of the Swazi economy, but allows no public scrutiny and pays no tax. MORE

Arab nations turn backs on Assad

Arab support for President Bashar al-Assad was evaporating last night as three Gulf countries announced they were withdrawing their ambassadors following days of killings across Syria. There was stringing criticism of the crackdown. MORE

One in three law centres may close

One in three of Britain’s law centres, where solicitors provide legal advice to poorer communities, faces closure because of the squeeze on spending. They are being hit hard because of cuts to the Legal Aid budget and to town hall grants. MORE

‘Glitch’ gave Scottish shoppers price cuts

Tesco says a technical glitch has allowed shoppers in Scotland to enjoy cut price groceries for years. Research showed yesterday that a number of items were much cheaper north of the border. Tesco said the glitch would be corrected and prices increased in Scotland.

Renegade cow is still on the run

A Bavarian cow called Yvonne is still on the run after escaping her owner, a butcher and sausage-maker, 10 months ago. Animal activists attempted to catch her at the weekend to prevent hunters from shooting her, but Yvonne evaded her pursuers by hiding out in woodland.

Radio 4 used as deterrent for foxes

Radio 4 can keep hungry foxes at bay, according to a Dorset swan sanctuary. Workers at the Abbotsbury Swannery say playing the radio channel helps keep out foxes attempting to pray upon swans.

Irons decries today’s PC ways

Hollywood star Jeremy Irons says women need not be worried about men’s wandering hands as it is all political correctness gone mad. The Oscar winner says a “woman worth her salt can deal with it”.

Archery champ is Athlete of the Month

World champion archer Danielle Brown has been named the International Paralympic Committee’s Athlete of the Month. Brown, 23, of Lothersdale, Yorkshire, suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy which affects her ability to stand due to chronic pain in her feet.

War heroine, ‘The White Mouse’ dies

Nancy Wake, the most decorated woman of the 1939-45 war, has died in London aged 98. Ms Wake, known as “The White Mouse” for her ability to remain undetected, had been a nurse, a journalist who interviewed Adolf Hitler, a French socialite, a British agent and resistance leader. MORE

Newlyweds travel to church in fork-lifts

A Chinese couple have celebrated their wedding day by travelling to church by fork-lift truck motorcade. Newlyweds Kong Qingyang and Shen Likun chose the vehicles because both worked with forklift trucks when they met. They threw lollies to onlookers.

Friendly chimps do us a good turn

Charitable chimps are turning evolution on its head by being kind to strangers. A US study has found chimps held at a research centre do good without expecting anything in return. It has previously been thought altruism was a trait evolved with the development of humans. MORE

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