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The News Matrix: Wednesday 2 May 2012

Six family members die in regime attack

Six people from the same family died as the Syrian regime shelled farming villages in the north and agricultural areas in the capital. The deaths came despite the presence of international observers, with activists expressing their frustration at the small number of UN monitors in the country. MORE

Mourner dies 'after taking legal high'

A woman died at a wake for her friend Carl Fearon, 24, who was allegedly killed by the same party drug on the same day, it is feared. Lynette Nock, 28, died in hospital in Birmingham on Saturday. Police are investigating if the deaths were from Gamma-Butyrolactone, a legal industrial cleaner. MORE

Le Pen delivers blow to Sarkozy

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen appeared to attempt to dash President Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election hopes by refusing to endorse him at a rally, and telling her supporters to make their own choice. MORE

Escaped dissident is a taboo subject

Diplomatic tensions over the fate of Chen Guangcheng – the escaped Chinese dissident allegedly hiding out at the American consulate in Beijing – cast a shadow over forthcoming talks between Beijing and Washington as both sides continued to refuse to publicly discuss the issue. MORE

Activists move into Stock Exchange

Anti-capitalist protesters said they had "fulfilled" a goal last night as they moved into Paternoster Square, home to the London Stock Exchange. Activists, who were prevented from occupying the area in October, said 50 people accessed the square with tents and supplies at around 7pm.

Flood protection still not implemented

More than 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as heavy rain continues to batter many parts of the country, but it appears lessons from floods in years past have not been heeded. Measures promised by the government in 2008 – including plans to stop drainage systems being overloaded – have still not been implemented. MORE

Demand to try Gaddafi's son

The Libyan government formally challenged the International Criminal Court's right to try Muammar Gaddafi's son for war crimes, arguing that he should face justice on Libyan soil. It also asked The Hague to drop its demands to hand him over while it considers the challenge.

Tattoo parlours must 'be like restaurants'

Tattoo parlours should be regulated for hygiene, warns the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. It said parlours should be rated according to standards of cleanliness like restaurants and that people are unaware of the health problems associated with poor hygiene. MORE

School sports 'too competitive' for girls

Less than one in eight schoolgirls is reaching the required fitness level for 14-year-olds. A new survey has suggested that girls are shunning PE lessons, with 45 per cent claiming they're "too competitive" and almost half saying that sweating is "not feminine". MORE

Al-Qa'ida plot plans found in underpants

German investigators discovered information about al-Qa'ida's plans to seize cruise liners on a memory chip that was found in the underpants of an Austrian terrorist suspect. Details of the plot were released to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of Osama bin Laden. MORE

Corden up for Tony Award

Gavin & Stacey actor James Corden has been nominated for a Tony Award. The British comedian has been nominated for best leading actor in a play for his role in the Broadway production of One Man, Two Guvnors.

California paté wars are foie from settled

Some of California's top chefs are attempting to overturn a ban on foie gras, two months before it is due to begin. A hundred chefs have signed a petition, angering the ban's sponsor, who says he has given producers seven years to devise a more humane way to produce the foodstuff. MORE

Knox prosecutors under investigation

Two prosecutors who called for Amanda Knox to be jailed after claiming she killed Meredith Kercher are now under investigation. Giuliano Mignini and Manuela Comodi are accused of wasting £150,000 on commissioning a video showing Knox and Raffaele Sollecito murdering Kercher.

Emmerdale to film live episode

Following the success of live episodes of EastEnders and Coronation Street, ITV soap Emmerdale will broadcast a special live edition in October this year. The episode is part of a "week- long celebration" of Emmerdale's 40th anniversary, including two weddings and two births.

Schools crack down on holding hands

Parents in Tennessee will now be able to sue teachers for "promoting or condoning 'gateway sexual activity' by students" – which could mean allowing schoolchildren to hug or hold hands, after the state passed a controversial new bill. It is intended to help curb teen pregnancy.

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