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The News Matrix: Wednesday 25 April 2012

Anger as Sarkozy lurches far right

Nicolas Sarkozy has provoked accusations of pandering to the National Front, and even copying the ultra-conservative wartime Vichy regime, in his bid to beat the Socialist challenger François Hollande in the second round of the French presidential polls next month. MORE

May dodges question of Qatada deadline

The Home Secretary has fuelled speculation that her office failed to obtain proof from the European Court of Human Rights as to the deadline for Abu Qatada to appeal against his deportation. Theresa May refused six times to respond to questions over the deadline.

Father recalls son's death in riots

The father of a man who was killed in last summer's riots has told of the "loud thud" he heard when his son was allegedly run over. Tariq Jahan was giving evidence at a murder trial in Birmingham.

Israel accused of creating 'settlements'

Israel has legalised three outposts in a move that critics say effectively establishes the first new Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land in more than 20 years. The Palestinians accused Israel of pushing the peace process into a "deadlock once again". MORE

Oslo chaos allowed Breivik to slip away

A police official yesterday described the chaos that reigned in Oslo after a bomb exploded, allowing Anders Behring Breivik to slip away and carry out a massacre. Thor Langli told Breivik's trial it was initially thought there were two suspects and two more bombs about to explode. MORE

Spy death scene video footage shown

Video footage showing the death scene of MI6 officer Gareth Williams was screened at his inquest yesterday. Members of Mr Williams' family couldn't bear to watch the material, which contained clips of a padlocked North Face bag with the 34-year-old still inside. The inquest heard that it would have been almost impossible for Mr Williams to have locked himself inside the bag. MORE

BP engineer arrested over Gulf oil spill

A former BP engineer was arrested yesterday as the US Justice Department filed the first criminal charges over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The engineer, Kurt Mix from Texas, was held on charges of destroying evidence and trying to erase text messages. MORE

ENO announces new Disney production

An opera based on the last days of Walt Disney will be staged by the English National Opera next June. The Perfect American has been composed by Philip Glass. ENO artistic director John Berry also announced a new piece scripted by Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell.

Life imitates art for Cuban film stars

In a case of life imitating art, two Cuban stars of a film about people fleeing their homeland for a better life in America have vanished after travelling from Havana to the US. The actors were due to attend a screening at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

TV naturalist slams urban fox 'myth'

Wildlife presenter Chris Packham has claimed stories of people being attacked by urban foxes are entirely false, saying: "We're hell-bent on blaming them for all the crimes we can." He told the Radio Times that people only like nature, "when it's on TV or at arm's length".

Hudson takes stand at trial

Jennifer Hudson has taken the stand at the trial of her former brother-in-law William Balfour. He is accused of killing the singer's mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew in an act of vindictiveness.

Cow's fast-food trip... to McDonalds

Staff at a McDonalds restaurant in Colorado were taken aback when a dairy cow turned up at a drive-thru window. Rather than serving her a burger, however, staff called the police. Daisy's owner, Sandy Winn, said the cow had gone wandering because she was bored on the farm.

Teenagers drinking alcoholic sanitiser

Teenagers in California are resorting to drinking hand sanitiser to get drunk. The Los Angeles Times reported six teenagers have been admitted to San Fernando Valley clinics with alcohol poisoning after drinking anti-bacterial gel in recent months. There are fears it may be a growing trend.

Koi carp thief free to continue spree

Police in Lockerbie have declined to press charges over the theft of 40 Koi carp, which can fetch up to £2,000. Despite calls from a concerned pond owner, Dumfries and Galloway police admitted that the fishes' disappearance was probably down to "an animal; probably an otter".

Arrest warrant for Everton footballer

An arrest warrant for Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar was issued after he failed to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on speeding charges. His lawyer said the South African international, 30, made a pre-arranged visit to a police station in Cheshire shortly after.

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