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The News Matrix: Wednesday 26 January 2011

Putin: I will revenge Moscow bombing

Vladimir Putin yesterday vowed revenge against those who sent a suicide bomber to Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Monday, in an attack that killed 35 people. Among the dead was 39-year-old Briton Gordon Cousland, who was due to marry later in the year. Read more

BBC World Service to axe five languages

The BBC World Service will close five language services to save £46m a year. About 650 of its 2,400-strong workforce will lose their jobs. Unions said the “ferocious cuts” were a “result of the Government slashing funding to an internationally respected and successful broadcaster”.

Key Blair claim on Iraq contradicted

Tony Blair’s claim that his Cabinet colleagues were fully aware of his plans for military action against Iraq was called into question yesterday. Lord Wilson and Lord Turnbull, heads of the civil service under Mr Blair, told the Chilcot inquiry that some Cabinet ministers were not told. Read more

Middle East protests spread to Cairo

Voicing fury against President Hosni Mubarak and his government, protesters spilled into the streets of Cairo yesterday, mirroring demonstrations seen in Tunisia. Riot police fired tear gas and water canons at crowds outside the Egyptian parliament building. Read more

Lord Taylor faces jail over expenses

The Tory peer, Lord Taylor of Warwick, is facing a substantial jail term after being found guilty of abusing his expenses. The 58- year-old will, however, remain a member of the Lords. Read more

426-mile trek is a bear necessity

A polar bear has been tracked swimming continuously for nine days in a desperate bid to reach new ice floes, covering 426 miles. Scientists said the animal’s exertions were exceptional – and further evidence of how the melting of the bears’ natural habitat due to global warming is threatening their existence. Read more

Boy killed in attack planned on Facebook

A 15-year-old schoolboy was killed in a “merciless” knife attack, planned on Facebook, at London’s Victoria station. Sofyen Belamouadden was hunted down by a “brutal” pack of 20 teenagers, who left him dying on the ground after planning the ambush online, the Old Bailey was told. Read more

Hezbollah man set to be Lebanon’s PM

A Hezbollah backed candidate has been asked to form a new government in Lebanon, prompting a wave of protest. Najib Mikati said he would act on behalf of all Lebanon’s people, but Hilary Clinton said a Hezbollah-run government would change Lebanon’s relationship with the US. Read more

Elton not expecting wedding invitation

Sir Elton John has said he does not expect to be invited to the royal wedding despite being a close friend of Prince William’s mother Diana. The singer said: “People automatically think I’m going to be invited… I don’t really know the boys at all.”

Coronation Street’s first bad lad returns

Coronation Street’s original bad boy, Dennis Tanner, is returning to the soap after a 43-year absence. Philip Lowrie, who appeared in the first episode of the soap in 1960, is reviving his role and will begin filming in March before hitting screens in May. He left the Street in 1968.

Splatnav takes driver on altar-native route

Two British pensioners landed in hospital in southern Germany after their car’s satnav directed them to drive into a church. While driving their Renault in the evening on a road near the Austrian border, the satnav instructed them to turn right where there was no road.

Lion tacos idea isn’t a roaring success

A restaurant in Arizona has backtracked on its promise to start serving lion meat tacos after a flurry of complaints. Boca Tacos and Tequila already offers python, alligator, elk, kangaroo and rattlesnake, but it seems customers were not ready for the king of the jungle’s meat.

Liam didn’t know what he meant

Liam Gallagher has admitted he has no idea what his own lyrics mean. The former Oasis frontman, who is about to launch his new band Beady Eye, said: “I don’t know what any of my tunes are about, they’re just out there. I’m not good with words. I just say the first thing that comes into my head.”

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Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?