The News Matrix: Wednesday 26 January 2011

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The Independent Online

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.”