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The News Matrix: Wednesday 29 May 2013

Large explosion as train hits truck

A train carrying chemicals exploded when it crashed into a truck near the city of Baltimore yesterday. The collision, which was said to have caused houses to rattle up to half a mile away, destroyed nearby buildings and sent up thick plumes of smoke which were visible for miles. The crash caused 15 cars to derail but none of them was carrying toxic substances, the fire department said.

Pop to the Post Office for ‘click and collect’

The Royal Mail is launching the UK’s largest “click and collect” delivery scheme in an attempt to avoid the frustration of missing your delivery after splashing the cash online. The scheme will allow shoppers to choose where they receive their deliveries.

Newly elected leader seeks Taliban talks

The Prime Minister-elect is to seek talks with Taliban insurgents in a bid to restore security to the country. Nawaz Sharif has approached Sami ul Haq, also known as the “Godfather of the Taliban”, to act as an intermediary. Mr Haq said he would need assurances. MORE

British woman dies in snorkelling accident

A British tourist has died while snorkelling in tropical waters in Malaysia. Madaline Cole, 25, from Hereford, was hit by the propeller of a passing speed boat and died of her injuries after being rushed to hospital. She had been snorkelling with three friends on Monday. MORE

Developer threatens 100 oak trees’ future

An avenue of 100 oak trees planted in Cornwall to mark the start of the millennium, with the promise of lasting 1,000 years, is under threat from a supermarket and hotel development. The plans mean that Millennium Avenue could be removed by developer Wessex Investors. MORE

‘You’re stronger than Sandy,’ says Obama 

President Barack Obama told New Jersey residents yesterday they were stronger than Hurricane Sandy, which hit the area last October, causing $38billion (£25bn) damage. He spoke alongside Governor Chris Christie.

MPs vote defiantly to increase salaries

MPs voted yesterday to increase their salaries to more than 130 times the minimum wage in defiance of government plans to cut them. President Uhuru Kenyatta has implored MPs to accept pay cuts to free up cash to create jobs. Instead, MPs backed a motion to overturn a legal notice slashing their pay.

Woman died after being passed fit

A double lung and heart transplant patient deemed fit to work by Government assessors Atos died nine days after her benefits were stopped. Linda Wootton’s husband,  Peter, described the last months of her life as “a misery”, saying she worried about benefit payments while struggling with her health.

BBC fans can now download shows

Fans of BBC radio will be able to download programmes rather than stream them for seven days after they are broadcast in changes being made to the iPlayer. The change, announced today to bring radio in line with TV and retain young listeners, would mean people could store shows for 30 days.

Meteorologist sorry over cyclone’s name

Sri Lanka’s top meteorology official has apologised for naming a deadly cyclone after a king who built irrigation tanks well over a millennium ago and was venerated as a god. Political leaders have protested the naming of a cyclone after King Mahasen, who ruled Sri Lanka in the 4th century. Cyclone Mahasen killed 18 people.

Anger at Facebook’s ‘rate your lover’ page

Facebook pages which encourage students to rate the performance  of their sexual partners have provoked uproar on university campuses and may leave the social networking giant open to legal action. Almost 20,000 users have liked the page and are exhorted to rate sexual partners out of 10. MORE

Mayor apologies to punched rock singer

Police are investigating the allegations of a Brazilian rock singer who says Rio de Janeiro’s mayor punched him in the face at a Japanese  restaurant in the city. Mayor  Eduardo Paes has already apologised in a statement for the  “physical disagreement” with  Bernardo Botkay.

Ms Jones given a third instalment

The third instalment of the life  of Bridget Jones, first seen in i’s sister paper The Independent, will be published on 10 October. The latest book will be set in London and “represents a totally new phase in Bridget’s life,” publisher Jonathan Cape said. Two films have already been made, starring Renée Zellweger, below. MORE

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