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The News Matrix: Wednesday 30 March 2011

Miliband joins push for Yes vote

The campaign ahead of the referendum on reforming Britain’s voting system burst into life yesterday as Ed Miliband joined Liberal Democrats and Greens in a cross-party push for a Yes vote, urging centre-left parties to “build bridges not barriers”. MORE

Tomlinson inquest sees new video data

The inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson, 47, was shown new video footage of the newspaper seller dying at the G20 protests in 2009. Mr Tomlinson’s widow, Julia, wept as it was shown. Tomlinson was shoved to the ground by PC Simon Harwood. MORE

Arts Council wields funding axe for 200

Arts executives will learn this morning about their futures. The Arts Council is expected to scrap its funding of up to 200 organisations and reduce it for others. MORE

Call for new nuclear plant at Sellafield

Nuclear scientists have recommended that £3bn should be spent on a new facility for reprocessing nuclear waste at Sellafield, Cumbria, despite £2bn of taxpayers’ money being spent over a decade of operation on a similar plant branded a failure. MORE

UK payments to the EU double in 2010

The UK’s payments to the European Union almost doubled in 2010, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics – soaring by £156 to £230 for every household in the country. The UK’s EU contributions are at their highest ever. MORE

Wal-Mart class action reaches US courts

The largest class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit in history opened at the US Supreme Court yesterday, pitting Wal-Mart Stores against female employees who are seeking billions of dollars. Wal-Mart is accused of paying women less and giving them fewer promotions than men at 3,400 US stores since late 1998.

Charges loom over BP Gulf oil spill

Managers of BP could face manslaughter charges when prosecutors finally conclude their criminal investigation into the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last April that killed 11 rig workers and triggered the worst oil spill in US history. MORE

Berlusconi defence calls George Clooney

Lawyers for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in his prostitution trial want film star George Clooney and his Italian girlfriend to testify. They were listed as potential witnesses as the teenager Mr Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with said she saw them at one of the premier’s parties.

Amazon pips rivals with ‘cloud player’

Amazon has unveiled a music streaming service, ahead of Apple and Google. The Cloud Player, as yet available only in the US, stores tracks online and users access them on a computer or Android smartphone – iPhones can’t use the service after a dispute with Apple. MORE

Trump red-faced after birth blunder

An attempt by potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to question the birthplace of Barack Obama backfired when the birth certificate he produced on Fox TV appeared to lack the official Department of Health seal, leading to questions over its authenticity. MORE

Burglars shun luxury homes

Criminals avoid expensive homes, deterred by better security measures and difficulty searching more rooms before being discovered. A survey of people awaiting trial also showed burglars had a “shopping list” of items they could sell quickly such as games consoles and jewellery.

Last part of stadium turf is laid to order

The final piece of turf was laid on the Olympic Stadium field of play yesterday, marking a stage for the London 2012 venue, which is on time and under budget. The stadium, on which more than 5,250 people worked, will host the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events.

‘Spiderman’ climbs tallest building

The French daredevil Alain Robert, 48, scaled the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, fighting strong winds to tackle the world’s tallest building. ‘Spiderman’ Robert is known for climbing buildings without safety gear but agreed to use a rope and harness for his latest feat.

Wannabe chef gets Masterchef tattoo

James Perry, carpenter and Masterchef finalist, has shown devotion to the BBC1 show by getting the programme logo tattooed on his chest. He has a hefty collection of designs on his arms and neck.

Message from 1987 answered at last

A message in a bottle tossed overboard from a ship to Denmark by a five-year-old German, Frank Uesbeck, in 1987, has been found on a Russian beach by 13-year-old Daniil Korotkikh, who has written back.

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Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

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New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

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Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
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Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
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11 best sonic skincare brushes

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Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?