The News Matrix: Wednesday 6 April 2011

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The Independent Online

Lib Dems threaten rebellion on NHS

Liberal Democrats will demand five major changes to the Government’s health reforms as the price of securing their passage through Parliament. Nick Clegg’s party is threatening to join forces with Labour unless the changes are made. MORE

UN report author accepts invitation

South African jurist Richard Goldstone has accepted an invitation to visit Israel and work to nullify his UN report accusing Israel of targeting civilians during its offensive in the Gaza Strip two years ago. MORE

Rebels export oil as first tanker docks

An oil tanker docked at the Libyan port of Tobruk yesterday to begin oil exports for rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi’s regime forces. The tanker will start what the rebel government hopes will be the start of lucrative international trade. MORE

Police identify dead woman’s remains

Remains found at a second site by police investigating the murder of Sian O’Callaghan are those of missing woman Becky Godden. MORE

Arctic water poses threat to Gulf Stream

Scientists have identified a massive volume of “fresh” water – twice the volume of Africa’s Lake Victoria – floating on the Arctic Ocean, which could turn off the Gulf Stream that keeps Britain mild in winter. MORE

Older mothers make better parents

Older mothers make better parents, according to the first study of children born to women over 40 years old. Their offspring are less likely to be injured in accidents or admitted to hospital and are more likely to have had all their immunisations. MORE

Government sets fish radiation limit

The first radiation safety standards for fish were set yesterday after Japan’s tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant reported radioactive contamination in sea water measuring several million times the legal limit. MORE

Chloe stabbing: man appears in court

A man appeared before magistrates yesterday, charged with the attempted murder of 14-year-old Chloe West, who was stabbed near her school. Samuel Gayzer-Tomlinson, 18,was remanded in custody.

Defeated Gbagbo ready to step down

The nation’s strong man, Laurent Gbagbo, was last night negotiating his departure from power after UN air strikes and a final military push by his opponents. While he hid in his bunker, bodies lay uncollected on the streets of Abidjan, armed gangs roamed the city, and doctors said it was still too dangerous to respond to emergency calls for help. MORE

Berlusconi faces final reckoning

One of the most extraordinary and eagerly awaited trials in recent political history kicks off today with the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, facing squalid sex and corruption charges that could deliver a total of 15 years in prison. MORE

Lungworm, the killer that targets dogs

Animal experts are warning dog owners to learn how to spot the telltale signs of lungworm, a killer parasite which is spreading at an “alarming rate” around the UK.

Quentin hits out at gender imbalance

The actress Caroline Quentin has criticised the gender balance of lead television roles for older stars. The star said she is being offered fewer parts but has “no idea” why, because she always delivers an audience. She believes there are “many, many more men” on screen than women.

‘Image of Christ’ to go on show in London

The Mandylion of Edessa, once venerated by pilgrims in the belief that it showed the face of Christ, is to go on show at the British Museum in an exhibition entitled Treasures of Heaven. It is believed to have been formed when Jesus dried his wet head on a piece of cloth. MORE

Bluebells have a bumper season

A mild start to the year should produce an early display of bluebells, experts predicted yesterday. Although last December was the coldest for a century, it has been followed by the mildest February in a decade and a mild, dry March, prompting bluebells to start flowering.

School porter’s shock at soup poison claim

A kitchen porter at Stowe, a top public school, told a court yesterday he was stunned to hear he was accused of pouring a cleaning product into the pupils’ soup. Maxwell Cook was told to leave following the alleged attempted poisoning of the carrot and coriander soup.

Conservationists hail gorilla births

The births of two critically endangered gorillas at a wild animal park have been welcomed by experts fighting the threat of their extinction. The western lowland gorillas were born within two months of each other to separate families at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury, Kent.

Pastry shop sparks fury over Nazi cakes

Owners of an Austrian pastry shop that showcases cakes decorated with Nazi themes should be prosecuted, a Holocaust awareness group urged. The bakery, in the village of Maria Enzersdorf, features photos of cakes that are adorned with Nazi-era symbols.

Attacked $80m Gauguin undamaged

A Paul Gauguin work, Two Tahitian Women, attacked in a Washington gallery by a visitor apparently upset about its nudity, is back on display. Conservators say the $80m painting, which was covered by Plexiglas, was not damaged by Susan Burns’ attempt to pull it off the wall and hit it on Friday.

Astronauts get all clear over space junk

Three astronauts on the International Space Station no longer have to worry about a small piece of space junk heading their way. They had been told they might have to move to a capsule because of a 6-inch piece of debris, initially thought to be passing within three miles.