The Saturday Matrix: Saturday 18 June 2011

British troops die in blast and gun battle

Two British soldiers have been killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday that one died after an explosion and another was killed in a gun battle.

Drought still a threat despite wet week

Drought remains a threat to parts of the UK despite the wettest week since February, according to the Environment Agency. Central and eastern England received only half their average rainfall this month. MORE

EU leaders seek an urgent deal on debt

Facing a threat of global economic meltdown, the leaders of Germany and France buried their differences over the Greek debt crisis and issued an urgent call for EU agreement on a new rescue package. MORE

New mass protest against ruling party

Tens of thousands of people poured on to the streets yesterday for a renewed push to unseat the Syrian government. At least 16 people were reported killed as fresh protests were met by machine-gun fire. MORE

IMF withholds $70bn aid over corruption

The International Monetary Fund has withheld a $70m payment to the Afghan government after rejecting its plan to overhaul a failed bank at the centre of a $900m corruption scandal.

Firefighters tackle major fire at docks

At least 50 firefighters tackled a major fire at Falmouth dockyard yesterday. Residents reported hearing explosions after chemical cylinders went up in flames.

The Edge fails in bid to build mansions

Efforts by U2 guitarist The Edge to build five mansions in Malibu, overlooking the Pacific, were in tatters last night after planning permission was denied on grounds they would damage the environment. MORE

Famous Hollywood frocks go on sale

The star of the hit film Singin’ in the Rain, Debbie Reynolds, is to auction off part of her collection of movie memorabilia, including some of Hollywood’s most famous frocks, in Beverly Hills today. MORE

Talent show where judges see nothing

A US talent show where the singers perform without the judges knowing what they look like is coming to the UK. The Voice will air on Saturday nights on BBC1 next year. Judges will sit with their backs to the stage.

More tickets to go on sale on Monday

Some 2.3 million Olympic tickets are to be made available on a firstcome- first-served basis on Monday from 6am, for those applicants who missed out in the first draft. MORE

Hospital ‘gunman’ was a false alarm

Reports of a gunman in the grounds of Leicester General Hospital appeared to have been a false alarm yesterday, after a member of the public had alerted police.