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The News Matrix: Friday 11 January 2013

PM warned over EU referendum

David Cameron's rumoured referendum on a "new settlement" over Britain's membership of the EU could "paralyse efforts for a better Europe", allies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel have warned. Gunther Krichbaum, the chair of Germany's European affairs committee, said a British exit would be a disaster. MORE

Savile victims 'were as young as ten'

The official inquiry into Jimmy Savile is expected to say that he sexually assaulted children as young as 10 during almost 40 years of paedophilic activities carried out in a variety of hospitals, prisons and BBC premises. The report, due out today, says that he may have raped more than 30 people.

Belfast: Youths are rioting for 'visceral excitement'

Many of the youths involved in the Belfast flag riots have little political knowledge and are simply thriving on the "visceral excitement" of disorder, loyalist community leader Dr John Kyle said last night. MORE

Minister sets out plan for UK's biggest jail

A "super-jail" could be built in London, the North-West of England or North Wales despite concerns about the safety and effectiveness of large prisons. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said he was considering the feasibility of a giant prison holding more than 2,000 offenders. MORE

Drama delivers a boost to midwifery

Applications to universities from budding midwives are up by 17 per cent in the wake of the successful drama Call the Midwife, starring Miranda Hart, below. It is the most-watched new drama series in more than a decade. A midwife adviser to the series claimed applications had soared from 300 to 1,000 at one university.

Comeback album for Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child have announced a comeback album featuring their first new music since 2005. The group's most famous member, Beyoncé, said on her Facebook page: "I am so proud to announce the first original Destiny's Child music in eight years". The girl band will release Love Songs in the UK on 28 January.

Pakistan: Scores die in three Quetta bombings

Twin explosions at a snooker hall killed at least 81 people in Quetta last night, just hours after a bombing in the Pakistani city's market killed 12. Many of the snooker hall casualties were police and media who were on their way to the scene of the first blast.

France: Shock follows killing of Kurdish women

The assassination of three Kurdish women in Paris has sent shockwaves through France and Turkey. The militants, including a founding member of the separatist group PKK, were found shot in the head in an apartment block near the Gare du Nord station yesterday morning.  MORE

India: Rape suspects beaten by police, says lawyer

A lawyer for one of the men arrested over the brutal gang rape and killing of a woman in Delhi has claimed the five suspects were beaten by police. Manohar Lal Sharma told a court hearing that the men were innocent of the charges. The hearing ended early as official court paperwork listing the charges was illegible. MORE

USA: Two injured in high school shooting

A gunman has shot two people in America's latest school shooting. One victim suffered a "major injury" at Taft Union High School in California. The suspected gunman was arrested. News of the shooting came as Vice-President Joe Biden sought support for tougher laws on guns from the National Rifle Association.

Russia: Sex shop owner pays taxman with 'dolls'

A hard-up sex shop owner in Siberia has paid off part of his debt to the Russian taxman with two blow-up dolls. The 34-year-old owner had got into trouble over his tax payments and pension contributions. The two dolls were valued at £225. Bailiffs in Russia have previously accepted pet dogs and underpants in lieu of payment.

Papua New Guinea: Sad end for python's flight of fancy

Passengers on a 500-mile flight from the Australia to Papa New Guinea were shocked yesterday when they saw a snake clinging to a wing of their plane. The 3m-long scrub python managed to hang on for the entire flight, but by the time the aircraft touched down in Port Moresby it had died.

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Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment