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The News Matrix: Friday 21 December 2012

55 migrants die after boat capsizes

At least 55 people are thought to have drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Somalia. The UN refugee agency said the overcrowded boat had been heading for Yemen. A spokesperson said the Gulf of Aden is now the "deadliest route for people fleeing conflict" in the Horn of Africa.

Drama is everything on Christmas Day

Christmas Day television is now dominated by dramas like Call The Midwife and Doctor Who, left, rather than the light entertainment shows which filled schedules 20 years ago, according to a Radio Times survey.

Migrants' rights violated in detention

Greece is detaining migrants, including children, in inhumane conditions unworthy of a member country of the European Union, human rights group Amnesty International said yesterday. The country, which is the main entry point in the EU for Asian and African migrants, has long struggled with illegal immigration.

Guns being bought in bulk over fear of ban

American citizens have been bulk-buying firearms over fears that guns could be prohibited by a ban in the wake of the Newtown massacre. At one shop in Alabama, people crowded to buy assault rifles similar the one used by Adam Lanza to kill 26 people at Sandy Hook school. MORE

Higgs find is year's best breakthrough

The discovery of the Higgs particle has won the Science journal's Breakthrough of the Year. One of the nine runners-up was the discovery of a new species of human based on DNA. From a bone and two teeth, scientists in Germany were able to unravel the genome of a Stone Age girl. MORE

Survivors will get £100m in damages

Thalidomide survivors will receive almost £100m in compensation from the Government. The drug, given to pregnant women in the 1950s and 1960s, led to the birth of 10,000 disfigured children worldwide. Around £80m will be divided between England's 325 victims. MORE

Editors' bid to avoid new press laws

Editors are looking to sign a five-year contract locking newspapers into a new independent regulator enforcing the Leveson findings in a bid to avoid new press laws. Lord Hunt, in charge of setting up the new body, said a "contract model" with power to impose £1m fines was the way ahead. MORE

Neon's tumour operation successful

A court-ordered operation to remove a brain tumour from seven-year-old Neon Roberts, whose mother is currently engaged in a High Court battle over his care, was successful and the boy is doing "very well". The Court rejected a bid by Sally Roberts to stop her son having radiotherapy and denied her the time to seek "alternative therapies".MORE

Chicago upstages Les Miserables

Last night's performance of Chicago, below, saw the edgy musical displace Les Miserables in the top three longest-running shows in Broadway history. It has entertained 6,681 audiences since 1996. The only shows that have run longer are Cats, with almost 7,500 shows, and The Phantom of the Opera, with more than 10,300.

Copyright laws eased for parodies

The creators of YouTube clips parodying TV shows and films will no longer have to worry about infringing copyright after yesterday's announcement exempting those engaging in "parody, caricature and pastiche". The move could also make it easier for broadcasters to source clips for comedy shows. MORE

Queen goes 3D in Christmas message

The Queen has recorded her Christmas Message in 3D for the first time, Buckingham Palace has announced. The technological update comes 80 years after George V first broadcast a Christmas speech on the radio. The Queen is expected to touch on subjects including the London Olympics and her Diamond Jubilee.

Giving peace a chance in 2013

The Waterford crystal ball that will drop in Times Square to usher in 2013 will have 288 new crystal panels with doves chiselled into them to mark the theme "Let There Be Peace". The ball drop has been a New Year tradition since 1907, and the ceremony has a worldwide audience of up to one billion.

Hillsborough tribute leads race to be No 1

The Hillsborough tribute single has extended its lead in the race for the Christmas No 1. The Justice Collective's version of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" has shot 14,000 ahead of X Factor winner James Arthur, according to figures from the Official Charts Company. The Justice Collective single has sold 146,000 copies.

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Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution