The News Matrix: Friday 21 December 2012


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The Independent Online

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.