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The News Matrix: Friday 24 January 2014

Misery for many as rainclouds roll in

Parts of the UK face a weekend of weather misery as torrential rain sweeps in from the Atlantic Ocean and falls on already saturated ground. The Met Office has issued a number of yellow warnings  for much of the country, including Eastern England, the Mid- lands and the South-west. The Environment Agency has issued 90 flood warnings.

Envoy opens peace talks with both sides

Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN’s special envoy to the Syrian crisis, met separately yesterday with members of the government and opposition in an attempt to broker a deal over the war-torn nation’s future. The talks focused on local ceasefires and prisoner swaps. MORE

Crime at its lowest since records began

Crime has fallen by 10 per cent to 8 million offences last year according to the Crime Survey of England and Wales – the lowest level since it started 32 years ago. The fall in  the year to September 2013 is  across most types of offences.  MORE

State reverses ban on ‘Mein Kampf’

An edition of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, annotated with notes, will be released in early 2016 – following a reversal of a decision of the Bavarian state. Bavaria, which owns the copyright, had funded the project before blocking the idea, and then changing its mind again. MORE

Interest rate rise won’t be imminent

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said there is “no immediate need to increase interest rates”, after the jobless rate fell close to the 7 per cent at which he had said he would consider a rise. He told BBC’s Newsnight the change, when it comes, would be very gradual.

Men ‘should talk to GPs about cancer’

Men should start talking to doctors about prostate cancer after a survey found GPs often fail to initiate discussion, Prostate Cancer UK has said. A poll from the charity found that only one in 10 GPs broached the issue with men aged 50 and over who did not display symptoms.

‘Speeding’ Bieber has a taste of Miami vice

Canadian teenybopper Justin Bieber was arrested yesterday on charges of driving under the influence, drag racing and resisting arrest after allegedly speeding in a yellow Lamborghini in Miami. MORE

Watkins appeals against jail term

Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins is seeking leave to appeal against the length of his jail term for child sex offences, which including the attempted rape of a baby. The convicted paedophile was jailed for 29 years and will spend another six years on licence.

Protests may lead to crackdown – PM

Amid more clashes in the capital Kiev yesterday, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the Ukrainian government was ready to use all tools available to restore order if unrest continues. “Don’t put the government into an impasse,” Mr Azarov said. MORE

No action against  drink-driving tweets

No further action will be taken against Staffordshire Police after it tweeted the names of people charged with drink-driving, the Information Commissioner’s Office said. The Office said it had been assured that the tweets had now stopped.

Woman gang-raped ‘on orders of elders’

A 20-year-old woman is in a critical condition after she was gang-raped, allegedly on the orders of her village council who objected to her relationship. The 13 suspects appeared at court in India’s West Bengal state and were remanded into custody. MORE

Forth Bridge bid for heritage status

The Forth Bridge has been put forward as a nomination for World Heritage status. The distinctive red railway structure linking Edinburgh and Fife could join a select group of sites across the world, including the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China.

Army declares war on body art and hair

The military has published a  new code banning piercings,  “pornographic tattoos” and out of control facial hair. The code also outlaws “discriminatory or  pornographic motifs or content that breaches the values and norms of the constitution or criminal law”.

Noel Gallagher sounds off – shock

An expletive-ridden rant by former Oasis star Noel Gallagher, in which he trashes the band’s efforts at making promo videos, has become an online sensation. He summed up the band’s approach as “walking and playing and standing still – and looking bored”.

Why it’s farewell to the stethoscope

The stethoscope, one of the most iconic medical instrument of the past 200 years, could soon be a thing of a past. Ultrasound technology – which has been around since the 1950s – has, in recent years, been reduced in size, making it easier for doctors to use. MORE

U2 to launch song during Super Bowl

Rock giants U2 are to give away a new song – in a move expected to generate more than £1m – to help the fight against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. The band, who are expected to release a new album shortly, will unveil “Invisible” on 2 February during the Super Bowl.

Ex-Baywatch star seeks fur sales ban

Actress and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson is asking Israel’s Prime Minister to back a petition supporting the banning of clothes made of animal fur. Fresh off a honeymoon in Israel, Ms Anderson wrote to Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to support the legislation.

87-hour TV viewing a new world record

Three men have set a new world record for watching television. Dan Jordan, Spencer Larson and Chris Laughlin watched the box for 87 hours at a consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. It was not  immediately clear what programmes the men had watched.

Career Services

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Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam