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The News Matrix: Monday 1 April 2013

Attacks on migrants raises far-right fears

A spate of attacks on immigrants in Cyprus has led to fears that far-right groups may seek to take advantage of the economic crisis to gain a foothold in the country. There has been much recent activity from the far-right party, Elam, and local leaders have warned their support could rise.  MORE

Tourism figures drop by 25%

India's foreign tourism has dropped 25 per cent – and female tourists have dropped 35 per cent – in the past three months since a gang rape in Delhi left a woman dead, according to a report by industry body Assocham. The most cancellations come from the US, Britain and Canada. MORE

Marital coercion defence is scrapped

Women will no longer be able to rely on the marital coercion defence used by the jailed economist Vicky Pryce, under changes in law.

The Government is scrapping the 88-year-old defence claimed by Chris Huhne's wife because it is out of sync with modern life.

TUC leader slams 'nasty' Government

This Government is the "nastiest" in British history, the TUC leader Frances O'Grady said yesterday, as the country's poorest families prepare for this month's benefit cuts. Her comments follow increasingly vociferous criticism of the Government's welfare reforms. MORE

Hastings pier to get £13.9m renovation

Work to rebuild a fire-ravaged Victorian pier will begin in June after £11.4m of lottery money was secured towards the £13.9m total cost of rebuilding. The Grade II-listed Hastings pier in East Sussex was almost destroyed in an arson attack in 2010.

300 performing fleas are killed by the cold

An entire troupe of 300 performing fleas have fallen victim to the freezing weather gripping Germany. The acrobatic insects, which were due to appear at an open-air fair, were found dead inside their transport box on Wednesday morning. MORE

TV satirist accused of insulting Morsi

A popular television satirist was released on bail yesterday after nearly five hours of interrogation over allegations that he broke the law by insulting Islam and the president. Bassem Youssef is the most prominent critic of President Mohammed Morsi to be called in for questioning in recent weeks. MORE

Mitchell complaint over 'plebgate' leak

Andrew Mitchell has lodged a formal complaint against Scotland Yard over the apparent leaking of its report into the "plebgate" affair. The former cabinet minister has written to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) accusing police of a continued campaign to "destroy" his career after details of the report were apparently leaked to newspapers. MORE

Prescription prices rise by 20p today

The cost of prescriptions in England will rise by 20p from today. Prescriptions for patients in England will now cost £7.85 – but in other parts of the UK they are free. Pensioners, children, pregnant women, cancer patients and some patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes are exempt from payment.

Ant and Dec 'rhumble' to No 1

Ant and Dec were celebrating their first No 1 today – 17 years after their chart career came to an end. Their 1994 hit "Let's Get Ready To Rhumble" hit the top spot after they revived it on Saturday Night Takeaway.

Stolen 7ft boa snake found in rubbish bag

A 7ft boa constrictor, a 3ft python and a 3ft lizard, which were stolen from Fresno Discovery Centre in California, were found in a rubbish bag yesterday – they were in good health. A 3ft python is still missing.

Formal qualification introduced on Botox

Beauty therapists who offer services such as Botox injections and laser treatment for wrinkles are to be forced to get a formal qualification before they can practise on the high street.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?