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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.

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