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The News Matrix: Monday 10 October 2011

Lecturers to take industrial action

Industrial action by lecturers and academic staff was due to disrupt universities today. Members of the University and College Union in 67 universities, including Cambridge, Oxford, the London School of Economics, Manchester and Liverpool, will only work contracted hours.

Miscarriage victims ‘neglected by NHS’

Women who miscarry are being neglected by the NHS, says Mumsnet. The website found women were treated insensitively, faced delays and were given inadequate pain relief. Mumsnet is calling for a new code of care to improve the treatment of women who miscarry. MORE

19 die as Christians clash with the army

Fierce clashes erupted in Cairo last night between Christians and the military, leaving 19 people dead in the worst violence in the city for months. The protests were over a recent attack on a church.

Leaking container ship threatens bay

Marine crews were preparing yesterday to extract oil from a container ship floundering off the coast of New Zealand. The ship has already leaked about 30 tonnes of fuel, but has 1,700 on board – which could be a disaster for the nearby Bay of Plenty, famous for its pristine waters. MORE

Two teenagers found shot in Salford

Two teenagers were shot in Salford yesterday. Police were called to investigate the incident on Tatton Road, Ordsall, Salford, at 4.25am. Officers discovered a 17-year-old boy with gunshot wounds to his leg and an 18-year-old man, also with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Government makes headway in Sirte

Libyan government forces drove deep into Muammar Gaddafi’s home town last night in a bid to stamp the new leadership’s authority on the country. During a weekend of bloody fighting inside the northern city of Sirte, the forces of the new transitional government captured buildings such as the university and a conference centre where Gaddafi received foreign dignitaries. MORE

Illegal immigrant students to get aid

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill giving illegal immigrant students access to state-funded financial aid, the second half of two-part legislation known as the Dream Act. The measure represents a victory for immigrant-rights activists ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Nobel prizewinner in presidential poll

Liberia goes to the polls tomorrow in a tense contest that pits this year’s Nobel Peace prizewinner against a former world footballer of the year. The incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, must see off a strong challenge from an opposition counting on the popularity of its vice-presidential candidate, George Weah. MORE

Odd weather means small jack o’lanterns

Jack o’lanterns on display for Halloween this year may be smaller than usual because the weather has been bad for pumpkin growers. The Royal Horticultural Society said it has been a tricky year for pumpkins and they may be smaller as a result. However, Apple bobbers will be able to take advantage of a bumper crop from Britain’s orchards. MORE

Cold winters may be due to sun’s activity

The sun’s 11-year cycle of solar activity may have been behind the unusually long spells of cold weather seen in Britain over the past two winters. Scientific research claims that an exceptional period of low solar activity could have influenced the flow of air in the upper atmosphere, bringing cold easterly winds over northern Europe.

TV creates a drama on the high street

Edwardian fashion is enjoying a revival on the high street because of the period drama Downton Abbey. Fur capes, full-length gloves and sequinned capelets are some of the items benefiting from the show’s popularity. Shops such as Debenhams and John Lewis say the trend is down to the show, which follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants.

Fox coughs up for ‘Simpsons’ voices

Fans of The Simpsons can breathe easy after the US television network Fox announced it would make two more series of the show after reaching an agreement with its multimillion dollar-earning voice actors. The animated series – now in its 23rd season – was threatened with the axe unless it could cut its budget.

Humans ‘look on the bright side of life’

Humans have an inbuilt tendency to always look on the bright side of life, scientists have found. Researchers identified an “optimism bias” in the brain that resists accurate data about the world. This means people “update” their beliefs accurately only when things turn out to be better than expected not worse.

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Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

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Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

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