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The News Matrix: Monday 11 March 2013

Archbishop wades into welfare debate

A row between the church and state rumbled on last night following claims by the Archbishop of Canterbury that proposed welfare reforms would drive children and families into poverty. MORE

Buyers warned of smuggled puppies

Prospective pet owners have been urged to buy dogs only from legitimate breeders amid claims of a surge in puppy smuggling. Channel 4's Dispatches reports a big increase in the number of dogs being brought into the country, many illegally.

Nude cyclists call for more bike lanes

Nude cyclists rolled through Sao Paulo to call attention to the bare facts: this Brazilian city is dangerous for bikers, and short on dedicated bike lanes. Some did a Full Monty ride while others opted for a relatively demure topless protest.

Northern Ireland: Priest risked life to try and save soldiers

A priest has spoken for the first time of how he tried to protect two British soldiers from being shot by the IRA by lying on the ground before they were killed. Father Alec Reid described how one gunman told him: “Get up, or I'll f***ing well shoot you as well.” MORE

Warning as comet makes rare visit

Stargazers are warned they risk damaging their eyes if they try to glimpse Comet Pan-Starrs today as it flies near the sun – but it won't be back again for 110,000 years.

i circulation keeps on growing

i was the only title in the national press to record an increase in its circulation, official industry figures have revealed. The paper had a sale of 298,206 during February 2013 – a 12.8 per cent increase on the same period last year and a 1.4 per cent rise over the previous month. The combined sale of sister papers The Independent and i is 373,331 a rise of 1 per cent on last year.

In total, the quality newspaper market continues to fall, down 3.9 per cent on February 2012. The Guardian sold 193,586 last month (down 10.4 per cent on last year), The Times sold 393,814 (down 0.9 per cent) and the Daily Telegraph sold 541,036 (down 6.5 per cent).

Lib Dems reject secret courts plan

The Liberal Democrat conference delivered a blow to Nick Clegg by rejecting the Government's plans for “secret courts” that would hear evidence in private. Two leading Liberal Democrats resigned in protest at the leadership's support for the Justice and Security Bill, which would allow courts to protect the identity of members of the security services by sitting behind closed doors. MORE

Cat burglar is key to washing mystery

The mystery of the vanishing washing that has plagued a village in Wales has been solved, following the apprehension of a light-fingered cat. Residents of Llanwrda, in Carmarthenshire, undertook a full-scale investigation to find the culprit.

Pakistan: Christians fight back in blasphemy row

Hundreds of Christians clashed with police yesterday, a day after a Muslim mob burned dozens of homes owned by members of the religious group in retaliation for alleged insults against the Prophet Mohamed. Christians are often the target of Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws. MORE

Hungary: Protests over threat to democracy

Thousands protested in central Budapest over the weekend against imminent changes to the country's constitution. They fear the law changes will curb democratic rights, echoing worries this week from the European Union and the United States. MORE

Austria: Life under Hitler 'not that bad,' says survey

An Austrian survey has found that 42 per cent of respondents said that “not everything was bad under Adolf Hitler” whose Nazi government annexed Austria 75 years ago. The survey also found that 54 per cent of the 502 respondents said a Nazi party would have some success today. MORE

United States: Sanctuary reopens after intern's death

Cat Haven, the California wildlife sanctuary where a lion attacked and killed 24-year-old intern Dianna Hanson last week reopened yesterday, four days after her death.

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Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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