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The News Matrix: Monday 14 July 2014

Complaints to power firms have doubled

Complaints to energy companies have more than doubled in the last six months, to a new record high of 22,671. Research from the Energy Ombudsman also shows that three-quarters of bill-payers in rented accommodation have never switched supplier.

Costa Concordia will soon be refloated 

Engineers are entering the final phase of removing the stricken cruise liner Costa Concordia from where she sank in 2012. Thirty-two people died when the vessel crashed into the rocks on the island of Giglio. The 290m ship will be towed to Genoa to be broken up for scrap. MORE

£1.1bn set aside for ‘vital’ programmes

A £1.1bn package of investment in military capabilities such as drones will be unveiled by David Cameron today. Cash for the “vital” MoD programmes has been found as a result of austerity measures and prudent financial management, the Prime Minister will say.

Eye tests can spot Alzheimer’s disease

Scientists believe they have found a way to identify the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease using a simple eye test. Early trials have suggested that an indicator of the disease can be identified in the retina and lens of the eye, distinguishing sufferers from those without it. MORE

Activist vows to help abducted schoolgirls

Malala Yousafzai, 16, who survived being shot by the Taliban, pledged to help free 200 abducted schoolgirls: “I see those girls as my sisters. I’m going to speak up for them until they are released.”

Drop in support for Scottish Yes vote

The Scottish Independence campaign has suffered a significant drop in support, with the promise of increased devolution of powers to Scotland winning over voters to the No camp. With fewer than 70 days to go until the referendum on independence, the poll from ICM suggested that just 34 per cent of voters would vote Yes – a fall of  2 per cent since last month.

Students struggle to find summer work

Students hoping to secure a summer job this year are struggling, with just a fifth succeeding, a study has found. The survey for The Student Room website found that 86 per cent of students wanted to work, but only  19 per cent said that they had found a job easily.

Tensions rise after Russia border death

Moscow threatened “irreversible consequences” yesterday after a man was killed by a shell fired from Ukraine into Russia. Kiev said the accusation was “total nonsense” and suggested the attack was the work of rebels trying to provoke Moscow to intervene on their behalf.

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Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor