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The News Matrix: Monday 14 October 2013

President’s brain operation successful

Argentina’s President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner was discharged from hospital yesterday following surgery to remove blood from her brain. As she left hospital, she was greeted by supporters brandishing flags and cheering. She will return to work after a 30-day rest period.

World Cup victory not welcomed by all

Belgian football fans celebrated the nation reaching next summer’s World Cup over the weekend, but the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), the party hoping to split the Dutch-speaking north from southern French-speaking Wallonia in May elections, were less than happy. MORE

Labour changes its mind on free schools

Tristram Hunt, Labour’s new  education spokesman, has announced that the party has abandoned its hostility to free schools. He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme that a future Labour government would allow “good” free schoolsto stay open. MORE

Navy at sea to stop migrant tragedies

Italy’s government will bolster its air and naval presence in the southern Mediterranean from today to help prevent further loss of life, following two recent incidents of boats sinking. At least 30 migrants died in an incident on Friday, while over 350 died off Lampedusa a week earlier.

‘Let cute animals die for the greater good’

Environmental campaigners must stop wasting money trying to save “totemic symbols of cuteness” such as giant pandas and focus on more pressing issues, the wildlife presenter Chris Packham has said. MORE

Drinking and driving over-75s on increase

Drinking and driving among elderly motorists is on the increase, a new survey shows. Police forces across the UK reported that as many as 232 over-75s were caught driving over the legal limit last year, including a 93-year-old stopped in Devon. The car insurer Swiftcover.com says there has been a 20 per cent increase in offenders over 75 since 2010.

Politician arrested over three murders

Colombian prosecutors arrested a provincial governor yesterday over his alleged links with right-wing paramilitaries and his suspected involvement in three murders. Prosecutors said that Guajira Governor Juan Francisco Gomez Cerchar was linked to the assassination of a Barrancas town councillor in 1997.

Branson says move for health not wealth

Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, has denied his permanent move to the private Caribbean island he bought in 1979 is a tax-avoidance measure. Writing on his blog, Sir Richard  said: “I still work day and night, now focusing on not-for-profit ventures, but on Necker I can also look after my health.” MORE

Popcorn makes adverts less effective

Eating popcorn at the cinema makes audiences less susceptible to advertising from brands, researchers at Cologne University have found. When viewers aren’t eating, they automatically simulate the pronunciation of a new name with their mouths.

UK not scared of Halloween’s cost

British shoppers will fork out between £315m and £325m celebrating Halloween this year, analysts predict. Planet Retail says Halloween is now the third most lucrative season for retailers after Christmas and Easter.

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Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape