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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

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Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

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Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

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What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

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This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
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