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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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Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

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Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

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French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

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Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

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Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

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I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

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Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

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