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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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How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

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Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

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Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

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Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

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Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit