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The News Matrix: Monday 17 December 2012
Hollande's partner: trials of First Lady
The partner of President François Hollande, Valérie Trierweiler, says acting as France's "first girlfriend" is like doing a parachute jump "without a parachute". She said she has only entered Mr Hollande's office three times. MORE
Ban plan for porn in WiFi hotspots
Access to pornography via public WiFi hotspots could be banned by next year. In a deal between the Government and internet providers, children will be protected from catching a glimpse of explicit images on a phone, laptop or tablet.
High street could cede top spot to web
The internet could overtake the high street for Christmas shopping for the first time this year, with research indicating that the proportion spent online will increase from 2011's 41 per cent. The British Retail Consortium estimate it could reach 50 per cent, while analytics company SDL put the figure at 54 per cent.
Berlusconi engaged to signorina, 27
The former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, infamous for his "bunga bunga" sex parties, has announced his engagement to his 27-year-old girlfriend Francesca Pascale. "Finally I feel less lonely," said Berlusconi, adding that she is "beautiful on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside". MORE
Angler dies after being swept away
A 33-year-old angler airlifted to hospital after being swept away in a fast-flowing stream has died. The man was rescued on Saturday after being swept out towards the sea from a stream at Becketts Bank in County Durham. A 57-year-old man, related to the victim, was released from hospital after treatment.
Unions 'must do more to save jobs'
Trade unions need to change the perception that they are only about strikes and industrial strife and create the impression that they are intent on aiding the economy to prosper, the outgoing head of the Trades Union Congress has said. Brendan Barber said unions must work more with firms to save jobs. MORE
Blair group useless, says Palestinian
The international peace coalition fronted by Tony Blair in the Middle East should abandon its work because it has been "useless, useless, useless" according to a key aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Mohammed Shtayyeh told a gathering near Bethlehem that words from the Middle East Quartet mean "nothing". MORE
Ritz hotel pays no corporation tax
London's Ritz hotel has failed to pay any corporation tax since it was bought by the billionaire Barclay brothers 17 years ago, a BBC Panorama documentary will claim tonight. The broadcaster said the hotel's accounts indicated it legally cut its tax bill to zero. MORE
Right returns in landslide victory
The conservative Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in a landslide election victory according to early returns. Shinzo Abe will be Japan's seventh prime minister in less than seven years. MORE
Minimum price plan attracts criticism
The Coalition's plan to introduce minimum pricing of alcohol looks to be in trouble, with ministers opposing the proposals, saying they could penalise responsible poorer drinkers. The Home Secretary Theresa May and her Lib Dem deputy Jeremy Browne are leading the opposition. MORE
'Seven-day working' plan for NHS doctors
People should be able to visit their GPs and receive routine surgery from hospitals at weekends, under plans to increase seven-day working by doctors in the NHS. The plans are driven by concerns that the health services works to the convenience of employees rather than patients. MORE
Protests 'could tear country apart'
Hundreds of demonstrators have been stopped from protesting outside the Kuwaiti parliament amid fears that the standoff between the hardline government and dissenters could become violent. The ruling emir said the country risked being torn apart.
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory