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The News Matrix: Monday 17 February 2014

Loneliness adds to risk of early death

Chronic loneliness increases the chances of an early grave by 14 per cent, research has found. A study by the University of Chicago of 2,000 Americans aged over 50 found that the degree to which they felt lonely could be linked to overall risk of death due to ill health. MORE

Minister: nation has an identity crisis

The French Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, has said that a loose coalition of right-wing elements in France has helped to create a period of “distress” in the country that must be dealt with. The minister has been on the end of racist attacks from right-wing elements. MORE

Yorkshire pays £8.4m for charging mistake

About 34,000 borrowers are to share £8.4m compensation after Yorkshire Building Society admitted wrongly charging customers who fell behind with repayments. This is £247 on average to those who paid fees for missing repayments since 2009, even those who were not overcharged.

Race to excavate Civil War PoW camp

Archaeologists are racing to uncover the remnants of a Civil War PoW camp before the site in South Carolina is cleared for development. They have been given four months to excavate “Camp Asylum”, which held 1,500 Union Army officers during the winter of 1864-65.

‘Hitler Clooney’ in Boris whiskey jibe

George Clooney, accused by Boris Johnson of a ‘Hitlerian’ agenda for backing the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece, dismissed the comments as “too much hyperbole washed down with a few whiskeys”.

Few workers upbeat over job security

Only one in 10 workers believe the improving economy is making them feel positive about their job security, according to a survey by Legal & General. It also showed that almost two out of five felt negatively about how secure they were in work. Older workers were most pessimistic, while almost one in five of those questioned were worried about how they will maintain their standard of living.

‘Negative’ US blamed after talks deadlock

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has accused the US of creating a “negative climate” for dialogue at the second round of peace talks in Geneva. His comments come a day after meetings between  government and opposition ended without breaking the impasse in the bloody conflict, which began in 2011.

‘Legal high’ hospital admissions double

The number of people admitted to hospitals after taking “legal highs” has doubled in the past two years.  MSPs pledged to crack down on the availability of the substances after figures, obtained by Scottish Conservatives, revealed 323 admissions since 2009.  Last year, 139 were recorded compared with 61 in 2012.

Woman named as newspaper editor

For the first time a woman has been named editor-in-chief of a newspaper published in the kingdom. The English-language Saudi Gazette announced on its website that Somayya Jabarti will take the helm.

We’re still turning on the box in the corner

The humble television still has a place in modern society, new figures suggest. Last year 98.5 per cent of all viewing was on a television set and just 3 minutes, 30 seconds a day of live stream viewing was conducted via PCs and mobile devices. MORE

Marijuana cake spoils birthday

A Spanish university student briefly went into a coma after eating a birthday cake laced with marijuana, and 10 other students became ill, officials said. One student was comatose and not responding to stimulus when admitted, but later recovered.

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