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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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam