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The News Matrix: Monday 18 March 2013

Football players guilty of raping teen

Two members of a high school football team were found guilty yesterday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in a case that bitterly divided the Ohio city of Steubenville and led to accusations of a cover-up to protect the community's athletes. The case came to light via a barrage of morning-after text messages, social-media posts and online photos and video that drew global attention. MORE

Six suspects arrested in gang-rape case

Police have arrested six men accused of the gang-rape of a Swiss tourist who was camping with her husband in a forest. The assault on the 39-year-old woman came three months after a 23-year-old student was gang-raped and beaten to death in a case that sparked outrage. MORE

MPs berate HMRC's 'disgraceful' record

Britons waste a collective £136m a year trying to get through to the taxman – with HM Revenue and Customs failing to answer nearly a quarter of all its calls. And HMRC's "disgraceful" service is set to get even worse if plans to close 281 tax inquiry centres go ahead, MPs warn.

New rulers signal populist shift in China

The country's new leaders struck a populist tone yesterday as they got down to the painstaking work of governing, promising a more environmentally friendly government, less red tape and more fairness to enlarge a still small middle class. MORE

Pupils taught religion by assistants

Thousands of children are being taught religion by classroom assistants rather than trained teachers. A survey by the all-party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education found that one in four pupils in primary schools were being taught the subject by a teaching assistant. MORE

Perambulating through recession

A traditional pram-maker favoured by the rich and famous says business is booming. Silver Cross, which makes its Balmoral prams near Keighley, West Yorkshire, says its heritage has helped to make it a leading UK brand.

Oxfordshire upset over forecast failure

Authorities in Oxfordshire have lashed out at the Met Office after it failed to predict widespread snowfall across the county. The deputy leader of the region's county council, Councillor Rodney Rose, lambasted the Government's official forecaster.

Microbes found in Mariana Trench

Scientists have found a thriving community of microbes living at the deepest known point on the surface of the Earth. The bacteria, recovered in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, were found 6.8 miles down, where pressures are more than 1,000 times greater than at sea level. MORE

Fans in 'disgraceful' clashes at match

Police have described a large fight between rival sets of fans ahead of a League Two match as "disgraceful". Bottles and glasses were thrown in the street as fans clashed in the hour before York City's 2-0 home defeat by high-flying Port Vale yesterday. Officers arrested five people.

Bowie lands first No 1 album in 20 years

David Bowie secured his first No 1 album in 20 years yesterday – and the accolade of the fastest-selling record of the year. The Next Day, the musician's 27th studio album, became his first chart-topper since Black Tie White Noise in 1993. MORE

Japanese artist awarded top prize

Japanese architect Toyo Ito has been awarded the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize, one of the field's most prestigious awards, for his conceptually creative designs and "timeless" buildings, the prize committee said. The prize includes a $100,000 award.

Archbishop reveals his drinking fears

The new Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken of how his wife keeps an eye on his drinking as a result of his father's alcoholism. The Most Rev Justin Welby said that although he "very much enjoy a drink", he avoids doing so alone.

Hasselhoff bids to save Berlin Wall

David Hasselhoff has put his name behind a campaign to preserve one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall. Developers are planning to move part of the wall to make way for a luxury housing development. MORE

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Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?