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The News Matrix: Monday 18 November 2013

Bomb attack kills 31 people in Damascus

A bomb attack on a Syrian government building near Damascus killed 31 people last night, according to activist groups. Four generals are reported to be among the dead. The explosives were reportedly in the basement, meaning rebels would have had to breach the building’s security.

MI6 spy discovered in bag ‘was not alone’

The MI6 spy who was found in a bag in the bath of his flat was not alone when he was locked in the holdall according to experts, in contradiction of police findings. Experts who tried to recreate the death of codebreaker Gareth Williams say they do not agree that the man died by accident.

Bosses hire coaches for grillings by MPs

An investigation by i has discovered that lobbying firms are hiring out services to executives facing cross-examination by select committees. Highly paid consultants are employed to put witnesses through mock examinations, draft likely questions and more. MORE

Naples protest over mafia’s toxic dump

Over 10,000 people have turned out in Naples to protest against the illegal dumping of toxic waste by the local mafia, the Camorra. They carried pictures of relatives they said had died of cancer as a result of the pollution. The US Navy advised its sailors to not drink Naples water.

Angelina wins Oscar for good works

Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin and Angela Lansbury were among the winners of Oscars for their humanitarian work at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Governors Awards in LA.

Warming ‘pause’ disproved by study

The failure to record a rise in Arctic temperatures over the past 15 years has been interpreted as a “pause” in global warming and used by sceptics to undermine the science of climate change, a study has found. Two scientists found that global temperatures over the past decade have risen two-and-half times faster than Met Office scientists assumed. MORE

Prince Charles to tackle gang culture

The Prince of Wales is set to launch a campaign to encourage young people to do more work in the community in a bid to tackle gang violence. Prince Charles said he was inspired to act by meeting the parents of children who had been violently killed. The Step Up 2 Serve initiative will be launched this week.

Mandela still unable to speak to carers

Nelson Mandela is still unable to speak, but he uses facial expressions to communicate, his ex-wife has told a newspaper in South Africa. The 95-year-old former president is being treated at home and has tubes in his mouth to clear his lungs of fluid, preventing him from speaking, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said.

Thieves target ‘Strictly’ competitors

Stars from Strictly Come Dancing have been targeted by thieves whilst performing in Blackpool, say police. Valuables including an iPad, phone and jewellery were reported stolen from dressing rooms used by female competitors on Saturday.

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