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The News Matrix: Monday 21 January 2013

BBC's Marr 'on the mend' after stroke

The broadcaster Andrew Marr said yesterday that he was "on the mend", according to the BBC, his first reported comments since suffering a stroke. Speaking from his hospital, Marr, 53, also sent "a huge thank you" to his well-wishers and said the goodwill messages had been truly wonderful.

Obama sworn in for second term

President Obama took the oath for his second term at the White House in a private ceremony. It was a low-key start to the President's second term, likely to be dominated by budget fights with Republicans. MORE

Foreign top cop plan 'a smack in the face'

Moves by the Home Secretary to allow foreign police chiefs to become chief constables in England and Wales under new reforms to improve the force's leadership were described as a "smack in the face" yesterday by a former chief constable.

Key vote may be end of peace process

Israelis go to the polls tomorrow in an election which could sound the death knell for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. With Benjamin Netanyahu and his hardline allies predicted to capture 63 seats, analysts anticipate deadlock in peace efforts. MORE

Renovation plan to revive the North

Work should begin to refurbish thousands of derelict homes across the North of England to help kick-start the recovery, an influential think-tank says. It says Burnley, Bradford, Hull and Blackpool have large concentrations of crumbling properties that could be renovated. MORE

Academic pressure prompts drop-outs

Pressure to study academic subjects is leading to thousands of teenagers dropping out of A-level studies, says a report out today. Research by the Policy Exchange think-tank shows as many as one in three students in some parts of the country are quitting their studies.

Man shot with Taser dies in hospital

A man who was shot by police using a Taser during his arrest has died in hospital. Martin Baskeyfield was detained for motoring offences on 29 September last year in Stoke-on-Trent. During the arrest he was subdued by officers who shot him using the Taser stun-gun. Five days later he was admitted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, but died on 14 January. MORE

Fifty Shades of Grey confiscated by judge

A judge in Rio de Janeiro has confiscated copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and other books, saying store owners must seal such novels to prevent children leafing through them.

Rare spider found in London cemetery

A rare spider has been found in the famous Highgate Cemetery. The discovery of the orb weaver is the first time the species has been recorded in London.

Sailor saved after three days adrift

A French sailor has been rescued by a cruise ship after spending three days adrift on a life raft in the Southern Ocean. Alain Delord, 63, had been attempting a solo round-the-world voyage when the mast of his yacht broke in fierce weather.

'Les Mis' cast gets a reason to be cheerful

The stars of Les Miserables have become the first film cast to top the official albums chart in almost 16 years. The soundtrack of Tom Hooper's musical is the first cast recording to top the albums chart since Evita in 1997.

The musical's cast knocks Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events down to number two.

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