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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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Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

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Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

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One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

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A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
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