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The News Matrix: Monday 23 December 2013

Artificial heart 'just a pump' like real one

The inventor of the world's first fully artificial and self-regulating heart has said that its creation proves that "it is just a pump". Professor Alain Carpentier ended a 30-year quest chasing the "holy grail" of transplant surgery when the new organ was placed in the chest of a 75-year-old Frenchman last week. MORE

Khodorkovsky to fight for prisoners

Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was freed from jail on Friday, has said he will do all he can to free other political prisoners. He added: "The struggle for power is not for me." MORE

Those who fight in Syria face UK ban

The secret use of citizenship-stripping powers has been dramatically stepped up as Theresa May moves to prevent the return of dual-nationals who have gone to fight in Syria. The Home Secretary has already revoked the British citizenship of 20 people this year. MORE

'X Factor' star takes Christmas top spot

Sam Bailey, the X Factor winner, has secured the Christmas number one. The former prison officer's "Skyscraper" sold twice as many copies as the next entry. MORE

Champagne loses its sparkle in shops

Champagne sales have slumped for the second year in succession. The economic crisis in Europe, and competition from other fizzy wines, have deflated sales. MORE

UN chief appeals for reconstruction aid

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, urged the international community to ramp up aid for the Philippines' typhoon reconstruction yesterday, saying, "We must not allow this to be another forgotten crisis." Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last month killing at least 6,100 people.

Charity warns of 'return to Dickens'

British society must not revert to "times of Charles Dickens" and leave the nation's poorest families in desperate need of food and clothes, Action for Children has warned. It said the nation has already reverted to the poverty of the 1940s, and "can't go back" further. MORE

Working-class towns win big on the lottery

Two Spanish towns – a tough suburb of Madrid and an area hit by layoffs in the Basque country – were the big winners of the El Gordo Christmas draw. £151m went to the Basque town of Mondragon and £301m went to ticket holders in Leganes. MORE

Students still plan to live away from home

Britain's undergraduates are continuing to study away from their home towns despite the rise in tuition fees to as much as £9,000 a year. Research shows the urge to fly the family home to study for a degree is stronger now than it ever has been. MORE

Minister prepared to quit after son's arrest

Turkey's Interior Affairs Minister has offered his resignation over a corruption scandal that continues to dog the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Muammer Guler said he was still waiting to hear whether Mr Erdogan had accepted his offer after Mr Guler's son was one of 24 arrested over accusations of taking or facilitating bribes.

Vicars may cast off their surplices

Anglican vicars could soon be allowed to cast off their robes and wear casual clothes at "café-style" communion services. The General Synod will debate a motion to change a rule requiring clergy to wear vestments at services. MORE

Shock therapy could treat trauma

Unpleasant memories can be wiped out by electric shock therapy, a study in Nature Neuroscience says. The discovery raises the possibility of helping victims of post-traumatic stress. Currently electroconvulsive therapy is only reserved for certain forms of mental illness.

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