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The News Matrix: Monday 24 June 2013

Nine tourists killed in mountain attack

Nine foreign tourists were killed after militants stormed the base camp of a mountain in the north of Pakistan. A military and police operation is under way to find dozens of climbers scaling the peak, following an attack that will deal a devastating blow to the nation’s tourist industry. MORE

Boat race protester ordered to leave UK

Trenton Oldfield, the Australian protester who spent two months in prison after disrupting last year’s Oxford and Cambridge boat race, yesterday accused the Government of “extremist” behaviour after he was ordered by the Home Office to leave the country. MORE

Homes evacuated in mosque bomb scare

More than 100 residents were evacuated from their homes on Saturday after an explosive device was found in the grounds of a West Midlands mosque. Bomb disposal experts were dispatched to the Aisha Mosque in Walsall at 10.45pm. The incident is being treated as a hate crime. MORE

13 killed as bus plunges into ravine

At least 13 people were killed and several injured when a bus swerved off a bridge and plunged into a ravine in central Montenegro yesterday. An official said the bus crashed 30km north of the capital, Podgorica. He said it is still unclear whether the bus was Romanian or Ukrainian.

Nelson Mandela in critical condition

The former South African president Nelson Mandela was in a critical condition in hospital last night, two weeks after the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader was admitted with a lung infection. MORE

Wealthy pensioners may lose benefits

Better-off pensioners face losing benefits such as winter fuel allowances and free TV licences after Chancellor George Osborne said the country needed to look at whether they could still be afforded. All three main parties are now reviewing the future of universal handouts for older people amid suggestions that they have been sheltered from the pain of austerity measures. MORE

Merkel party against Turkey joining EU

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc is stressing its opposition to Turkey joining the European Union in its manifesto for German elections in September, arguing the country doesn’t fulfill the conditions to join. Turkey’s government faces international scrutiny over its crackdown on widespread protests.

Atheists told: be prepared to join us

Atheists will soon be able to join the Scouts as full members for the first time, by taking an oath that does not include a pledge to “do my duty to God”.  The scouting oath first appeared in Robert Baden-Powell’s 1908 book Scouting for Boys and has been compulsory for all boys joining the organisation since.

Plants can do maths, research shows

Scientists at Britain’s John Innes Centre say plants are good at maths. Plants do complex arithmetic calculations to make sure they have enough food to get them through the night, new research published in journal eLife shows.

Bristol introduces car-free Sundays

Six roads in the city centre were closed to traffic yesterday from 9am to 6pm as part of Mayor George Ferguson’s Make Sunday Special initiative. Mr Ferguson denied he was anti-motorist and hailed the car-free experiment a great success.

Twinkies cakes set for comeback

Hostess is betting on a sweet comeback for Twinkies when they return to stores next month. The company went bankrupt last year but is returning under new owners.

Walle, a dog’s dinner of a dog

Walle, a huge-headed, duck-footed mix of beagle, boxer and basset who “looks like he’s been Photoshopped” has been named the World’s Ugliest Dog.

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Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
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Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

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