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The News Matrix: Monday 25 February 2013

Tory branch head resigns in protest

The chairwoman of the Prime Minister's local Conservative branch has resigned in protest at his support for gay marriage. Cicely Maunder told the Sunday People: "I left after 34 years because of David Cameron's support for gay marriage. I have no choice but to feel strongly about it as a Christian believer." page 18

Pistorius' brother on traffic death charge

Olympic star Oscar Pistorius's older brother is facing charges over the death of a woman motorcyclist in a traffic accident in 2008. Carl Pistorius faces a charge of unlawful, negligent killing.  MORE

Calls for inquiry over prisoner death

Palestinians have called for an international investigation of Israel's treatment of detainees after a 30-year-old Palestinian died in custody and a hunger strike by four other inmates sparked a week of West Bank protests. Jaradat's death in prison raised new questions about Israel's Shin Bet security service. MORE

Drop in take-up of postgrad courses

Britain could be at risk of failing to compete on the economic world stage after figures revealed an 8.5 per cent drop in take up of postgraduate courses here. The number of UK graduates going on to further study fell from 171,210 to 156,600 between 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Farm drug smuggler released from jail

Regine Lansley, convicted of exporting illegal farm medicine in 2011, has been released after serving 18 months of a 20-month prison sentence. She and her husband oversaw the smuggling of £6m of drugs from France into the UK. She now lives on benefits. MORE

Pregnant asylum seekers 'put at risk'

Pregnant asylum seekers in Britain are at "serious risk" of developing mental and physical health problems as a result of repeatedly being forced to move home, a report claims. Maternity Action and the Refugee Council say the UK Border Agency is "failing" vulnerable women. MORE

Voters release their pent-up anger

Votes were cast yesterday in one of the most closely watched and unpredictable elections in years, with pent-up fury over a discredited elite adding to concern it may not produce a government strong enough to lead Italy out of an economic slump.

23 Chadian soliders killed by rebels

At least 23 Chadian soldiers were killed in combat in northern Mali's mountainous border with Algeria where Islamist rebels regrouped after losing urban areas to a French-led offensive, the Chadian military announced yesterday. The fatalities came as French President François Hollande said that the French military operation against Islamist militants is in its "final phase".

Wayne to live off fat of the (High)lands

Wayne Hall, who lost his home when his landlord died, sets off today on a six-month trek across Scotland, living off fish, berries and plants to raise funds for a homeless charity.

Death of conductor Sawallisch, 89

Conductor and pianist Wolfgang Sawallisch, 89, has died at his home in Grassau, Germany. He was musical director of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1993 to 2003.

Shoplifter tried to eat fake money

A shoplifter in Abu Dhabi who was in possession of fake bank notes attempted to hide them by swallowing them, United Arab Emirates officials said. The man was being arrested for stealing snacks and tried to eat the notes as he was being led away.

Bikers ask for kinder dictionary definition

The Oxford English Dictionary has dropped references to "long hair" and "dirty denims" in its definition of "bikers" after pressure from Britain's motorcycle community. A study reported that around 74 per cent believed the definition to be inaccurate.

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