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The News Matrix: Monday 25 March 2013

Leader deposed as rebels storm capital

The leader of Central African Republic, President François Bozize, fled the capital yesterday following a decade in power, after hundreds of armed rebels invaded the city. The rebels pushed further into the heart of the city, where they seized the presidential palace, according to witnesses. MORE

Mayor's past returns to haunt him on TV

Boris Johnson gave what senior Conservatives labelled a "car crash" TV interview yesterday. The Mayor of London looked uncomfortable as the BBC's Eddie Mair probed him on alleged past indiscretions. MORE

MPs rubbish generic packaging fears

MPs and peers have rubbished claims by the tobacco industry that standardised cigarette packs would lead to increased smuggling. A cross-party parliamentary group said proposals for uniform packets – designed to discourage children from lighting up – would not impact the UK's falling illicit tobacco trade.

Heseltine: Brits lack 'drive' to aid growth

British people may suffer from being so wealthy that they lack the "national will" needed to secure an economy recovery, Lord Heseltine has suggested. In an interview with i, the former Deputy Prime Minister said sluggish growth could be down to a "lack of drive". MORE

Huge protest against gay marriage bill

Riot police fought back crowds who pushed their way on to the Champs-Elysées yesterday as part of a huge protest against a draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. Many of the protesters were bused in, in a last-ditch effort to block the bill.

Obesity may cause oesophagus cancer

A genetic mutation triggered by obesity could lie behind the increase in cancer of the oesophagus, or gullet, which affects the UK more than any other nation. US scientists found that a form of the disease was linked to gastric reflux, which can be caused by being overweight. MORE

Musharraf plans political comeback

Former President Pervez Musharraf returned home yesterday hoping to make a political comeback despite Taliban death threats and looming arrest warrants. His return comes as Pakistan is poised to transition from one democratically elected government to another. MORE

Resignation leaves opposition in chaos

The Western-backed opposition plunged into disarray yesterday as its President resigned and its military leader refused to recognise a Prime Minister elected to lead an interim rebel government. The chaos inside the Syrian National Coalition threatens to undermine its bid to unite the forces battling to oust President Bashar al-Assad. MORE

Sales record for Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon has set a record for the biggest day of sales in West End and Broadway history. On Friday a total of £2,107,972 was taken in ticket sales.

Pensioner drops a real, live bombshell

An elderly woman caused a scare at a recycling facility near Stockholm when she left a grenade – to comply with a recently introduced police weapons amnesty.

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

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Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

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Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor