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The News Matrix: Monday 30 December 2013

Firefighters rescue stranded seagull

Fire fighters rescued a seagull from a fourth-floor balcony in Cardiff yesterday, using a cherry picker, at the RSPCA's request. The bird had been there since Christmas day.

Rescue operation for ship stuck in the ice

There's a last attempt to save a vessel with more than 70 people on board that has been trapped in Antarctica. An Australian ship will try to break the ice around the ship. If that fails, passengers may have to be winched to a helicopter.

Barrel-bombs kill 500 in Aleppo

Barrels packed with explosives and dropped from Syrian aircraft have killed 517 people in the northern province of Aleppo since 15 December, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The human rights group said the death toll included 151 children and 46 women.

Piano professor abused pupils

A former piano professor at the Royal College of Music abused his pupils over three decades, it emerged yesterday. The revelations about Ian Lake, who died in 2004, have boosted demands for a public inquiry into abuse at Britain's elite music schools. MORE

Tories told to change image or lose

The Conservatives face election failure unless they court working-class, northern and ethnic minority voters to shed their "party of the rich" image, a Tory pressure group has warned. Renewal, which was founded this year, wants the party to trump Labour by building 300,000 new homes. The group told David Cameron to be bolder in tackling free market abuse. MORE

Half of women face discrimination

More than half of female employees have experienced discrimination at work, according to the most substantial survey ever conducted on women in the workplace. Project 28-40, run by Opportunity Now, also found over one in 10 had experienced sexual harassment. MORE

Cull of 7,000 horses inflames debate

A cull of 7,000 brumbies, or wild horses, in Western Australia has reopened the debate over the animal, seen as a national symbol by some and a pest by others. MORE

Earthquake hits north of Naples

A 4.9-magnitude earthquake rocked much of southern Italy yesterday evening. The epicentre of the tremor was 35 miles (55 km) north of Naples. While damage to buildings in the city was said to be minimal, there were reports that people were sleeping in their cars overnight as aftershocks shook the area.

US warns over defence stalemate

The US has warned of the "catastrophic" consequences of allowing the deadline for a deal to allow a limited number of Western forces to stay in Afghanistan to pass tomorrow without an agreement. MORE

Protesters block access to PM's office

Angry crowds blocked off the Prime Minister's office and the Foreign Ministry building in Tripoli yesterday in a protest against poor government performance and widespread corruption. The protesters placed concrete blocks in front of Prime Minister Ali Zidan's office.

Modernist home faces closure

A house managed by the National Trust and regarded as one of Britain's finest examples of modernist architecture has closed due to a lack of visitors. High Cross House in Dartington, Devon, had 21,000 visitors last year, 11,000 less than it needed.

Ian Paisley in hospital for tests

Ian Paisley, the former leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, is in "good spirits" after being admitted to hospital for tests. The 87-year-old, who agreed to share power with his former enemies Sinn Fein in 2006, spent a week on life support last year after his heart failed.

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