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The News Matrix: Monday 31 December 2012

Bomb found under police officer's car

Authorities in Northern Ireland discovered a bomb underneath a police officer's car in east Belfast yesterday. Bomb disposal experts were examining the device, while the Stormont Presbyterian Church opened to accommodate residents who were forced to leave their homes during the alert.

Councils: more cuts will cause unrest

The council leaders of Newcastle, Liverpool and Sheffield have warned the Government further cuts to budgets will lead to social unrest. Adding to the pressure on the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, a coalition of 120 rural councils has also hit out against "unfair" cuts.

Clampdown on cosmetic surgeons

Cosmetic surgery firms could be banned from offering free medical consultations and cheap two-for-one deals in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal. As part of a government review, surgeons may also be required to obtain a two-stage written consent.

It's never too late to be adventurous...

As millions of twenty-somethings prepare for the biggest party of the year, Britain's growing army of over-80s are proving that you're only as old as you feel. Critics of the UK's youth-centric culture have united in support of a more adventurous approach to life in Britain's ageing population.

Adele outshines Morning Glory

Adele's chart-topping album 21 has surpassed Oasis' (What's the Story) Morning Glory to become the fourth-biggest-selling album of all time in the UK. The album, featuring international hits including "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You", has sold more than 4.5 million copies since its release in 2011.

Parachuting 'Queen' nominated for award

The man who dressed as the Queen and jumped from a helicopter during the Olympics opening ceremony has been nominated for an award. Gary Connery, from Henley-on-Thames, faces stiff competition from Felix Baumgartner, who jumped from the edge of the atmosphere, for the Adventurer of the Year Award.

Pakistan: Militant attacks leave 41 dead

Pakistani militants killed at least 41 people in two incidents. In the north, 21 men working for a government-backed paramilitary force were executed after being kidnapped. Twenty Shia pilgrims died, meanwhile, in a car bomb in the southwest.

India: Protests held as rape victim is cremated

The body of a woman, whose gang rape provoked protests and national debate about violence against women in India, arrived back in Delhi and was cremated. Scuffles broke out in the city between police and protesters.

Syria: British opposed to arming the rebels

The British public is against the Government's plan to contribute weapons to the Syrian rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad, a survey for i has revealed. Some 48 per cent do not believe David Cameron should send arms to the revolutionary forces.

Germany: Website publishes Bush's obit in error

Germany's news weekly Der Spiegel has mistakenly published an obituary for former US President George Bush, 88. The unfinished obituary appeared on its website on Sunday before it was removed. In it, Bush was called "a colourless politician" whose image only improved when compared to the later presidency of his son, George W Bush.

Germany: The Chancellor 'is not paid enough'

A candidate for the post of Chancellor, Peer Steinbrück, was criticised yesterday for saying German leaders were underpaid. Chancellor Angela Merkel's pay is set to rise by €930 per month to €17,106 in 2013 along with pay rises for her ministers and members of parliament – increases that have been criticised by some for sending the wrong signal in an era of austerity.

Career Services

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Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

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His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam