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.