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The News Matrix: Monday 7 October 2013

Report urges review of coca leaf research

An independent report published today urges that the illegal status of the coca leaf should be reviewed so that its potential for medicine can be researched. It was banned in 1961 amid concern over the impact of the cocaine trade, but a 1995 report by the World Health Organisation found there were “no negative health effects” resulting from coca use. MORE

‘Youngest minister’ resigns from post

Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith has quit her ministerial post to “spend more time with her constituents”. The Norwich North MP was aged 29 in October 2011 when she was appointed Economic Secretary to the Treasury, making her the youngest minister in the Government.

Number of females in boardrooms is up

The proportion of female directors of FTSE 100 companies has risen to 19 per cent up from 12.5 per cent two years ago, according to a report from Women on Boards, which was commissioned after a study showed it would take 70 years to achieve gender-balanced boardrooms. MORE

Destruction begun of chemical arsenal

International disarmament experts have begun dismantling and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and equipment, marking the beginning of a colossal task to eliminate the country’s chemical stockpile by mid-2014 amid its bloody civil war.  MORE

War’s anniversary sees 15 people killed

At least 15 people were killed on Sunday after supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi marked the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War with a massive protest in central Cairo, clashing with Egyptian police and troops.  MORE

Malala Yousafzai up for Nobel Prize glory

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, will find out if she has become the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, amid concerns that her profile is too high for one so young. MORE

PM Abe asks for help with nuclear leak

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested further international assistance in helping to contain widening radioactive water leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant, telling an international science conference yesterday that Japan needs other countries’ “knowledge and expertise”. MORE

Fox claimed back 3p for car journey

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox charged taxpayers 3p for a car journey of fewer than 100m, according to expenses documents. The Conservative MP made the claim after travelling 0.06 miles in his North Somerset constituency.  MORE

Gambia won’t be at Glasgow Games

Gambian officials have confirmed the country will not be competing in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, taking the number of participating nations to 70. It follows the nation’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth, announced last week.

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