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The News Matrix: Saturday 28 December 2013

Violence continues as 74 bodies found

Aid workers said that they had recovered 44 bodies from the streets of the capital Bangui in the Central African Republic in the last two days. At least 30 other bodies, some showing signs of having been tortured, were found near a rebel base. MORE

Sticky situation for backyard beekeepers

It is the perfect place for back yard beekeeping, but residents in Los Angeles are not allowed to harvest honey. A group of bee advocates have been lobbying the city's council to allow them to keep bees. The council is due to decide whether to legalise beekeeping in January.

Car bomb kills ex-US ambassador

A car bomb ripped through central Beirut, killing six people, including Mohamad Chatah, formerly Lebanon's Finance Minister and ambassador to the US. In the northern city of Tripoli, Mr Chatah's home town, gunmen fired their weapons in the air in anger. MORE

Bus driver impaled on railing after crash

A bus driver was left impaled on a railing yesterday after his double-decker bus hit stationary cars in Bradford, leaving 12 other people injured. The spike pinned him to his seat and missed a main artery by just a centimetre. He was airlifted to hospital with the spike still in his leg.

Boy, nine, scales 23,000ft mountain

A nine-year-old boy from California has become the youngest person to reach the summit of Aconcagua, which at 22,841ft is the tallest peak in the western and southern hemispheres. Tyler Armstrong reached the summit with his father Kevin and a sherpa, Lhawang Dhondup.

Champion the EU, Lord warns Cameron

David Cameron must make the case for Britain's continued membership of the EU, a Conservative grandee has warned. Lord Howe of Aberavon, who served in Margaret Thatcher's government, said the PM had made his position difficult by his "repeated concessions" to Eurosceptics.

Chekov's stay in jail portrayed in show

Anton Chekhov will be the subject of a dramatic portrayal by a British neuroscientist, Professor Jonathan Cole of Southampton University. It will be based on Chekhov's 1890 trip to a penal colony in Tsarist Russia where he tried to write a medical thesis on the prisoners. MORE

Drunk driver goes on the rails

A 30-year-old driver told police he was "lost" after driving drunk along train tracks for nearly 2km (1.4 miles). The man was reportedly returning from a night out in Besse in the Dordogne in the early hours of yesterday when he took a wrong turn and drove along the tracks.

Neil Gaiman novel is year's most popular

Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane has been named 2013's Book of the Year, winning the public vote from a shortlist of this year's 10 National Book Award winners. The fantasy novel is about a man returning to his childhood home for a funeral.

Starmer 'primed' to stand for Parliament

Former Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer is being primed by Labour to stand as a candidate for Parliament, it is believed. Frank Dobson is said to be mulling standing down from his Holborn and St Pancras seat, and Mr Starmer could be a candidate to replace him. MORE

Veteran producer McKeown dies

The producer Allan McKeown, who was behind hits including Jerry Springer: The Opera, has died at the age of 67. Mr McKeown, who was married to the comedian Tracey Ullman, had been suffering with prostate cancer and died at his home in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.

Guard is strangled by 15ft python

A 15ft python strangled a restaurant security guard near the Bali Hyatt hotel on the Indonesian island of Bali yesterday. The victim, Ambar Arianto Mulyo, 59, had offered to help capture the snake before it attacked. The snake later escaped, witnesses told the Associated Press.

Judge rules NSA collection was legal

A US federal judge has ruled that the National Security Agency's collection of millions of Americans' telephone records was legal and a valuable "counter-punch" in the US effort against terrorism. It is thought likely that the issue will now go to the Supreme Court.

Explosion kills two in North Caucasus

At least two people were killed in an explosion in Pyatigorsk, in Russia's North Caucasus, say state news agencies. Bombings are frequent in the area, where violence has spread after two separatist wars in Chechnya. Pyatigorsk is east of Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Only one Santa at a time, please

A Santa Claus was told to stop entertaining children in Canvey Island as they would be "traumatised" by the sigh of two Father Christmases. A charity claims its Santa was ordered to pack up by an official in case arrival of the Canvey Rotary Club's Santa upset the children.

Rebel leader fails to attend peace talks

A crisis meeting of East African leaders in Kenya announced that they welcomed the "commitment" from South Sudan's government to an "immediate cessation of hostilities". The former deputy president Riek Machar was not present at the Nairobi talks, however. MORE

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