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The News Matrix: Saturday 8 December 2012

Clinton condemns Belfast violence

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned violence by loyalists on her visit to Belfast. She expressed support for a non-sectarian Alliance Party MP forced to flee her home after a death threat. Her party back a cut in the days the Union Flag is to be flown at City Hall. MORE

Commissioners face lobbying barrage

The new elected police commissioners are the focus of a major lobbying campaign by private security, technology and outsourcing companies. One chief executive said companies would be "all over the police market like a rash" because of its potential size.

Daimler delivers new Popemobile

German carmaker Daimler said it has delivered Pope Benedict XVI his new Popemobile – a customised Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV with special security features. People should be able to see the Pope riding in it on Saturday in Rome during a celebration at the Spanish Steps.

Ukip climate sceptic 'delegate' thrown out

A Ukip activist and climate change sceptic was booted out of an international climate change conference in Qatar yesterday for "violating UN code of conduct" after posing as a delegate. Christopher Monckton told the assembly there had been "no global warming at all in 16 years".

Protesters surround presidential palace

Tens of thousands of Egyptian protesters surged around President Mohamed Morsi's palace in Cairo yesterday after breaking through barricades. Opposition leaders rejected a national dialogue proposed by the Islamist president as a way out of the country's crisis. MORE

Pfizer lab missing $700k of gold dust

Pfizer Inc.'s medical research lab in Missouri is missing $700,000 worth of gold dust, and police don't know if it was lost or stolen. Police began an investigation this week after a Pfizer employee conducting an inventory couldn't find the gold dust bought last year for use in research.

Frevo carnival dance joins UN heritage list

The frenetic music and vibrant colours of the Frevo, a Brazilian carnival dance, have been immortalized by UNESCO as a world heritage treasure. The tradition from Recife will stand alongside the Argentine tango and the Spanish flamenco as pieces of the world's "intangible heritage."

Tsunami fears ease after strong quake

A 7.3 magnitude quake located off northeastern Japan shook buildings as far away as Tokyo and triggered a one-metre tsunami near last year's Fukushima disaster, but there were no reports of deaths or serious damage. No problems were detected at nuclear power plants. MORE

Hall 'innocent of abuse charges'

BBC presenter Stuart Hall is innocent of the child abuse charges he faces, his solicitor has claimed. The 82-year-old has been charged with three counts of indecent assault against three girls aged between nine and 16. He was bailed to appear before magistrates in January.

£1.4bn in prizes have gone unclaimed

A whopping £1.4bn of National Lottery winnings have gone unclaimed since the game began 18 years ago. On average, Brits are letting £75m slip through their fingers every year. The news comes after the largest-ever unclaimed prize of almost £64m in the EuroMillions draw.

From one Scottish king to another

James McAvoy, Idi Amin's doctor in The Last King of Scotland, will star in a new production of Shakespeare's Scottish play at Trafalgar Studios next year. McAvoy, of X-Men and Atonement fame, will play Macbeth, the country's most famous theatrical monarch.

Taxi row driver jailed for 15 years

A cab driver has been jailed for 15 years for running over a group of men following a row at a taxi rank. Majid Rehman, 28, who hit six rail workers and two pedestrians on 27 March, was found guilty at Cardiff Crown Court of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Industrial workers banned from quitting

Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a decree banning some industrial workers from leaving their jobs, threatening them with draconian fines if they do. It is intended to stem the exodus of workers to neighbouring Russia, where salaries are higher.

Party political Christmas cards

When you're in Westminster, Christmas cards are political. David Cameron's official card, unveiled yesterday, sees him and his wife, Samantha, waving last summer alongside the Olympic torch. For Ed Miliband there was a family portrait with wife, Justine, and sons, Daniel and Samuel.

Haggling continues over climate change

Nearly 200 countries haggling over how to stop climate change – and how to pay for it – failed to reach a deal by yesterday's deadline at the UN conference in Doha , with wrangling set to continue late into the night. The US led a number of countries in rejecting a draft agreement.

Today 'needs more women', says Davis

BBC Radio 4's Today programme is "acutely aware" it needs more female guests and presenters, according to one of its hosts. Speaking at the 22nd Sky Women in Film and Television awards, Evan Davis said there was "definitely" more to be done promoting women within the media.

Former Turks & Caicos PM arrested

The former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands has been arrested in Rio de Janeiro after disappearing a few years ago. Michael Misick was detained yesterday at the Santos Dumont Airport, governor spokesman Neil Smith said. Misick is accused of masterminding a massive corruption scheme.

Seasonal feast for a cool £125,000

A London chef has created the world's most expensive Christmas dinner. Costing £125,000 for four people, it is for sale on, a website that offers unique experiences. Items on Ben Spalding's menu are a £5,000 serving of pistachios and a £37,000 bottle of champagne.

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