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The News Matrix: Thursday 12 January 2012

Cameron welcomes EU fiscal treaty draft

A draft of the EU's new fiscal treaty contains no reference to deeper integration of the single market as an objective of those who sign up to the pact, allaying fears that key decisions affecting the UK could be taken outside the structures of the EU. David Cameron welcomed the draft. MORE

First Lady: I'm not an 'angry black woman'

Michelle Obama challenged assertions she has forcefully imposed her will on White House aides and said people have tried to portray her as "some kind of angry black woman". Her comments on CBS News were in response to a new book by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor. MORE

Large firms sign up to Clegg jobs campaign

Barclays and Tesco are among more than 100 companies to have pledged to pay wages or expenses to young people doing internships. Nick Clegg launched the "business compact" to boost social mobility. MORE

'Dull' computer lessons to be ditched

A computer science GCSE designed by industry figures is to replace "demotivating and dull" ICT lessons in a bid to lift pupils' horizons. Education Secretary Michael Gove predicted that within a decade the classroom set-up of teachers standing before their students could be extinct. MORE

Prime Minister fires defence secretary

The dispute between Pakistan's civilian administration and the military escalated yesterday as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani sacked the defence secretary. His move came as the army issued a statement saying recent comments made by the PM had "very serious ramifications". MORE

French TV reporter dies in Homs attack

A reporter for France 2 TV was killed yesterday while covering violence in the restive Syrian city of Homs. Gilles Jacquier, who was on a trip authorised by the government amid a 10-month uprising, appeared to have been killed by a mortar or rocket as part of a series of attacks. A Dutch journalist was also injured in the unrest. Assad vows to fight conspirators.

Changes to welfare payments rejected

Peers savaged the Welfare Reform Bill yesterday, voting by 260 to 216 to allow young people unable to work because of disability to receive employment and support allowance (ESA). They also ditched a one-year limit for ESA and a time limit on contributory ESA payments from people being treated for cancer. MORE

Prosecutor killed in courtroom shooting

A gunman "went berserk" and shot dead a state prosecutor after opening fire on a judge during a trial in the Bavarian town of Dachau yesterday. Police said the 54-year-old, who is now in custody, took the pistol out of his pocket and opened fire on the judge, before turning his gun on the 31-year-old prosecutor.

BBC boss defends Sherlock nudity

BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson has defended nude scenes in Sherlock, telling journalists that broadcasting before the watershed "doesn't mean you have to be dull". A total of 100 people complained about the racy footage of actress Lara Pulver in the New Year's Day episode which attracted more than 10 million viewers.

PM Cameron in gaffe over film funding

The Prime Minister has urged British film bodies only to fund "commercially successful" pictures, prompting criticism from industry figures. My Week with Marilyn actor, Eddie Redmayne, said changes in this vein could "dilute the quality of the product and mean we don't move forward culturally". MORE

City signs up to canine clampdown

A tourist city in northern China will from next month ban residents from keeping large dogs. The city of Xi'an, known for the terracotta warriors, will not allow breeds such as German Shepherds within the city centre. No reason was given, but other Chinese cities have imposed similar bans over the mess and fears of rabies.

The end of the world moves a bit closer

The apocalypse is now a minute closer, according to the Doomsday clock, a symbolic measure which counts down to Armageddon. The minute hand on the 64-year-old concept clock has edged forward to show "inadequate progress" on containing the global threat posed by nuclear weapons and climate change, scientists say. MORE

Museum threatens legal action for strip

The Musee d'Orsay is threatening legal action after a publicity stunt by the clothing chain Etam, which saw models in underwear running through the Paris gallery's Impressionist collection. In a video shot last month, three girls throw off their coats, revealing underwear to surprised museum visitors. MORE

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Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

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Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

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This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
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Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

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The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

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Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

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The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee