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The News Matrix: Thursday 12 June 2014

New passport delays could be eased soon

The number of passport office staff has been slashed by 15 per cent in the last four years. David Cameron admitted yesterday up to 30,000 people have suffered long waits for their passports to be processed. Staffing has been cut from 4,017 in 2009-10 to 3,134 two years later. Mr Cameron promised the backlog would be cleared after temporary staff were employed. MORE

Cantor loses in primary upset

Eric Cantor, the second-most powerful man in the House of Representatives, was dethroned in his native Virginia by a little-known, Tea Party-backed Republican primary challenger who rolled to victory on a wave of public anger over calls for looser immigration laws. MORE

Flu experiment  is ‘foolhardy’ 

Scientists have recreated the virus responsible for the worst flu pandemic in history as part of a controversial experiment to demonstrate how easily the deadly flu strain could re-emerge today. Critics have denounced the research as foolhardy. MORE

‘Hero’ doctor on trial for helping seven die

The anguished debate over euthanasia took another turn with the trial of a doctor accused of killing seven patients to end their suffering. Dr Nicolas Bonnemaison has been struck from France’s national register of doctors, although to many he is a hero. MORE

Jury considers hacking verdict

The jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the trial of ex-News of the World bosses accused of plotting to hack phones in pursuit of stories. The former editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson and retired managing editor Stuart Kuttner are accused of being part of the conspiracy.

Greenpeace ‘a risk to economic security’

Greenpeace is a “threat to national economic security” according to a leaked Indian intelligence report, prepared for the country’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Environment activists said the report was an attempt to stifle debate on green issues. MORE

Jolie attends summit to end rape in war

The actress Angelina Jolie attended the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London yesterday with Foreign Secretary William Hague. They are launching an international protocol.

Strippers fleece wealthy punters

A group of New York strippers scammed wealthy men by spiking their drinks with illegal drugs, then driving them to strip clubs that ran up tens of thousands of dollars on their credit cards while they were too dazed to stop it, according to police.

Mayor’s dirty protest against neighbour

The Mayor of San Marino, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles,  has been forced to apologise after he was caught on film throwing a bag of dog faeces on to a neighbour’s lawn. Dennis Kneier said : “Rather than leaving it, I should have walked on by or disposed  of it properly.”

Rik’s World Cup  song is number one

A campaign has been launched to pay tribute to Rik Mayall, whose death was announced on Monday, by sending a World Cup song by him to number one. He recorded a track called Noble England in the run-up to the last World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Yesterday it was number 14 on iTunes and number one on Amazon.

Man who claimed  to be 123 is dead

An indigenous man in Bolivia whose reported age would have made him the oldest person ever known, has died. Carmelo Flores, an Aymara Indian, claimed to be 123. He carried identity documents based on a baptism certificate showing his birthday as 16 July, 1890. Bolivia only began issuing birth certificates in 1940.

Two caring men in world’s longest hug

Two men from Manchester have broken the world record for the longest hug between two people. Workmates Jon Bland and Olly Wigglesworth spent 27 hours hugging at Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station in support of the national Carers Week. They beat the previous record of 26 hours, 26 seconds.

Stunning butterfly species invades UK

A spectacular butterfly from the continent could be attempting to colonise the UK, experts said after a number emerged on the south coast. A dozen adult continental swallowtail butterflies have been seen across Sussex in the past few weeks after wintering in the UK, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation said.

Career Services

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The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?