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The News Matrix: Thursday 13 December 2012

Google head 'proud of tax avoidance'

The head of Google has defied growing anger about his firm's tax-avoidance strategy, boasting that he is "proud" of the steps it has taken to cut its tax bill. Eric Schmidt, the company's chairman, said minimising tax liability was just "capitalism", and insisted that he would not contribute more to the UK Exchequer just because he "felt sorry for those British people". MORE

Outcry over North Korea rocket launch

North Korea has launched a rocket, leading the US and its allies to press for a rebuke from the Security Council. The state news service claimed the rocket put a satellite into orbit. British, French and German ambassadors said it violated a UN resolution banning missile launches. MORE

PM's aide 'made threat to newspaper'

One of Cameron's aides has been accused of threatening a newspaper over an investigation it was conducting into Maria Miller. Craig Oliver, is said to have warned The Daily Telegraph its probe into her expenses could affect the Government's response to the Leveson Report. MORE

Regime: 'opposition is empty structure'

Nations sympathetic to Syria's uprising against President Assad may recognise the opposition coalition as the legitimate government, but the deputy Foreign Minister said it will mean little on the ground. Faisal Miqdad said countries were "recognising an artificial structure". MORE

Gas reliance 'will add £600 to bills'

Householders face increases of as much as £600 a year on their electricity bills if the UK stays dependent on gas instead of investing in green energy, the Government's climate advisers have warned. The new study appears at odds with the enthusiasm of Chancellor George Osborne.

Millionaire McAfee deported back to US

Software pioneer John McAfee was deported from Guatemala back to the US yesterday. He had been evading officials in Belize for a month after the killing of US Gregory Faull, his neighbour on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye.

Obama accused of fiscal tax 'slow walk'

Top Republicans have blamed the slow progress towards avoiding the upcoming fiscal cliff squarely on President Obama. Eric Cantor, the Majority Leader in the House, said the more that Mr Obama "slow-walks" the negotiations, the closer America gets to automatic tax increases in January. MORE

Lidl faces £162,000 bill after 'poor' tweet

Discount store Lidl faces a 200,000 euro (£162,000) Christmas dinner bill after an offer of chicken vol-au-vents and ice cream cake for the poor went viral. The retailer launched a Twitter campaign in Belgium on Monday, offering five four-course Christmas dinners to food banks for each tweet on a hash tag. It was unexpectedly popular.

Scientists unveil brie-historic finding

Stone Age people living in northern Europe were making cheese more than 7,000 years ago according to scientists who believe they have found the first direct evidence of dairy processing. Chemical traces of processed milk have been found on pieces of perforated pottery unearthed at an archaeological site in Poland.

Students in Eton mess after stunt

Three Cambridge students face disciplinary action after posing as applicants from Eton in an attempt to intimidate potential recruits. According to student paper the Tab, the second-year students from Jesus College told sixth formers waiting for their interviews that only pupils from public schools stood a chance.

Breast implants were 'laced with cocaine'

A woman was arrested at Barcelona airport after trying to smuggle cocaine into the country in her breast implants. The 33-year-old Panamanian said drug dealers forced her to have an operation to conceal £80,000-worth of drugs in her body. Customs officers found a bloody bandage covering wounds to her chest.

Owner wants his monkey back

The owner of a well-dressed monkey that got lost in Ikea wants her pet back, or at least assurances he is being well cared for. Yasmin Nakhuda, who was fined for breaking Toronto's prohibited animal by-law, said she was talking to a lawyer on whether she could regain custody of Darwin. The monkey has become a media sensation.

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