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The News Matrix: Thursday 17 October 2013

Prison voting ruling is ‘common sense’

David Cameron has welcomed a Supreme Court ruling against giving prisoners the right to vote, calling it a “victory for common sense”. The European Court of Human Rights ruled a blanket ban on voting was illegal, but the Supreme Court threw out appeals from convicted murderers George McGeoch and Pete Chester, who had been fighting to take part in elections. MORE

Conflict ‘has killed nearly half a million’ 

Almost half a million people have been killed in Iraq since the invasion 10 years ago, a study has found. Researchers from Iraq, the US and Canada found that up to the middle of 2011, 461,000 people had died, either through acts of violence, or for other reasons related to the war.

Apprenticeships ‘need urgent reform’

An overhaul of England’s apprenticeship system is required in order to prevent young people being offered qualifications of little value, a study has found. Many apprenticeships are low quality and too short compared with other EU countries, The Sutton Trust says.

Dutch diplomat beaten in Moscow

A Dutch diplomat was beaten up in his Moscow apartment yesterday, prompting an immediate demand for an explanation from the Netherlands’ embassy. The assault follows the arrest of a Russian diplomat in The Netherlands. Moscow was quick to express its regrets. MORE

New guidelines deal with child sex abuse

New guidelines for dealing with child sex abuse cases published today will mark “the most fundamental attitude shift” in the criminal justice system in a generation, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, has claimed. The guidelines cover how a case should be built. MORE

‘BMW bought Merkel’ claim

Angela Merkel has been accused of being “bought” after BMW donated €700,000 to her party days before  European environment ministers gave in to German demands to scrap an agreement to cap car emissions.

 

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?