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The News Matrix: Thursday 23 January 2014

Talks aim to defuse violent protests

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich met opposition leaders yesterday in an attempt to defuse street violence in which three people were killed overnight. However, tensions remained high as his prime minister branded anti-government protesters “terrorists”. MORE

Tories are winning welfare row, IDS says

The Conservatives are winning the argument against Labour on welfare because the debate is no longer about how much money is spent, Iain Duncan Smith will claim today. The key argument is now over the difference welfare makes to people’s lives, he will argue. MORE

Ratings slide follows Christie’s landslide

Support for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, which soared over his handling of Superstorm Sandy, has fallen almost 20 points since his landslide re-election in November  as he faces probes into the conduct of his top aides according to a  Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

EU ditches targets  on gas emissions

The European Commission has announced proposals to cut greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union by 40 per cent on 1990 levels by 2030. But, following lobbying from a number of countries including the UK, it has backed away from setting binding renewables targets for individual countries, claiming this would prevent countries cutting emissions in the most cost-effective way.

Staff destroy CCTV footage of disputes

Prison staff are destroying CCTV recordings without giving sufficient thought to whether they could be used as evidence when complaints are made. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman said that “all too often” it has to look at cases where CCTV footage has not been retained.

Hunt on for female Sochi bombers 

Authorities have been conducting a manhunt for three women they fear may be planning suicide attacks targeting the Winter Olympics. Police leaflets warned that Ruzanna Ibragimova, 22, was at large. MORE

Tony Hall to change culture at the top

The BBC’s Director-General is planning a shake-up of the organisation’s executive board in an attempt to remedy the culture that led to its management pay scandal, with executives demanding pay packets commensurate with private corporations. Lord Hall is determined to bring new blood to the board. MORE

‘Apprentice’ winner opens skin clinic

The first cosmetic skin clinic launched by last year’s winner of The Apprentice has opened. Dismissed by cosmetic surgery veterans as an “amateur”, Dr Leah Totton is seeking to cash in on the boom in Botox. Dr Totton has promised to make a return on Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment. MORE

Paper warns of risks of home births

Giving birth at home poses the same risk to a child’s health as driving them without a seat belt, a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics claims. It says parents should consider the “avoidable, foreseeable disability” that could be caused by delays in access to emergency care for babies born at home. MORE

Rare blue diamond found in mine

A rare blue diamond has been found in South Africa. The 29.6-carat stone was recovered by Petra Diamonds at its Cullinan mine, about 40km (25 miles) north-east of Pretoria. Petra unearthed a 25.5 carat blue diamond which sold for $16.9m (£10.3m) in 2013. The latest discovery is also expected to sell for a high price.

First plaice goes to seaside chip shop

A fish and chip shop in North Yorkshire has been crowned the UK’s top chippy. Quayside in Whitby, run by the Fusco family, scooped first place at the National Fish and Chip Awards. Adrian Fusco put their success down to the quality of their ingredients. The Fusco family have been in the business for 50 years.

Woman gives birth to identical triplets

A California woman has given birth to identical triplets. April Dooley’s three sons were born in roughly four-minute intervals – at a combined weight of 14lb, 9oz. She named them Patrick, Owen and Liam. Despite the rarity, it’s the second known set of identical triplets born in California in several months.

Award for ‘Corrie’ suicide story star

Coronation Street’s Julie Hesmondhalgh won a National Television Award for her performance in a right-to-die storyline which ended with the suicide of her on-screen character, Hayley Cropper. The climax of the plot, about her struggle with incurable cancer, pulled a peak audience of 10.6 million.

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Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried