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The News Matrix: Thursday 24 January 2013

Clinton defends Libyan raid tactics

Hillary Clinton has defended her handling of the raid on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. When a Republican Senator accused the Obama administration of misleading the American public over last September's incident, the US Secretary of State told a Senate committee hearing that asking why terrorists perpetrated the attack would make no difference "at this point". MORE

Cost of raising a child hits £222,000

The cost of raising a child until the age of 21 has reached £222,000, with parents paying 58 per cent more than they did a decade ago, a study shows. Education and childcare remain the biggest costs. Three-quarters of parents said they have been forced to make cutbacks.

Superbugs 'greatest risk' to human health

A radical new approach is needed urgently to counter the growing threat posed by superbugs resistant to antibiotics, experts have warned. The rise in untreatable infections poses "arguably the greatest risk" to human health, according to the World Economic Forum.

Police intelligence tackling gun culture

Firearms offences have fallen by more than 40 per cent in less than a decade, with the rise of "gun culture" in Britain's inner cities apparently reversed because of improved police intelligence. Figures out next month are expected to confirm the long-term decline in gun crime. MORE

Cocaine worth £8m seized at Gatwick

Border officials have seized liquid cocaine with a street value of £8m at Gatwick airport. The UK Border Agency said it could be the biggest seizure of its kind in Britain. The drugs were hidden in tins marked as carrot juice that were flown in from Jamaica on 14 January.

'Young Becks' has a trial at Chelsea

David Beckham's eldest son Brooklyn has had a trial at Chelsea, prompting speculation that the 13-year-old could sign with the club. Brooklyn was on the under-14 team at his father's previous club, Los Angeles Galaxy.

Irish nanny may face baby murder charge

An Irish nanny could face a murder charge after a toddler allegedly suffered a fatal head injury in her care. Aisling McCarthy Brady, 34, who was living illegally in the US at the time, denies fatally assaulting one-year-old Rehma Sabir while looking after the child at her employer's home in Massachusetts. MORE

Merkel ally faces plagiarism probe

Chancellor Angela Merkel could lose one of her closest allies in the Christian Democratic Union party after her Education Minister was accused of plagiarising her university thesis. Annette Schavan faces charges that she intentionally inserted borrowed passages into her paper without attribution. MORE

Andean glaciers shrink by up to 50%

Glaciers in South America's Andes mountain range have shrunk by between 30 and 50 per cent because of global warming, a study has revealed. The report, published in the academic journal Cryosphere, reported that there had been an average temperature rise of 0.7C between 1950 and 1994.

Downton triumphs at awards show

Downton Abbey took home the hotly contested best drama trophy at the National Television Awards, beating Doctor Who, Merlin and Sherlock. The BBC won a marginal victory over ITV, taking eight awards to the commercial broadcaster's six. Miranda Hart won best female drama performance for Call The Midwife.

Snowball fights are banned in Flanders

The Flemish region of Flanders has banned snowball fights. Anyone flouting the law will be fined €100. Officials compared hurling snowballs to throwing rocks, claiming it put both children and adults' health at risk. Ironically, the Flemish city of Leuven once boasted of being a "snowball capital".

Old school ravers really not 'aving it

An elderly couple stumbled into an illegal warehouse rave – after mistaking it for a January sale. Dick and Lil Dickens, both in their 80s, were bargain-hunting in March, Cambridgeshire, when they noticed cars parked outside a warehouse. They said: "We don't want to get mixed up in anything like that."

Oscars date for Bond girl Adele

Adele has confirmed that she will perform her Golden Globe-winning James Bond theme Skyfall at this year's Oscars ceremony. The performance will be her first live show since the Grammys last year. Skyfall is nominated for best original song, the first Bond song to get a nod from the Academy since For Your Eyes Only in 1981.

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