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The News Matrix: Thursday 6 June 2013

Obama appoints Rice to top security job

President Barack Obama has chosen his close confidante Susan Rice as his new national security adviser in a shake-up that increases the White House’s control over foreign policy and brings a blunt voice to Obama’s inner circle. Ms Rice replaces the more low-key Tom Donilon. MORE

Stephen Fry reveals he attempted suicide

Stephen Fry has revealed that a television producer saved his life after he tried to overdose on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol last year. The comic actor shocked a central London audience yesterday by disclosing that his bipolar disorder had prompted him to attempt suicide while filming on location. “It was a close-run thing,” he said. MORE

Litvinenko coroner urges public inquiry

Authorities will consider a public inquiry into the death of former spy Alexander Litvinenko after the coroner in charge of the inquest concluded his own verdict could be “misleading and unfair”. Sir Robert Owen requested that evidence of an alleged Russian-led assassination be considered.

Coalition critic is new Manchester bishop

An Anglican cleric who attacked the Government’s approach to welfare and immigration has been appointed the new Bishop of Manchester. The Rt Rev David Walker, who was one of 43 Bishops to publicly condemn the Coalition’s benefit cuts, will replace the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch.

Just 1% of Britons now work on farms

The population of English and Welsh residents employed in farming has sunk to 1 per cent over the past 170 years. Technological advances and urbanisation has caused a 21 per cent reduction, but the new fashion for “locally sourced” foods could be reversing the trend.

Lack of sleep raises heart risk for women 

Sleep-deprived women face an increased risk of heart disease, researchers have revealed. Scientists at the University of California found that women who get fewer than six hours sleep a night have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular inflammation than men.

Latvia to join euro despite concerns

The tiny Baltic state of Latvia has won approval to become the 18th member of the troubled euro, despite doubts among residents and international concerns about its banking system. EU officials said Latvia’s willingness to join next year is a vote of confidence for the shared currency. MORE

Fit of giggles impedes minister’s speech

A reference to “penetration” in a speech to parliament caused Israel’s Education Minister to burst out laughing; and the footage has gone viral on Israeli websites. Shai Piron, who is also a rabbi, stumbled in his address on a proposed law against smuggling cell phones into Israel’s prisons.

Can you see the resemblance?

New fossil evidence of the earliest complete skeleton of an ancient primate suggests it was a hyperactive, wide-eyed creature so small you could fit a couple in your hand. The 55-million-year-old fossil dug up in China gives scientists a better grasp of the evolution that led to humans.

Maid’s threesome case thrown out

The housekeeper who claimed a Tory MP and his wife tried to engage her in a threesome saw her case for sexual harassment and unfair dismissal unanimously thrown out yesterday. The MP, who wept when the decision was announced, said the allegations had been “extremely stressful”.

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