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The News Matrix: Thursday 8 November 2012


BBC's big names to lose tax perks

Some of the BBC's highest-paid presenters are to be compelled to change their freelance tax arrangements and become registered as staff employees at the Corporation. Jeremy Paxman is thought to be among those who could be affected. The BBC pays 178 freelancers more than £150,000 each, but is to change its policy. MORE

Anti-corruption vow by Communist Party

China's political elite has gathered in Beijing for the once-in-a-decade leadership transition which begins today, with the Communist Party vowing to step up its efforts to tackle corruption and promote transparency after the scandal surrounding fallen party chief Bo Xilai. MORE

Danger: aliens may break the guidelines

The BBC banned Professor Brian Cox from using a radio telescope to listen to a newly discovered planet live on air in case aliens broke the editorial guidelines, the presenter has claimed. The planet, Threapleton Holmes B, was discovered by amateur fans of the BBC Two programme Stargazing Live.

Police capture fugitive crocodile

A crocodile that escaped from a Gaza zoo 18 months ago has been captured, say police. The 6ft reptile was spotted several weeks ago in sewage pools in the northern Gaza Strip, and villagers complained he had eaten livestock. He was caught in a two-week operation by a team using fishing nets.

1.3 million dogs show 'problem behaviour'

Almost a third of dog owners have been attacked by a pet with "problem" behaviour, according to a leading veterinary charity. The PDSA report said a lack of socialisation early in dogs' lives meant there were now 1.3 million dogs in the UK exhibiting unruly tendencies. MORE

Dorries leaves local Tories in a tizzy

Members of Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association will meet tonight to discuss what to do about their MP Nadine Dorries's appearance on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Rumours say she intends to sit out the rest of this Parliament – either as an independent, or as a member of Ukip. MORE

Government hold firm on gay marriage

The French government pressed ahead yesterday with its plans to legalise gay marriage despite vociferous opposition from religious leaders and the political right, which claims that "marriage for all" would destroy the traditional family in the eyes of the French state. MORE

Lady Gaga donates $1m to storm fund

Singer Lady Gaga has announced she will donate $1m (£625,000) to the Red Cross aid effort for those affected by super storm Sandy. The New York-born singer said she "would not be the woman or artist that I am today" if it were not for places such as the Lower Eastside, Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

MPs to vote on latest austerity package

MPs were preparing to vote on the country's latest highly controversial austerity package yesterday to secure, the ruling coalition argues, its financial survival and membership within the European family. MORE

A mammoth find for archaeologists

Archaeologists have unearthed a nearly complete skeleton of a mammoth that once roamed the earth between 200,000 and 50,000 years ago. It was discovered by accident during the excavation of an ancient Roman site near Paris.

Fourth suspect held over officer's murder

A fourth man was being questioned last night about the murder of David Black, the prison officer shot dead on the M1 motorway in Armagh last Thursday as he drove to work at Maghaberry jail. The 46-year-old suspect was arrested in Lurgan and taken to an Antrim police station.

Supermarkets to offer cheaper fuel

Supermarkets are to offer customers cheaper fuel from their filling stations, starting today. Asda made the announcement yesterday that petrol and diesel prices would be cut by 2p per litre, prompting Tesco and Sainsbury's to follow suit.

First students to pay top-up fees hit dole

Many of the first students to pay top-up fees spent six months on the dole before finding work and took menial jobs to pay the bills, a study has found. Students who started their degrees in 2006 were the first to pay £3,000 a year, but graduated in the midst of the recession.