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The News Matrix: Tuesday 10 December 2013

Cameron dithers over 11% pay rise

David Cameron last night insisted there was no need for him to take an immediate decision on whether to accept an inflation-busting 11 per cent rise in his salary – but the Prime Minister was immediately rebuffed by Ed Miliband. The proposed increase would take MPs’ earnings from £66,396 to £74,000 a year in 2015. MORE

PM to call election in response to protests

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has announced she will dissolve parliament and call an election following a renewed surge of anti-government protests in the capital, Bangkok. The main opposition Democrat Party resigned from parliament on Sunday. MORE

Spies infiltrate online gaming world

British and American spy agencies have infiltrated virtual worlds of Second Life, World of Warcraft and Xbox Live in the search for terrorists, new documents suggest. Once inside, they tried to recruit informants, documents leaked by Edward Snowden have revealed. MORE

Delay in removing chemical weapons

Ahmet Uzumcu, the head of the watchdog leading the mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, says there may be delays in transporting the chemicals out of the country. The most toxic of the chemicals are supposed to be taken out of Syria by end of the year.

Female scientists receive less funding

British female scientists are less likely to receive funding than their male counterparts, a study has found. Women also receive significantly smaller sums, according to the authors of the study, which is published in the online journal BMJ Open today.

Centre-left votes for ‘new Tony Blair’ 

Matteo Renzi, the mayor of Florence, has been crowned secretary of Italy’s centre-left after winning 68 per cent of the vote in primary elections for the leadership of the Democratic Party. MORE

It’s likely there  was life on Mars...

Scientists have discovered the strongest evidence to date that Mars was once a habitable planet capable of supporting primitive microbial life forms. Studies carried out by Nasa’s Curiosity rover have uncovered evidence the Red Planet had at least one freshwater lake about  3.6 billion years ago. MORE

Putin tightens his grip on media

President Vladimir Putin dissolved the country’s main state news agency yesterday, replacing it with a new body run by the Kremlin supporter Dmitry Kiselyov. Russia Today was the name given to the outlet, replacing RIA Novosti. Mr Kiselyov is known for his ultra-conservative homophobic views.

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The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

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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

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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

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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

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Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

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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

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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

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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
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The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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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

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