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The News Matrix: Tuesday 11 December 2012

Charities 'must be more self-sufficient'

Charities need to become more self-sufficient and stop relying on government "handouts", according to the Liberal Democrat Aid minister Lynne Featherstone. "Charity is amazing but I think it also got too used to government being the only funder," she said, claiming organisations need to seek new ways of fundraising given the climate of austerity. MORE

EU receives the Nobel Peace Prize

The European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday for having turned from "a continent of war to … a continent of peace". However, an official with the Nobel organisation warned that the 27-nation bloc must "move forward" to overcome its financial turmoil. MORE

Clegg urges rethink on snoopers' charter

Nick Clegg called for a "fundamental rethink" on the "snoopers' charter", hitting Theresa May's plans to give sweeping powers of surveillance to the police. A parliamentary committee said the moves were an invasion of privacy and drawn up without proper consultation. MORE

Berlusconi sends shock to markets

Milan's stock exchange was spooked yesterday over the prospect of Silvio Berlusconi returning to power. Italy's borrowing costs also soared as markets attempted to make sense of the early resignation of Prime Minister Mario Monti this weekend. MORE

Customers report surprise bills

More people have reported receiving unexpected letters from the Big Six energy firms demanding hundreds or thousands of pounds due to past undercharging. Meanwhile, E.ON became the last Big Six firm to announce a huge hike in its gas and electricity prices. MORE

Care home directors to face prosecution

Directors of care homes that fail to protect their residents could be sent to prison under new plans by the Government to be published in the New Year. The move comes in response to the scandal at Winterbourne View, where disabled patients suffered years of abuse. MORE

Depardieu becomes a Belgian tax exile

The actor Gérard Depardieu has bought a house in the Belgian village of Nechin following French President François Hollande's tax increases on the wealthy. Belgian residents do not pay wealth tax. MORE

Loyalists launch attacks in Belfast

Loyalists attacked police with petrol bombs in parts of east and south Belfast last night. One device exploded close to a patrol car parked near the offices of the East Belfast MP Naomi Long, a member of the non-sectarian Alliance Party who has been warned her life is under threat.

More hospital tests for frail Mandela

Former South African President Nelson Mandela underwent more tests in a Pretoria hospital yesterday as officials refused to disclose the 94-year-old's condition. President Jacob Zuma visited Mr Mandela on Sunday, and said he had a "good night's rest and is in good hands".

Train fares causing 'transport poverty'

Average train fares have increased by 26 per cent in the recession – three times faster than wages, new research reveals today. Unions said the study, marking nationwide protests against high fares, showed how passengers were suffering "transport poverty".

One dead, 10 hurt in pile-up on the M6

One person died and 10 were injured in a nine-vehicle pile-up on the M6. The incident happened on the southbound carriageway near junction 16 at Sandbach, Cheshire, shortly after 11.20am. The collision involved two vans, two HGVs and five cars.

Art festival founder does a vanishing act

British artists have been left out of pocket after a mysterious entrepreneur behind a new cultural festival "disappeared" with most of their works. The inaugural Santorini Biennale was intended to combat Greece's economic gloom by attracting wealthy tourists.

Huge teenage party causes £30,000 bill

A schoolgirl who used Facebook to organise a party at her home is facing the wrath of her mother after more than 800 teenagers caused £30,000 of damage, including a smashed piano. Despite the carnage in Billericay, Essex, 14-year-old host Sarah Hine said it was "worth it".

Medvedev makes TV gaffe about UFOs

The Russian Prime Minister has joked about top secret documents on aliens in a TV interview. Dmitry Medvedev said each Russian leader gets two files with information about extraterrestrials that visited our planet. Mr Medvedev did not realise the cameras were still rolling.

Magnetic charm of 'cat burglar' revealed

A cat in north London stole more than 20 sets of house and car keys after they became attached to her magnetic collar. Milo, a moggie from Stoke Newington, would enter other people's houses, swipe the goods and take them home. All the keys have now been given back.

Bonham Carter to win top award

The King's Speech and A Room With A View star Helena Bonham Carter, above, is to be honoured at the London Critics Circle Film Awards with the Dilys Powell Award For Excellence in Film, described as the "highest honour" to be bestowed by Britain's leading film critics.

Club phone 'thief' is caught in the act

A woman believed to have stolen an iPhone unwittingly took a photo of herself while trying to unlock it. The owner of the handset, stolen in a Brighton nightclub, had installed an app that takes a picture of anyone trying to unlock the phone and sends it back to the owner via email.

Eminem to headline Reading and Leeds

US rapper Eminem will take to the stage to headline the Reading and Leeds festivals next year, more than a decade after he first topped the bill. The star, who rose to fame with the release of 1999's The Slim Shady LP, has sold more than 100 million records around the world.

Porcupine quills to aid needle research

Porcupine quills could help scientists develop less painful hypodermic needles that penetrate the skin easily and resist buckling, research suggests. The North American porcupine carries an intimidating array of around 30,000 defensive quills on its back.

Player's heart issues are detected by scan

A young footballer has undergone major heart surgery as a result of a routine scan prompted by ex-Bolton player Fabrice Muamba suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch. Burnley defender Jack Errington, 17, was found to have an enlarged aorta. He will miss the rest of the season.

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