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The News Matrix: Tuesday 18 March 2014

Childcare pledge for 1.9 million families

The Government will pledge to help 1.9 million families with their childcare costs by providing them with up to £2,000 each year, Chancellor George Osborne will announce tomorrow. As part of his Budget speech, Mr Osborne is expected to expand a £750m-a-year tax-free scheme to help low and middle-income families.  MORE

Fat guidelines may be ‘too simplistic’

Guidelines urging people to eat less “unhealthy” saturated fat may be too simplistic, according to new research. No links were found between levels of “healthy” fat and a lower risk of heart disease in a new study, but differences were found between separate strains of fat.

Ambassador certain of US troops deal

Afghan UN ambassador Zahir Tanin said he is “certain” the government will soon sign an agreement with the US that will allow some troops to stay in the country after the planned withdrawal this year. The statement appeared to contradict words by President Hamid Karzai.

Cultural heritage at risk from warming

The UK is at risk of losing some of its most prized cultural jewels to climate change, according to new UN findings. It highlights risks to moors, coasts and other unique rural landscapes, and also points  to increases in air pollution from fossil fuels. MORE

Was missing plane avoiding radar?

Officials searching for missing flight MH370 were investigating last night whether the pilots were deliberately flying low to avoid detection by military radar. More than a week after the plane vanished, investigations have so far given little clue to the location of the aircraft. MORE

Paris cracks down on polluting traffic

Paris enforced the most drastic traffic curbs in 20 years yesterday. About 700 police officers fined 3,859 people £18 on-the-spot fines, with only vehicles with odd-numbered license plates allowed on the road.

Old skeleton may hold cancer clues

Archaeologists have found a complete 3,200-year-old skeleton with cancer and say the discovery could help to show how the disease has evolved. The remains of the wealthy man aged 25-35 were found in a tomb close to the river Nile in Sudan by Durham University student Michaela Binder last year. The bones showed evidence of metastatic carcinoma - cancer which has spread from where it started.

US forces intercept militia’s oil tanker

US Navy Seals seized an oil tanker off the island of Cyprus, stopping an attempt by a Libyan militia to sell the shipload of crude in defiance of the Libyan government. The militia, which calls for autonomy for the eastern half of Libya, vowed to try again to export oil from the ports they control. MORE

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Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

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How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

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The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

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French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

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Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

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Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

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Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

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Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

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