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The News Matrix: Tuesday 5 February 2013

Children groomed for online sex abuse

Paedophiles are grooming children purely for online sexual abuse so they can watch them perform explicit acts over the internet. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said that for some paedophiles, physical contact with the children is not a motivation.

Cyber-strike plan to combat digital attack

Countries suspected of planning cyber attacks against the US could find themselves suffering a pre-emptive digital strike ordered by President Obama. A new set of guidelines to safeguard the nation's computer systems are expected be approved in the coming weeks.  MORE

Gascoigne goes to US for treatment

Paul Gascoigne has headed to a US treatment centre following concerns over his health. The former footballer, 45, has spoken of his alcoholism, and pictures surfaced over the weekend showing him in a vulnerable state.

Too much TV lowers your sperm count

Too much television can wreak havoc on a man's sperm count, a new study has found. Men who watch more than 20 hours a week risk cutting their sperm count by half. Those who did more than 15 hours of exercise a week had a 73 per cent higher count than those who didn't. MORE

PM angry over long wait to join the EU

Turkey's half-century wait to become part of the European Union was "unforgivable", Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has said. He warned the EU could lose Turkey if membership was not granted by 2023, the centenary of the founding of the modern Turkish state. MORE

'Appalling' civil servants promoted

Civil servants who do an "appalling" job are simply promoted or shuffled to other jobs, anonymous interviews with Government ministers and senior officials have shown. A report by the think tank Reform suggested that ministers are unmotivated to run their departments efficiently. MORE

Bookies to fight 15% duty on online bets

Bookmakers and casinos in Gibraltar have a £500,000 kitty to battle the Coalition's proposed 15 per cent duty on bets placed online in the UK. Under the auspices of the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association, gambling executives will mount their challenge under EU law. MORE

MPs subjected to 'vitriolic abuse'

MPs undecided on whether to vote for the Gay Marriage Bill have allegedly been subject to "vitriolic abuse" by the proposed legislation's religious opponents. One MP claimed some of his colleagues were planning to vote for the Bill because of the "appalling" emails they had received. The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is expected to break ranks by voting against.  MORE

President prepares to become astronaut

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to be the first Iranian astronaut. "I'm ready to be the first Iranian to sacrifice myself for our country's scientists," he said. Iran has claimed to have successfully sent a monkey into space – but it was feared to have died. MORE

Daley's back for another Splash!

It received a mauling from the critics, but Tom Daley's Splash! has been signed up for a second series by ITV. The celebrity diving show ended its first series on Saturday with an audience of 6.6 million. Daley said: "It's a dream come true for me to be involved in an entertainment show which has been so successful."

Bangkok angered by TV show's 'sex slur'

The government is angered by a US comedy skit that makes fun of the country's sex industry. Bangkok is trying to ban videos of the Saturday Night Live skit from the internet, claiming it "misrepresents Thailand and its people". The clip parodied a language advert showing people learning phrases like "Take your clothes off".

i owner launches free London channel

Four million homes in London will soon have a dedicated free-to-air television channel. London Live will be run by Evening Standard Television (ESTV), a company wholly owned by Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of i, The Independent and London Evening Standard newspapers. ESTV fought off four bids to win the rights. MORE

Women are wearing the trousers in Paris

Women in Paris can now legally wear trousers. It has been technically illegal for a woman to wear trousers there without a police permit for more than 200 years. Over a century ago, exceptions were introduced for riding horses or bicycles. The law was last applied in the 1930s. MORE

Berlusconi backs tax-dodging amnesty

With just three weeks to go until the general election, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has backed an amnesty for tax dodgers. Mr Berlusconi said the country "absolutely needs" an amnesty. Centre-left politicians accused him of "desperate tactics". MORE

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