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The News Matrix: Wednesday 15 February 2012

Police investigate 'Iranian' bomb plot

Police in Bangkok were investigating a series of explosions, apparently carried out by Iranians. The blasts, during which an attacker blew off his legs, came a day after a blast targeted the wife of an Israeli in Delhi and an attack was foiled in Georgia, incidents Israel has blamed on Iran. MORE

Workmen discover body in the vicarage

Police in South Gloucestershire are investigating a "suspicious" death after a body was discovered in a vicarage in Thombury yesterday. The corpse was found by workmen. Residents expressed their surprise: "It's quite a quiet little village – everybody knows everybody," one said.

Peers pass vote for exemptions to cuts

Peers voted to exempt the disabled, war widows and foster carers from a proposed £14 cut in housing benefit in the latest blow to Government health reforms. The exemptions, passed by 236 to 226, will cost around £100m and may see a battle between the Lords and Commons.

Bahrain: Troops patrol streets to stifle unrest

Security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters attempting to gather in Manama to mark the anniversary of their failed uprising against the country's Sunni leadership. Troops were sent to Shia areas in unprecedented numbers in an attempt to clamp down on any unrest. MORE

Dead British airman is named by MoD

An airman who was shot dead in Afghanistan on Monday has been named by the MoD. Ryan Tomlin, 21, of 2 Squadron, RAF Regiment, was hit by small arms fire during an insurgent attack in Helmand.

Mobile drunk tanks are on their way

So-called "drunk tanks" could be coming to a town centre near you, David Cameron will reveal today. The mobile cells, designed to hold intoxicated revellers until they sober up, will be deployed in anti-social behaviour hotspots. The Prime Minister will also hint that he supports a minimum price for alcohol, saying drink-related problems costs the NHS £3bn each year. MORE

Top lawyer sent in to contain scandal

Rupert Murdoch has sent his most senior News Corp lawyer to the committee overseeing the phone-hacking scandal. Gerson Zweifach has joined the Management and Standards Committee as speculation grows the US Justice Department could charge the company. MORE

Dockers' union boycotts UK vessels

Shipyard workers in Argentina have been banned from working on British vessels by the Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers, as tensions between the two countries continue to rise in the lead to the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war.

Study finds where to go for a long life

The richest residents of London's Westminster borough can expect to live to 84, but its poor only reach an average age of 67, according to a report into health inequality. The University College London found most residents in the Berkshire town of Wokingham enjoy long lives. MORE

Lioness kills keeper after gate is left open

Human error has been blamed after a gate was left open at Johannesburg Zoo, allowing a lioness to kill her keeper. Colleagues heard the victim, Joe Ramonetha, 63, screaming and rushed to help but it was too late, a spokeswoman said.

US firm is guilty of 'poisoning' farmer

The US bio-tech firm, Monsanto, has been found guilty of "poisoning" a French farmer. A court in Lyon decided the multinational had ruined the health of Paul François, 47, a farmer who inhaled fumes from its Lasso weed-killer in 2004. MORE

So long to Florida's smallest city

Long-running plans for the resort of Islandia may come to an end next week. The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners is expected to vote to abolish Florida's smallest city (population: five), which established itself as a municipality in 1961 amid plans for many luxury hotels.

Adele takes a break to focus on love life

Grammy-award winning singer Adele has revealed her intention to take an extended break from music to focus on her relationship with her old-Etonian boyfriend Simon Konecki. "I am f***ing off for four or five years. If I am constantly working, my relationships fail," she told US Vogue. MORE

Romford is just the ticket for lottery luck

Residents of Romford, Essex, are Britain's luckiest, according to the National Lottery. The town has seen 300 winners scoop £50,000 or more over the past 17 years – one in every 1,238 locals. Enfield, North London, was second. Newcastle and Sunderland were also in the top 10.

Monument to a fallen leader

A larger-than-life bronze statue of the country's late leader Kim Jong-il sitting on a galloping horse was yesterday unveiled in Pyongyang ahead of what would have been the dictator's 70th birthday on Thursday.

Poirot's next case: teaching English

Poirot and Miss Marple's murder mysteries will be used to teach foreigners English. Twenty of Agatha Christie's most famous novels will be rewritten in simplified versions. The writer's grandson said Christie "would have thought it a very good idea". MORE

Valentine kiss that lasted 50 hours

A gay Thai couple who locked lips for two solid days snatched the Guinness world record for the longest kiss on Valentine's Day yesterday. Thirty-one-year-old Nontawat Jaroegenasornsin and Thanakorn Sittiamthong, 28, kissed for 50-hours and 25 minutes.

Fury over 'political' boardroom moves

One of Russia's most respected media outlets has cried foul after its owners, the energy giant Gazprom, insisted on a boardroom reshuffle. The move is seen as political, coming a month after Vladimir Putin accused the station of "pouring diarrhoea" over him. MORE

Biba founder has a go at 'skinny chic'

Waif-like models are not "good for fashion", the founder of fashion store Biba has warned. Speaking after receiving an OBE for services to the industry, Barbara Hulanicki said that skinny girls did not showcase clothes at their best. "Women have boobs and hips and thighs," she said.

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