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The News Matrix: Wednesday 16 July 2014

Suicide bomber kills 89 and wounds 40

A total of 89 people were killed and more than 40 left wounded yesterday after a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives in eastern Afghanistan. The attack, which took place near a busy market and a mosque in the remote town of Urgun, is one of  the deadliest since the American-led invasion of the country in  2001.

Parents losing access to lawyers

The number of parents going to court without a lawyer has rocketed by 20,000 in the past year following the withdrawal of legal aid for almost all family cases. The increase means that 58 per cent of parents involved in disputes had no lawyer fighting their case in 2013-14.

Ceasefire fails after just six hours

An Egyptian call for a ceasefire in Gaza quickly disintegrated yesterday, as violence resumed between Israel and Gaza militants six hours after its proposition. Rockets and missiles were exchanged in the renewed fighting, which led to the first Israeli death. MORE

PM to push for his choices in EU posts

David Cameron is travelling to Brussels today to push his preferences for key EU positions as European leaders gather to decide upon the new foreign policy chief to replace Catherine Ashton. Frontrunners include the Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini. MORE

Islamic extremists take northern region

Isis has conquered large parts of northern Syria as attention has been given to the extreme Islamists’ gains in neighbouring Iraq. The advances have prompted heavy fighting with Kurdish fighters who are determined to defend territory in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. MORE

Man discussed cannibalism online

A nurse with a cannibalism fetish planned to kill a 14-year-old girl with an axe before eating her, a court has heard. Dale Bolinger, 57, discussed beheading and eating women and girls for sexual gratification on a fetish website, Canterbury Crown Court was told. MORE

Bedroom tax households hit

Almost 60 per cent of households affected by the “bedroom tax” changes were in arrears as a result of the cut to their housing benefit,  an internal review for the Department for Work and Pensions has reported.

Russia blamed after air strike kills four

Ukraine pointed a finger at Russia after an air strike killed four people in the residential area of Snizhne yesterday. Ukraine is locked in an internal struggle with separatist rebels.

Artist’s work isn’t a piece of kayak...

The artist Megumi Igarashi has been arrested for breaching obscenity laws after taking a selfie of her vagina. She planned to use the images to create a  3D-printed kayak. MORE

BBC head accused of ‘racist’ hiring policy

Tony Hall, the Director General of the BBC, has been forced defend himself against accusations of racism made during a parliamentary inquiry. Lord Hall was attacked by Conservative MP Philip Davies for “pursuing a racist policy” in pledging to recruit more minority ethnic employees.

Vegan cheese made using human DNA

A vegan-friendly cheese has been developed in San Francisco using strands of human DNA combined with bakers’ yeast. By using milk proteins from our own species, developers say this will reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions. The company said it may be a while before the finished product is put on sale.

Airbus gets on its bike to fit more seats

The aircraft manufacturer Airbus has sought a patent for a new kind of seat inspired by the design of a bicycle saddle, which could enable airlines to cram more passengers on to the narrow-bodied plane. The seats, which fold away when not in use, would offer “reduced bulk”, according to the application. MORE

Matches seized in strike against terror

The city of Fukang has destroyed more than 20,000 boxes of matches and removed them from circulation as part of efforts to fight terrorist attacks. The region has toughened its stance following a series of bloody incidents, although the announcement did not say how matches contribute to criminal activity.

‘Holy Grail’ stolen  in raid on home

A major police hunt is underway after burglars raided a Hereforshire home and stole a religious artefact that in the past was believed to have been the mythical Holy Grail. The Nanteos Cup, an ancient wooden chalice, was said to have been brought over to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea.

Ice weather we’ve been having…

Hailstones the size of golf balls rained down upon sunbathers at a popular river beach in Novosibirsk yesterday, leaving some bruised and shaken. They had been basking in scorching 37C heat before the freak weather suddenly hit them, causing many to run for shelter under parasols and towels.

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