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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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Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried