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The News Matrix: Wednesday 2 January 2013

Rise in means-tested benefits backs up IDS

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith's campaign to show how the welfare system discourages claimants from working was backed up yesterday with figures showing that means-tested benefits went up by between 1.8 per cent and 6.3 per cent each year from 2007 to 2012.

Missing man broke earlier orders

A suspected British extremist who eluded a multi-million pound MI5 and police surveillance operation is a serial breaker of anti-terror orders, it emerged last night. Ibrahim Magag has a history of tampering with his monitoring equipment. He is still on the run. MORE

Police name teenage murder suspect

Detectives have named a 15-year-old boy wanted for the murder of a teenager during a dispute over a mobile phone. They are hunting Dawda Jallow after Dogan Ismail, 17, died from a stab wound in Walworth, south-east London, on Sunday as he met a group of youths to retrieve a phone stolen from his younger brother.

Parents launch own kids channel

The parents of two young children have launched their own television channel to fight off the effects of mass-produced shows like Teletubbies and In the Night Garden. Jez Wright and Julianne Martin said the CBeebies favourites were just "virtual e-numbers", filling "children's heads with rubbish".

Search for ferry jump teen called off

The search for a teenager who jumped into a river from a ferry was called off last night. Coastguard rescue teams, a helicopter, police and Ministry of Defence launches, Dartmoor Rescue Group and Plymouth's all-weather and inshore lifeboats were all involved in the hunt for 16-year-old Jordan Cobb. But the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the operation had been "stood down".

British tourist shot dead in gun battle

A Briton has been shot and killed at a New Year's Eve party in Thailand after getting caught in the crossfire between local gangs. Stephen Ashton, 22, left, died at a beach bar on the island of Koh Phangan. MORE

Dress bright to beat year's bluest day

Workers are being challenged to dress brightly on the third Monday of the month, 21 January, in a bid to combat "blue Monday" – the most depressing day of the year. According to Mental Health Research UK, contributing factors include bad weather, debt, the need for a Christmas detox and poor motivation.

USA: Fiscal cliff deal awaits approval

The US Senate has passed a bill that aims to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of $600bn in automatic spending cuts and tax increases, an event that economists widely agree could throw the country into recession. The House of Representatives was still to give its approval last night. MORE

Pakistan: Seven charity workers shot dead

Gunmen in north-west Pakistan killed five teachers and two aid workers from a non-governmental organisation yesterday as they were driving home from work. The group's director said they may have been targeted for their anti-polio work. It was in the same province Malala Yousafzai was shot. MORE

North Korea: Kim Jong-un in first New Year speech

In his first New Year speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for improving the economy and living standards of his impoverished nation with the same urgency that scientists showed in successfully testing a long-range rocket recently. MORE

USA: A big wheel for the Big Apple

New York is continuing with plans to build the world's largest Ferris wheel on its shoreline, despite Superstorm Sandy hitting two months ago. Flooding led to changes to the nearly $500m project on Staten Island, which includes a mall and hotel, but developers press on despite parts of the area being in a flood zone.

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