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The News Matrix: Wednesday 30 January 2013

Olympic 'bloodbath' misses the West End

Box office takings at London's West End theatres increased for the ninth year in a row despite warnings of a "bloodbath" during the Olympics. Matilda and The Bodyguard boosted sales to £529.7m from £528.3m in 2011. The boom looks set to continue, with record advance sales for 2013. MORE

Asylum-seekers living in poverty

The children of asylum-seekers are living in extreme poverty due to failures in the support system, a Parliamentary report has found. Some mothers are forced into prostitution while they await a decision over their asylum application. MORE

Soldier has double arm transplant

A US soldier who lost all four limbs in a roadside bombing in Iraq says he's looking forward to driving and swimming with new arms after undergoing a double-arm transplant. The 26-year-old New Yorker's operation was only the seventh double-hand or double-arm transplant done in the US.

Chess cheat uses camera in glasses

A former mayor of a Mob-infiltrated town near Milan in Italy has become the first person ever to be kicked out of the Italian Chess Federation after allegations that he used a hidden camera to cheat. Loris Cereda is accused of using a camera hidden in his sunglasses and an earpiece conveying advice. MORE

Army chief warns of civil collapse

Egypt's army chief said political unrest was pushing the state to the brink of collapse – a stark warning as Cairo's first freely elected leader struggles to curb bloody street violence. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's comments followed 52 deaths in the past week of disorder. MORE

'Mystery' solved for ill rail passengers

Three passengers at London Bridge station were taken to hospital yesterday after they were thought to have a "mystery illness" but it turned out they were probably just wearing too many clothes in improving weather. Emergency services responded to what they originally thought was a "chemical incident.

Who's a clever boy? Mensa member is 3

A three-year-old boy with an IQ of 136 has become one of the youngest members of Mensa. Sherwyn Sarabi, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, can count to 200 and name every country in the world. "He doesn't watch children's programmes, he watches the news," his mother, Amanda Sarabi, said.

Scientist is killed by lightning strike

An American scientist has died after being struck by lightning in Argyll. The body of Dr Tim Boyd, 54, was discovered near his Port Appin home on Sunday afternoon. Colleagues said they were suffering "deep pain and confusion to lose such a lively and warm friend".

Motorist is charged over tandem deaths

A motorist was last night charged with killing a husband and wife who died when they were knocked off their tandem in Hanham, near Bristol. Nicky Lovell, 38, will appear before North Avon Magistrates' Court today accused of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Obama takes steps on immigration reform

Barack Obama, left, moved into the debate over US immigration reform yesterday, seeking to build momentum for a plan to offer a pathway to citizenship for the country's 11 million illegal immigrants. MORE

Violence fears spark boycott of Osama film

Pakistani movie distributors and TV stations are boycotting an Oscar-nominated film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden to avoid a violent backlash. Local theatres are steering clear of Zero Dark Thirty.

Gillard apologises for 'first bloke' gaffe

Julia Gillard has been forced to apologise for a tasteless joke by her partner Tim Mathieson – Australia's 'first bloke' – about Asian women and prostate cancer. Mr Mathieson urged men to have a digital examination to check for cancer, adding: "Look for a small female Asian doctor is probably the best way." MORE

RBS faces £500m fine over Libor

American regulators are seeking to press criminal charges against the Royal Bank of Scotland over allegations that its traders tried to manipulate Libor interest rates. Pleading guilty to a criminal charge could expose the bank to civil claims in US courts. RBS is likely to pay around £500m in fines, less than the £900m paid by UBS. MORE

US authorities can access cloud data

American authorities can spy on information stored by British citizens on Amazon, Google and Apple services, privacy campaigners have warned. Information saved on cloud services can be subject to "warrantless wiretapping" if it relates to American interests. MORE

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Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution