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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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Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

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Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

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A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

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Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

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The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

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The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

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Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

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Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

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Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers