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The News Matrix: Wednesday 30 October 2013

Tributes paid to victims of St Jude

Tributes were paid yesterday to some of the victims who died during the St Jude’s Day Storm which battered the south of Britain on Sunday night and Monday morning. Tens of thousands of people were still left without power, while commuters faced further delays to their journeys as the disruption from the most powerful storm to hit Britain in years continued. page 10

Obama ordered NSA to curtail operations

Barack Obama recently ordered the US’s National Security Agency to curtail its clandestine operations in response to the allegations that the spy agency monitored the communications of friendly governments. The command came as the NSA gave evidence to Congress. MORE

Balls ‘must explain Shoesmith sacking’

A whistleblower in the Baby P case has called on Ed Balls to explain his “knee-jerk response” in sacking the former head of Haringey Council’s children’s services, after she received a six-figure payout. Mr Balls was Children’s Secretary in 2008 when he fired Sharon Shoesmith. MORE

Police hunt suspects in suicide crash

Authorities yesterday asked hotels in Beijing for information as they tried to piece together the movements on Monday of two Uighur men who are now believed to be suicide attackers after the mysterious crash in Tiananmen Square that left five people dead. MORE

Cancer survival rates keep rising

Survival rates for cancer patients in England continue to improve, but charities warn treatments for some types are still “lagging behind”. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 85 per cent of women survive for five years or more after a breast cancer. MORE

Concordia dancer was captain’s lover

The Moldovan dancer who was on the bridge when the Costa Concordia hit a reef and killed 32 people almost two years ago admitted yesterday at the captain’s manslaughter trial that the two were lovers. MORE

French hostages free after three years

Four French hostages who were captured by Islamic extremists in Niger three years ago were released last night President François Hollande said. The four were taken by the North African wing of al-Qa’ida from the French-operated mining town of Arlit, where they worked at French nuclear firm, Areva. MORE

Letter bomb sent to Secretary of State

A letter bomb addressed to Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers was discovered yesterday at the offices of the First Minister in Belfast. Bomb disposal experts were called and staff evacuated after the letter was found in the post room. Several letter bombs have been sent in Northern Ireland recently. MORE

Couple ‘unwitting drug mules’

An Australian couple were thrilled at winning a holiday to Canada, but perhaps alarm bells ought to have started ringing when they learnt new luggage was part of the prize. The couple had unwittingly become drugs mules with 3.5kg of methamphetamine found in each bag.

100 snakes killed by house blaze

Up to 100 snakes have been killed in a house fire in York. A woman was rescued from a first-floor window of the house and taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “A large number of snakes, possibly 100, have been killed.”

Sorry boss, my false teeth blew out...

The dog ate my homework just doesn’t cut it, it seems. Website CareerBuilder has logged excuses, including one worker who claimed that a previous evening’s heavy dinner had caused him to oversleep and another who told his employer that the wind blew out his false teeth.

Fisherman nets £5.4m gambling win

A Scottish deep sea fisherman  has won the biggest-ever online gambling jackpot of £5.4m. The married father-of-one, who was playing the slots on BetVictor, said winning had been a “dream come true” for him and his family,  adding “we have no worries about the future now”.

Lagerfeld sued over ‘curvy’ claim

Outspoken fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is facing legal action in France after saying, “Nobody wants to see curvy women on the runway.” A women’s pressure group called ‘Belle, Ronde, Sexy et je m’assume’ (Beautiful, Rounded, Sexy and fine with it) have filed a defamation complaint, a spokeswoman said.

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