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The News Matrix: Wednesday 5 September 2012

A record-beating bacon cheeseburger

A Minnesota casino has cooked up a world-record bacon cheeseburger that's three metres in diameter and weighs more than a ton. A Guinness World Records representative called the feat a result of "remarkable teamwork" and said the burger "actually tastes really good".

Obesity is OK as long as people exercise

Being fat doesn't necessarily mean you are unhealthy, according to new research. A study claims that it's more important to take regular exercise than constantly fret about the size of your waist. Up to half of those defined as "obese" are at no greater risk of illness. MORE

'No frills' Ryanair cuts out diplomacy

A Ryanair passenger who was charged €300 for failing to print out her boarding passes is an "idiot", according to the airline's chief executive. Michael O'Leary said most passengers knew they should print off their passes, and those who didn't could "bugger off". MORE

Bazalgette to chair Arts Council

Sir Peter Bazalgette, whose production company Endemol brought Big Brother and Deal Or No Deal to British screens, has been appointed chairman of the Arts Council England. Though he is famed for low- brow entertainment, he is also chair of English National Opera.

Divine solution as Big Mac goes veggie

McDonald's is to open restaurants close to two holy sites. But the fast food chain has avoided the problem of trying to sell burgers in a place where cows are sacred: the outlets, near the Hindu shrine of Vaishno Devi in Katra and the Golden Temple in Amritsar, will be vegetarian.

Offline viewing comes to iPlayer

The BBC has launched a new download feature in its iPlayer which means people can store programmes on their phone or tablet and watch them later without an internet connection. The feature is available on Apple devices and will come to Android later this year.

Legion of Honour for McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney is to receive France's Legion of Honour for services to music. An Elysee Palace spokesman said that the former Beatle, 70, will be decorated at the rank of officer by French President François Hollande in a ceremony in Paris on Saturday.

Fired Christians told they could have quit

Four Christians arguing that they lost their jobs on religious grounds were told at the European Court of Human Rights yesterday that they could have resigned if they felt their employers' rules went against their beliefs. The four workers, including a British Airways check-in clerk who was sent home for wearing a cross, are challenging the rulings in UK courts. MORE

Bus plunges into ravine killing 42

At least 42 people are believed to have died after a bus drove off a road in central Morocco and plunged down a 500-ft ravine. The bus overturned between the desert cities of Marrakesh and Ouarzazate. Another 24 people were injured, four of them seriously, in the accident yesterday.

Two charged over farm burglary

Police said last night that two men aged 27 and 33 have been charged following a burglary on Sunday near Melton Mowbray. The arrests are related to an occurrence in which two suspected intruders were shot by a homeowner at an isolated farm in the Welby area of Leicestershire.

Number of refugees doubles to 230,000

The number of civilians who have fled Syria's civil war has almost doubled to more than 230,000 following the conflict's deadliest month yet, the UN said yesterday. Heavy fighting in Aleppo and increased use of airpower led to the departure of 103,416 people during August. MORE

Michelle Obama to kick off convention

The faithful flocked to the Democratic Convention in Charlotte last night looking to Michelle Obama to pull back the curtain on three days of political theatre. Mr Obama's big moment will come tomorrow when he will accept his nomination with an address to 74,000 people. MORE

Abortion increases premature risks

Aborting a first pregnancy increases the risk of later births being premature, a new study found. Analysis of 120,000 abortions and 460,000 births showed women terminating their first pregnancy increase the chances of a spontaneous pre-term birth by almost 40 per cent. MORE

State ordered to pay for sex change

A federal judge has ordered Massachusetts to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation for a transgender inmate serving life in prison for murder. The convict was born as a man but has received hormone treatments and lives as a woman in an all-male prison.

Salmond lays down law to Cameron

Alex Salmond fired a warning shot at David Cameron over independence, with a referendum Bill the highlight of his new legislative programme. He said the vote must be framed by those in Scotland. MORE

Trainee teachers reveal lack of control

Behaviour in schools is worse than official estimates indicate. A survey of 243 trainee teachers reveals one in four said less than half the lessons they had at school were "under the comfortable charge of the teacher".

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