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The News Matrix: Wednesday 8 January 2014

Make people work longer, urges report

People should work longer before they retire and the state pension should be replaced with compulsory private schemes to meet the costs of Britain's ageing population, a report recommends. The right-wing Institute of Economic Affairs also suggested cutting employment regulations aimed at protecting older employees.

Robbers kill couple and shoot daughter

A former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spear, 29, and her ex-husband Henry Berry, 49, reportedly from Ireland, have been shot dead in front of their five-year-old daughter in a robbery. The girl was shot in the leg. MORE

Princess Cristina suspect in fraud

A court has ordered the daughter of King Juan Carlos to appear before it as a suspect in a money-laundering investigation. A magistrate summonsed Princess Cristina to appear on 8 March for questioning over allegations her husband embezzled millions of euros. MORE

Trapped rescue ship breaks free of ice

A Chinese icebreaker that became trapped after trying to rescue a Russian research ship stuck in heavy sea ice broke free yesterday, according to state media. Helicopters from the Xue Long rescued 52 of those on board the Akademik Shokalskiy – which is also said to be making its way out of the ice.

Mogul calls for cull of talent shows

Music mogul Simon Fuller, who turned Pop Idol into the world's most valuable television format, says too many copycat shows are killing the talent show genre. In a rare Radio 2 interview, Fuller said that the marketplace has become too "cluttered". MORE

Delay eligibility for welfare, PM is told

David Cameron has been urged to extend the Government's three-month ban on migrants claiming state benefits when they arrive in Britain. London Mayor Boris Johnson has suggested a two-year wait, while Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, called for a five-year ban on all permanent immigration. MORE

Comedian banned just before first show

French mayors, including those in Marseille, Bordeaux and Tours have banned shows by comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala. He has been accused of threatening public order with anti-Semitic jibes. The local authority in Nantes has barred the opening date tomorrow. MORE

Cocaine sent to supermarkets

Boxes filled with bananas and cocaine, said to be worth around six million euros (£5m), were delivered to five supermarkets in Berlin in what police called a "logistical error" by drug smugglers yesterday. Staff at the Aldi-Nord stores discovered the boxes, believed to have come from Colombia, just before they went on sale.

Ban lifted on foreign game consoles

Gaming consoles can be sold in China again after the country's State Council announced that it had temporarily lifted a 14-year ban. So long as the consoles are produced within Shanghai's free-trade zone, and are inspected by the authorities, foreign companies, such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, can now sell them.

Alarming increase in racist bullying

Childline has seen the number of children reporting racist incidents to the charity increase by two-thirds in the past year, while contacts from suicidal young people surged by a third. The 24-hour service also saw an 87 per cent increase in the number of calls about online bullying. MORE

Dinosaur bone find in Saudi Arabia

Dinosaur bones have been identified in Saudi Arabia for the first time, highlighting how widespread the creatures once were. Scientists unearthed 72 million-year-old fossils in the north-west of the Kingdom along the Red Sea coast, including tail bones from a giant plant-eating "titanosaur".

London artist killed in armed robbery

A London artist has been shot dead in South Africa while fending off armed robbers who burst into his first wedding anniversary party. Clinton de Menezes – who relocated to Kenya last summer – was shot in the chest as he fought to fend off the gunmen on New Year's eve.

Hundreds stranded after airport closed

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded as flights were cancelled due to a security alert. There was disruption at Edinburgh Airport for more than three hours when staff found a "potentially suspicious bag" in the security check area. Police concluded that there was no threat.

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Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

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Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

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Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

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The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor