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The News Matrix: Wednesday 9 January 2013

Starved girl's siblings sue city's council

The surviving siblings of a seven-year-old girl who was starved to death by her mother and father are suing Birmingham City Council, claiming her death could have been prevented. Khyra Ishaq died in May 2008 following months of cruelty at the hands of her parents, who were both jailed in 2010. Despite having a fully stocked kitchen, their children went hungry.

Spiritual leader blames rape victim

A spiritual leader sparked outrage across the country by saying that the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped and murdered in Delhi was "as guilty as her rapists". Asaram Bapu told followers in Rajasthan that she should have "begged" the attackers to stop. MORE

Care home patients report a lack of trust

Care home patients and their families do not trust the body charged with ensuring decent standards following a series of high-profile scandals, the Health Select Committee said. It reported a "disconnect" between official inspections and the standards experienced by patients. MORE

Flag-waving for Kate may prolong rioting

Violent disturbances looked set to continue in Belfast last night, with the Union Flag due to fly over City Hall today to mark the Duchess of Cambridge's birthday. Petrol bombs and masonry have been thrown at police in the east of the city for five nights by loyalists.

Second Tory minister quits the Coalition

Lord Marland of Odstock, a junior trade minister at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, became the second Conservative minister to leave the Government in as many days last night. It follows the surprise resignation on Monday of Lord Strathclyde.

Most-scathing book reviews honoured

The shortlist for the Hatchet Job of the Year – celebrating the most scathing book reviews of 2012 – was announced, with some of the world's most respected authors among the subjects of derision. The nominated reviews include Ron Charles's take on Martin Amis's Lionel Asbo.

Girl who died in police car crash is named

A 13-year-old killed when a car being pursued by police hit her family's vehicle was named as Wiktoria Was. She was described as a "highly valued member of our community" by Alison Garner, head of Goffs School, in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

Record year for Tate Modern

Critics doubted whether the 2012 Olympics would provide any real benefit for London's cultural institutions, but the Tate Modern has revealed it had a record year. The gallery welcomed 5.3 million visitors, up 9.5 per cent on 2011.

Minister raising tax is accused of evasion

The minister charged with enforcing controversial new taxes on the rich is to be investigated for tax evasion. The chief prosecutor of Paris has started an investigation into allegations that Jérome Cahuzac hid money in an undeclared Swiss bank account until two years ago.

Farmers are excused 655-year-old debt

A court has wiped out an annual debt that farmers have had to pay the Catholic Church to atone for a crime 655 years ago. The payments had been a tradition since 1357 as compensation for a man's murder. But farmers no longer have to pay 70 Swiss francs each year, a court ruled.

A gripping reason for wrinkly fingers

Scientists claim to have found a reason why fingers submerged in water develop wrinkles – it improves your grip on wet objects. "This wrinkling could have helped with gathering food from wet vegetation or streams," according to the Newcastle University study, published in Biology Letters.

Politician quits over racist football chant

A politician in the far-right Northern League party has quit after being accused of chanting the racist comments that led AC Milan footballers to walk off the pitch last week. Riccardo Grittini, 21, a councillor for sport in Corbetta, near Milan, is under investigation by prosecutors.

Michael McIntyre nets £21m in year

Comedy has been touted as the new rock'n'roll since the 1990s, but Michael McIntyre has proved the point by taking £21m – nearly as much as the Rolling Stones – from his latest tour. Some 639,000 fans flocked to see his show. He was the only stand-up in the top 50 touring acts.

Chavez to miss his swearing-in

President Hugo Chavez will miss tomorrow's scheduled swearing-in ceremony for his third term in office because of health problems, the Government confirmed in a letter to Congress yesterday. Mr Chavez has not been heard from since having his fourth operation for cancer.

Conflict has left one million hungry

About one million Syrians are going hungry because of the difficulty in getting supplies into conflict zones, the United Nations warned yesterday. Government-approved aid agencies are said to be stretched to the limit, with bread and fuel in particularly short supply.

Lottery winner in cyanide poisoning

Police in Chicago are investigating the murder of a man who died of cyanide poisoning just a day after he accepted a lottery cheque for $425,000 (£264,000). Urooj Khan, 46, was about to cash in his prize from a scratchcard win when he died suddenly last July. MORE

Phone company ditches Lenin ad

A mobile phone operator that used a cartoon image of Lenin and the slogan "Keep Talking" in its adverts has pulled the campaign following complaints. The Russian revolutionary's communist regime killed millions of people and imposed mass terror on the Soviet Union.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

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Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

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Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

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Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride