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25 per cent of Russian men die before they are 55, study reports

Aid agencies are struggling to cope with Mali refugees

Aid agencies are struggling to cope with the scale of the humanitarian crisis in West Africa caused by thousands of Malians fleeing conflict, according to a study out this week.

Chinese health authority inspectors enter a German aircraft in Shanghai

Two Chinese women die from H1N1 flu in Beijing

Two Chinese women have died from the H1N1 flu strain in Beijing in the past 10 days, Chinese state media said today, the first reported deaths from the virus in China's capital since 2010.

Former Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, with a beer

Beer ban in bid to curb Russia's alcoholism problem

Sales of beer on the street have been banned under a law which came into force today in an attempt to curb alcoholism. The former President, Dmitry Medvedev, signed amendments to alcohol laws in 2011 to reclassify beer, previously considered a foodstuff, as liquor.

‘It was awkward when the mother had to hand over our twins’

Wombs for hire: Number of wealthy British couples seeking foreign surrogates trebles in five years

Wealthy British couples who cannot have children are increasingly seeking “wombs for hire” from women overseas, according to figures obtained by The Independent.

Experts say there is no risk of MRSA infection to consumers of milk or dairy products so long as the milk is pasteurised

New MRSA superbug strain found in UK milk supply

Research reveals that antibiotic-resistant organisms are gaining a hold on dairy industry

China publishes a plan to reduce smoking

China publishes its anti-smoking plan

China on Friday published a plan to reduce the world's largest population of smokers as part of a 2005 treaty, without implementing recommendations such as warning labels that include photos of rotten teeth and diseased lungs.

Mikey Argy: 'This money will have a huge effect. It will give us security for the next ten years.'

Government’s £80m for victims of thalidomide – but still no apology

Britain’s lax regulations contributed to scandal of babies born disfigured because of drug

The News Matrix: Thursday 20 December 2012

War has so far cost taxpayer £17.4bn

More than 2,000 adults with chest infections who were randomly assigned to receive either amoxicillin, the commonest antibiotic prescribed by GPs, or a placebo

Antibiotics no more effective at relieving coughs and colds than a sugar pill

Those taking antibiotics in study reported more side effects including rash, nausea and diarrhoea

Rukhsana Bibi grieves over her daughter, a health worker, yesterday

Killed as they tried to save lives: Pakistan polio workers targeted

Vaccination programme suspended after five women are shot dead

TV chef cook book meals 'are less healthy than ready meals'

Recipes by TV chefs including Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson are “less healthy” than ready meals, researchers said.

Diseased feet, sick babies and dying cancer sufferers: The gruesome new packaging set to become mandatory for Australia's cigarettes

The new anti-smoking laws, which are the most Draconian in the world, strip packs of all branding, bright colours and logos

Medical staff treat a wounded Palestinian journalist in Gaza City yesterday

Overwhelmed Palestinian doctors run out of life-saving medicines

Pandemonium in Gaza City hospital as survivors are pulled from rubble

A child in Pakistan is given the polio vaccination

Polio cases slowing in Pakistan spur hope for global elimination

Polio cases caused by one of two circulating strains of poliomyelitis virus weren't reported in Pakistan in six months, speeding global eradication of the crippling disease.

Vodka continutes to take its death toll on Russians

Putin wages war on vodka as lifestyle death toll at 90,000

Vladimir Putin is waging the biggest public health drive since former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev failed to wean his country off alcohol abuse with a crackdown on tobacco and drink.

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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
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One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
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Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
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Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
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Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker