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Too poor to die

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Buried in the woods. A pauper's grave.

It is common knowledge that the cost of living is going through the roof, but it is only when you are faced with the death of someone close that you bump into another of the scandals of Tory austerity Britain — the cost of dying.

The average cost of a funeral in 2014 was a staggering £7,600. That represents an 80 percent rise over the past decade, and it went up yet again on 1 January. Some of this is the usual profiteering by undertakers — who have a standard mark-up of 200 percent on all coffins — but a large slice of the expense of dying is government and council taxes.

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Producers of This American Life, the brilliant weekly podcast from Chicago Public Radio, are currently running a spin-off called Serial. Over 12 hour-long episodes it investigates the real life murder of a Baltimore high school student in 1999 and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend. It quickly became the most downloaded podcast in the US.
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Cairo Liberation Front (CLF) are electro cha3bi pioneers, promoting the sonic Arabic revolution. Electro cha3bi comes from the popular neighbourhoods of Cairo. Producers use cracked software; combine US hip-hop, eurohouse and Arabic rhythms. Like Omar Souleyman meeting Sean Paul and Aphex Twin at a wedding party. It has the live power of punk rock and early house parties.

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