Record-breakers in the news today

Northern Irish golf star Rory McIlroy has been unveiled as Nike's new brand ambassador, making him one of the highest paid sports stars in the world.

While the exact details of the sponsorship may never be revealed, the deal has been widely reported to be worth around $100m (£62m) to $125m (£77m) over five years.

That could earn the 23-year-old around $50,000 (£31,000) a day.

The County Down born golfer holds the records for lowest score to par at a golf US Open and lowest total score (36 holes) at the golf US Open, having managed to notch up a score of 16-under and a total of 131 (65-66) at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, in June 2011.

Iconic British entertain retail chain store HMV has hit the headlines in Britain after the financially-troubled company entered administration.

Founded in 1921, the company still holds the title for smallest functional vinyl record. Six titles of 33.3mm 1 5/16 in diameter were recorded on mini vinyl records by the company's studio at Hayes, Middlesex, UK on 26 January 1923 for Queen Mary's Dolls' House.

Completely functional, some 92,000 of these miniature records were pressed including 35,000 of God Save The King.

Elsewhere, dangerous levels of pollution have been recorded in many of China's northern cities in recent days, with air pollution in the capital, Beijing, soaring past levels considered hazardous by the World Health Organization.

The most lethal smog recorded occurred in London in 1952. Between 3,500 and 4,000 people, mainly the elderly and children, died in the UK capital from acute bronchitis caused by thick smog between 4 and 9 December 1952.

The deadly smog was caused by the burning of fossil fuels combined with a weather inversion that trapped smoke particles near the ground.

Visibility in the streets was only 30 cm (12 in) and cinemas had to close because it was impossible to see the screens.

Finally, a new exhibition at Madame Tussauds featuring four legendary rap MCs immortalised in wax has have been opened at the London tourist landmark.

The hip hop supergroup which features Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, The Notorious B.I.G. and P Diddy, has been brought together from attractions around the US.

The Longest freestyle rap lasted 12 hours exactly and was achieved by Reid 'V.i.P' Brown (USA) at Primal Skateboards in Abilene, Texas, USA, on 22 October 2011.