The News Matrix: Friday 02 December 2011


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The Independent Online


Government hopeful over pensions deal

The Government believes there is a "very realistic possibility" of reaching a broad deal on public-sector pensions by the end of the year. Talks were held yesterday between the Government and teaching unions, and today officials will meet health unions as efforts to reach a deal continue. MORE

Trial of former police officers collapses

Britain's biggest police corruption trial has collapsed after it emerged investigators destroyed evidence. Eight former officers accused of perverting the course of justice over the wrongful conviction of three men for the murder of prostitute Lynette White in 1988 walked free. MORE

Hotel act 'consensual but stupid,' says DSK

Dominique Strauss-Khan has used a book by his biographer to give his side of the incident that forced him out of the IMF, saying that he believed his sexual encounter with hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo was "consensual but stupid". Her lawyers dismissed his claims as a fantasy. MORE

Watchdog unable to recruit inspectors

Britain's healthcare watchdog was prevented by the Department of Health from recruiting more than 100 inspectors to investigate poor and dangerous practices in hospitals and care homes – despite under-spending its budget by £42m, a damning report reveals today. MORE

Clinton meets campaigner Suu Kyi

Hillary Clinton met the democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday on the first visit to Burma by a US Secretary of State since 1955. She had a private dinner with Ms Suu Kyi before more meetings today. MORE

EU fails to agree oil embargo on Tehran

The EU yesterday agreed to take tough new sanctions on Iran but failed to agree on terms for an oil embargo that could hit the regime's main income source. The talks come after an attack on the British embassy in Tehran brought relations to a new low this week and are aimed at hurting the country's apparent attempt to gain a nuclear arsenal. MORE

Taser use up by 70 per cent in two years

The use of Tasers by police has soared in recent years, it was reported last night. An investigation by Channel 4 News found that 40 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales collectively fired Tasers 1,533 times last year, compared with 862 times in 2009 – an increase of 70 per cent.

Capital is tops for Caesareans

London is the Caesarean capital of the UK, according to the latest figures on how women choose to give birth. Seven out of 10 NHS trusts with the highest caesarean rates are in the capital, with the hospital serving Chelsea the highest of all. MORE

Wikileaks releases surveillance files

WikiLeaks has released leaked files that it claims details the extent to which surveillance companies are selling information obtained through the monitoring of mobile phones and computers. The group's founder, Julian Assange, said more than 150 organisations can use phones as tracking devices. MORE

Bosses say mobile phones create work

British managers say they wish mobile phones and other communications devices had never been invented due to the increased stress levels and working hours they create, according to a study. More than 1,000 managers were questioned, with half putting in more hours than a decade ago and feeling more stressed.

No love lost between man and dating firm

A middle-aged Australian man has been cheated out of A$2m after he joined a dating website – where he was the only member – and was led to believe that he was in a relationship with a woman. A court heard that the website's founders treated themselves to cars and properties after he made the online transfers.

Fracking protesters storm gas rig again

Fracking protesters have stormed a controversial gas rig for the second time in a month, climbing on to a drilling platform in Banks, Lancashire, early yesterday morning. The demonstrators say they intend to occupy the site for several days in order to halt the drilling, which, they claim, damages the environment.

Is it a bird, a plane? No, it's a £1.4m comic

A rare and pristine copy of the first issue of Action Comics, famed for the debut of Superman, has set a record for the most money paid for a single comic book at $2.16m (£1.4m).

Master embroiderer Lesage dies, aged 82

The legendary embroidery designer François Lesage, whose handiwork graced the designs of all the grandest couturiers for half a century, died in Paris yesterday at the age of 82. As a young man he worked on costumes worn by Hollywood greats, including Marlene Dietrich and Ava Gardner.