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The News Matrix: Friday 11 October 2013

Public-sector staff paid £3,200 more

Public-sector workers in poorer parts of Britain earn an average of up to £3,200 a year more than their private-sector counterparts, a report suggests. The right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange blamed the pay gap on national bargaining and called for public-sector staff to be allowed to negotiate salary levels in line with local labour market conditions. MORE

Ketamine users’ bladders are at risk

Ketamine users are being condemned to a “lifetime sentence” by having their bladders removed because of heavy consumption of the drug, the Government’s drugs tsar warned yesterday. Professor Les Iversen said daily abuse revealed a “completely unexpected harm”.

Greenpeace wives deny drug claim

The wives of a Greenpeace activist and a freelance photographer charged with piracy in Russia have denied that illegal drugs were on board their ship when they were arrested. They have described as “extreme” the conditions in which the men are being held. MORE

No room in the dock for 85 scam suspects

In one of the UK’s biggest ever joint prosecutions, 85 people accused of a complex “crash for cash” car insurance scam appeared in court at the same time yesterday. The group, aged 23 to 71, were charged as part of a probe into fraudulent claims over bogus or faked accidents.

Corrupt mayor gets 28-year sentence

Detroit’s former mayor has been jailed for 28 years for corruption over a series of scandals. Kwame Kilpatrick, who served as mayor from 2002 until 2008, fattened his bank account by tens of thousands  of dollars, according to evidence heard in court.

PM kidnapped  and then released

Libya’s Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, was kidnapped by an armed gang yesterday and then later released, a sign of the lawlessness gripping the country. Mr Zeidan appealed for calm. MORE

Leveson keeps mum in regulation row

Lord Justice Leveson refused to side with the press or the politicians in the debate on regulation of British newspapers yesterday. Appearing in Parliament for a second time in two days, he said that any effective “independent” regulator had to work for both newspapers and public. MORE

Bosnia membership hopes dashed

The EU is to halve funding to Bosnia after its leaders failed to reach a deal to amend its constitution, dealing another blow to its hopes of EU membership. Talks last week raised hopes they were near an agreement to remove discriminatory provisions that have blocked the country’s bid.

You can bet £100 on single roulette spin

People playing roulette machines in betting shops will still be allowed to bet up to £100 on a single spin. The Government has refused to reduce maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals despite claims that they fuel gambling problems.

Long-lost Doctor Who episodes found

Nine long-lost episodes of Doctor Who which have not been seen since the 1960s have been recovered after they were tracked down in Nigeria. The programmes – which introduce the character of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, better known to audiences as The Brigadier – will be available online from today.

Del-Boy turns up in new ‘Bridget’ book

Some copies of the latest Bridget Jones novel have been printed with 40 pages of Sir David Jason’s autobiography by mistake. Penguin Random House has been trying to weed out rogue copies of the book, which include the section of the actor’s memoir My Life, but many have already been sold. MORE

Newest rappers on block vie for awards

Newcomers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are the top contenders at the American Music Awards. The rap duo are up for six awards, including artist, new artist and single of the year for “Thrift Shop”. They will battle heavyweights Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift and Rihanna at next month’s show in Los Angeles.

Russians in £130,000 drinking session

Bar staff were left stunned after two Russian businessmen spent more than £130,000 during a staggering three-hour drinking session. The multimillionaires, who are believed to have made their money in the oil industry, left staff at a Mayfair nightclub with hefty tips – and failed to drink a third of what they purchased.

Sacred moose killed by hunters

An indigenous tribe in Canada was outraged when a team of hunters killed an albino moose that they consider sacred. The contrite hunters, apparently unaware of the significance of the animal, have returned the dead beast to the Mi’kmaq people.

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