The News Matrix: Friday 13 July 2012


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12,000 patients 'die needlessly' each year

Almost 12,000 patients are dying needlessly in NHS hospitals every year because of basic errors by medical staff, according to the largest and most detailed study into hospital deaths ever performed. Researchers found that errors was responsible 5.2 per cent of the time. MORE

Fuel tanker explosion kills 95

A tanker truck caught fire and exploded in Nigeria yesterday shortly after breaking down, killing at least 95 people who had rushed to the scene to scoop fuel. At least 50 others were injured in the incident in the oil-rich southern Niger Delta region. MORE

Wells Fargo settles fair lending cases

One of America's largest banks, Wells Fargo, has agreed to pay $175m to settle government allegations that it engaged in racial discrimination during the pre-crash housing boom by charging black and Hispanic customers higher fees than whites for their home mortgages.

More floods expected today

Parts of Britain have been warned to expect further flooding as forecasters predict yet more downpours. A band of heavy rain hit the south-west yesterday morning and the bad weather is set to continue today with heavy rain in the Midlands, East Anglia and northern England.

Police injured as Orange march flares

Four police officers were injured last night during clashes with republican and loyalist youths in the Ardoyne district of north Belfast. Trouble flared following a controversial Orange march.

O2 believes full service resumed

O2 said it believed it had restored full service to all customers last night, as thoughts turned to compensation among the hundreds of thousands affected by the disruption. A spokesman said all users should restart their phones, while those with smartphones who had turned off their 3G service could now reconnect. MORE

Nine police cadets die in house attack

Nine Pakistani police cadets were killed yesterday by Taliban fighters who stormed into their house, chanted "God is Great" and opened fire. It was the second attack on security forces in Punjab province in four days, and police suggested the same fighters may be involved.

Cluster bombs may boost case for action

Evidence emerged yesterday that President Bashar al-Assad may be using cluster bombs against his own people. The reports come at a sensitive time diplomatically, with the UK circulating a draft resolution at the UN Security Council that would allow military intervention. MORE

Alarm over possible lifting of Mugabe ban

The Foreign Office reacted with horror last night to signals that the EU wants to lift the travel ban on Robert Mugabe and his closest allies. Senior sources in the department insisted that Britain's borders would remain closed to the 88-year-old Zimbabwean President.

Climate change could be end of towns

Dozens of towns across the Outback could vanish as climate change makes the land hotter and drier. A new study names White Cliffs, in New South Wales, as the town most vulnerable, where many locals live underground due to the heat. MORE

Plans for 'swift and sure justice'

Criminals could be dealt with in days or even hours under government plans to bring in "swift and sure justice". Technology will enable police officers to give evidence remotely and video links will become routine, the Ministry of Justice said.

Brit gets six months for groping a woman

A court in Dubai has sentenced a British businessman to six months in prison for pinching a woman's bottom on a drunken bar crawl. Steven Sherriff, 43, has vowed to appeal the sentence. The Sun reported that the boyfriend of Sherriff's victim knocked him out after the incident.

Earl on trial for theft and criminal damage

The Earl of Cardigan is facing a crown court trial after denying charges of criminal damage and theft. The earl, 59, appeared before Swindon Magistrates' Court accused of damaging six pheasant feeders worth £66 in June this year, and the theft of a battery and electrical power unit worth £80.

Smartphone for the blind launched

A smartphone designed for blind people has been launched. Georgie, as the device is known, has a voice-assisted touchscreen and offers a variety of apps to help complete tasks such as catching a bus, reading printed text and pinpointing location.

Gift of 148 animals to Cuba causes anger

The Namibian government is under fire for offering to donate 148 wild animals to Cuba in a gift they have called Noah's Ark II. The lions, rhinos, leopards and elephants were destined for Cuba, but animal rights groups complain the long flight to another continent will upset the beasts.

Alien piranhas attack paddlers

A southern Chinese city is on the alert for piranhas after two people were attacked, and is offering a reward for every fish caught. The government of Guangxi region's Liuzhou asked people to hunt the alien South American species, which bit two people in the Liujiang River.

Adele makes top 10 in highest pay chart

Adele has made it into another exclusive chart: a top 10 of the highest-paid celebrities under the age of 30. The singer earned $35m (£23m) between May 2011 and May 2012, according to US publishing firm Forbes. It put her at number six in the chart, which was dominated by women singers.

Toy museum goes for world record

A toy museum in Oklahoma hopes to capture the world record for most original superheroes in one place. On 4 August, the museum aims to bring in people dressed as superheroes of all sorts. Event organisers say participants should conjure up their own costumes.

Whishaw to play 007's youngest Q yet

Ben Whishaw will play the part of Q in Skyfall, the next James Bond film, movie bosses said yesterday. The actor is much younger than stars such as John Cleese who have previously played the role of the weary gadget man, who keeps 007 equipped with cutting-edge technology.

Tight jeans a health risk, experts claim

The number of men suffering from painful testicular problems is on the rise – thanks to the current fashion for tight jeans, experts have claimed. The trendy denims can cause problems such as twisted testicles, bladder weakness and even urinary tract infections.