The News Matrix: Friday 17 June 2011

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The Independent Online

Antibiotic use fosters resistant bacteria

The use of modern antibiotics on British farms has soared in the past decade, fuelling the development of organisms resistant to antibiotics rated as “critically important in human medicine” by the World Health Organisation. MORE

Rent goes up again in May throughout UK

Rents in Britain have increased for the fourth month in a row. The average cost of renting a property rose by 0.5 per cent in May to £696 per month, a £30 increase from the same time last year, according to the UK’s biggest lettings agent network, LSL Property Services. MORE

Holidays contribute to fall in sales in May

A hangover from the previous month’s royal wedding, Easter and a run of bank holidays sent retail sales tumbling last month, official figures revealed today show. Retail sales volumes dropped by 1.4 per cent in May. MORE

Weiner pulls out of politics over scandal

Anthony Weiner, who sent lewd pictures of himself to women on Twitter, has become the third US politician to resign after becoming embroiled in a sex scandal this year. MORE

Vancouver riots over an ice hockey game

The scenes resembled the Middle East protests of recent months as riots came to the streets of Vancouver in Canada yesterday. But the city descended into chaos over an ice hockey result as the Vancouver Canucks lost in the showpiece finale of the sport, the Stanley Cup. MORE

Virgin warns of rising APD costs

Passengers could pay an extra £1bn a year in increased Air Passenger Duty (APD), Virgin Atlantic warned. It said APD raised £2bn in 2010 but that this figure could rise to £3bn a year under proposals being consulted on by the Government.

Eight months’ jail for Facebook juror

In a UK legal first, the juror who brought down a major drugs trial by contacting a defendant on Facebook has been jailed for eight months for contempt of court. Joanne Fraill, chatted to Jamie Sewart via the site before a verdict was reached.

Switch in brain may help save memories

Memories have been blocked and recovered in experiments that raise the prospect of “artificial limbs for the mind” to combat Alzheimer’s and other diseases. The experiments on rats showed that an electronic switch implanted in the brain can help to retrieve memories. MORE

Bin Laden deputy is new al-Qa’ida chief

Osama bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri has succeed him as head of al-Qa’ida, a website with links to the terrorist network said yesterday. The Egyptian-born doctor will take over after bin Laden was killed by US forces last month. Al-Qa’ida warned it would continue to fight the US and Israel under Zawahiri’s direction. MORE

Police use A&E data to pinpoint crime

A police scheme using anonymous A&E data to work out crime hotspots in Cardiff has been so successful it is to be rolled out nationwide. Officers have cut the number of violent incidents by more than 40 per cent by counting where they occur. MORE

Britain better off as world warms

Britain will fare better than most countries as the world heats up, but London and other UK cities will have to get used to hot summer nights, a team of US climate scientists has revealed. MORE

‘Pimp’ stigma shames drivers

The number 39 has become an unlikely synonym for pimp and a mark of shame in Afghanistan, a deeply conservative country and has been disrupting car sales. Drivers of cars with number plates containing 39 are mocked and taunted across Kabul.

State legislators go to school of life

The Arkansas legislature has the highest percentage of US state lawmakers who have not attended college at all – 25 per cent – according to a new study by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Engineers not sweet on Sugar

Engineers have reacted angrily to Lord Sugar’s comments on the BBC’s The Apprentice, when he suggested those in the profession perform poorly in business. The statement came as Lord Sugar was firing engineer Glenn Ward.

Neighbours sign treaty to end feud

A handshake wasn’t enough for two Malaysian neighbours embroiled in a bitter feud sparked by complaints over barking dogs. The two signed a peace treaty to end their three-year battle that began with a complaint about next door’s noisy dogs.

‘Potter’ site leaves fans in the dark

JK Rowling, above, has teased Harry Potter fans with a new website, While it promised that more is “coming soon”, it gave no clue as to what “more” could be.

Bald eagles give locals a hairy time

A pair of bald eagles nesting near the US Post Office in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, have taken to dive-bombing customers, in one case drawing blood. The eagles are raising chicks in a nest close to the building.