The News Matrix: Friday 23 August 2013


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The Independent Online

NHS trusts selling expertise to India

As many as 20 NHS trusts are  planning to go into business with healthcare providers in India, a former health secretary has said, as plans to exploit the NHS brand with lucrative contracts abroad gathers pace. Patricia Hewitt, former Labour minister and now chair of the UK India Business Council, said that between 10 and 20 trusts were in talks. MORE

Mass grave found near capital

Mexican authorities have found a mass grave east of Mexico City and are testing to determine if it holds some of the 12 people who vanished from a bar in an upmarket area of the capital nearly three months ago. At least five corpses have been recovered so far in Tlalmanalco.

Transport boss ‘had affair with call girl’

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, was embarrassed yesterday after his transport boss was exposed in a tabloid kiss-and-tell. Married Sir Peter Hendy, who was knighted in March for his work during the Olympics, is alleged to have had a nine-month fling with a call girl.

Ex-President’s body to be exhumed

The body of Brazil’s former President, João Goulart, is to be exhumed to discover if he was the victim of an assassination plot. The former President died in December 1976 while in exile in Argentina. The official cause of death was given as a heart attack but no autopsy was ever undertaken.

Gene therapy to  fix broken hearts

Scientists are a step closer to repairing the damage done by heart attacks using a “cocktail of genes” to transform scar tissue into working muscles. Techniques to “mend broken hearts” using gene therapy and stem cells represent a major new development in treating heart disease.

Wildfire sweeps through Yosemite

A wildfire outside Yosemite National Park - one of more than 50 major brush blazes burning across the western US - has more than tripled in size and was yesterday threatening about 2,500 homes and hotels.

Driver ‘kicked gay couple out of cab’

A minicab driver has been suspended for allegedly forcing a gay couple out of his taxi after they held hands. The men were being driven home from Soho in London when the driver for Addison Lee allegedly called them “dirty” and evicted them from his cab. One of the passengers posted about the incident on Twitter. MORE

Girl’s punishment of 100 lashes quashed

A 15-year-old girl who was sentenced by a Maldives court to 100 lashes for premarital sex – illegal in the country – had her punishment quashed by the High Court, which ruled she was wrongly convicted. The girl was charged after she told police she was raped by her stepfather and had consensual sex with another man.

Liverpool’s Ducks stuck on dry land

A fleet of amphibious vehicles has been repossessed in Liverpool after two widely publicised incidents this year in which the tour buses sank in the Salthouse Dock. The “Yellow Duckmarine” buses were popular with tourists for their “splashdown” finale, but Pearlwild Ltd lost its licence this week.

New Grand Theft Auto gets US rating

A report on upcoming videogame Grand Theft Auto V from a US ratings board suggests the latest title in the franchise could be the most controversial yet. The Entertainment Software Rating Board cites nudity, drug use and “a brief instance of necrophilia” among the reasons behind the game’s “Mature” rating.

Renoir’s papers to be auctioned

An upcoming auction of hundreds of personal letters, photos and other memorabilia offers a candid look inside the life of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Renoir Estate Collection is set to be sold in New York on 19 September. Heritage Auctions has estimated its value at $3m. The artist died in 1919.

Hedgehogs named after Prince George

Three rare albino hedgehog babies, born on the same day as Britain’s Prince George, have moved into a miniature castle – complete with velvet curtains and a plush bed – at a zoo in the All-Russia Exhibition Centre in Moscow. The three hedgehogs have been given the prince’s names: George, Alexander and Louis.