The News Matrix: Friday 24 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Morale down across services, survey finds

Morale in the armed forces has fallen across all three services, a Ministry of Defence survey suggests. In 2010, 25 per cent of the 12,364 personnel surveyed said morale was "high", compared with 15 per cent last year. The percentage saying morale was "low" rose from 33 per cent to 50 per cent.

Brain-damaged man wins right to live

A family pleading for the right to keep their severely brain-damaged father alive received an 11th hour boost yesterday, when a doctor confirmed he had shown signs of consciousness. A three-day court case was adjourned as a doctor said he witnessed a response from the man. MORE

Activist death inquiry 'inadequate'

Israel has failed to carry out a "thorough and transparent investigation" it said it would hold into the death of a US activist who was crushed in Gaza by a bulldozer in 2003, the American ambassador has said. The family of Rachel Corrie launched a lawsuit over her death. MORE

Sun prints naked Prince Harry images

The Sun today publishes naked pictures of Prince Harry today, despite warnings from the Royal Family's lawyers. The pictures emerged from a party which the prince held in his hotel suite in Las Vegas, and first appeared on US website TMZ.  MORE

Court to rule on Breivik's mental state

Anders Behring Breivik is expected to be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison today. Psychiatrists have been debating over whether he can be classed as insane or not, after the end of his 10-week trial in June. MORE

G20 is urged to hold food price summit

The G20 is under pressure to call an emergency summit on global food prices after the Vatican accused grain speculators of "hampering the poorest". Comments made by Glencore's director of agriculture products that the situation was a "good" environment for the company prompted the UN to call for reform of regulations around agricultural commodities trading. MORE

Rodney King died by drowning, say police

The death of Rodney King earlier this year was yesterday ruled an accidental drowning with multiple illegal drugs such as PCP, cocaine and marijuana in his system, police said yesterday. King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers in 1991. The officers' acquittal triggered the 1992 Los Angeles riot.

Holes see councils pay by the pot-load

Bad weather and a decrepit road network have left councils paying nearly £5m in compensation payments to drivers whose cars have been damaged by potholes. The dire state of Britain's roads has led to 54,000 compensation claims since 2010, according to research by the breakdown service Britannia Rescue. MORE

Gibbons show off opera technique

Gibbons are the opera stars of the ape world, a study has shown. Researchers in Japan found that the animals, renowned for their singing, amplify the higher sounds using the mouth and tongue to alter the shape of the upper vocal tract. Exactly the same technique is used by professional sopranos.

Happy hippo makes a splash

A hefty hippopotamus chased away from his herd at a game reserve has found a refreshing place to relax: the lodge's pool. A team of experts is to attempt to rescue the animal from the water at the Monate Conservation Lodge, north of Johannesburg. The pool will be drained and the hippo sedated before it is lifted out by crane.

It's Cohen to be a long trip

Leonard Cohen fans have been left bemused after being told that two UK concerts by the singer-songwriter have been switched to a venue 75 miles away. The 77-year-old Canadian was due to play at Hop Farm in Kent in September, but a statement on his website said due to "unforeseen circumstances" the shows will now take place at Wembley Arena.

Rembrandt etching lost in the post

A Norwegian gallery lost a Rembrandt etching worth up to £5,400 in the post after trying to save money on courier and insurance costs, the gallery's chief said. The Soli Brug Gallery in Greaaker purchased a copy of Rembrandt's Lieven Willemsz, van Coppenol, Writing- Master from a British dealer.

Rat needs few teeth for dinners of worms

A unique new species of near-toothless rat that lives off earthworms and doesn't chew or gnaw has been discovered in Indonesia. The shrew-like animal with a long, pointed snout lacks cheek teeth, meaning it sucks in earthworms and slices them with its incisors before spitting out the pieces and slurping bites down whole.

Heeeere's Johnny (again)

The Shining, once dubbed the "scariest movie ever," is set to provide more chills for British audiences with the release of an extended version never seen before in this country. The BFI is to release a cleaned-up version of the classic horror which is 24 minutes longer. MORE