The News Matrix: Friday 31 May 2013


Record admissions for alcohol problems

Hospital admissions for alcohol problems have topped 200,000 for the first time, increasing by 41 per cent over the last decade. Drugs prescribed to treat alcoholism have also soared by almost 75 per cent in nine years, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

New head of FBI to be nominated

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate James Comey, a former federal prosecutor and Deputy Attorney General during the George W Bush administration, as the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A announcement is expected in the next few days.

Miliband seen as ‘pygmy’ politician

Ed Miliband is still perceived as a “pygmy” politician, according to Labour’s largest donor. John Mills, the head of the television home shopping retailer JML, said: “The problem is that anybody who is in opposition always looks like a pygmy – this is just a fact of life.”   MORE

New high in demand for apprentice places

A record 11 applicants are competing for every apprentice place, new figures show. Almost 370,000 people submitted online applications to the National Apprenticeship Service between February and April this year, up by a third on last year. Plumbing and heating was the most competitive field, with an average of 41 young people competing for every vacancy. MORE

Sentamu treated for prostate cancer

The Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend John Sentamu, has been treated for prostate cancer. Dr Sentamu said yesterday he will be “out of action for some time” after the operation at St James’s Hospital, Leeds.”

Men with firsts earn 6% more than a 2:1

Men who achieve first-class honours at university get a £71,000 boost to their lifetime earnings. A study has shown that students with a first earn 3 per cent more than those with a 2:1. However, a gender breakdown showed a split of 6 per cent extra for men and zilch for women. MORE

Bangladeshi student to star as Malala

A Bangladeshi student with no acting experience is to play Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in a movie about the teenage activist shot by the Taliban. Director Amjad Khan said 16-year-old Fatima Sheikh, from Dhaka, will play the role.

Assad: We have got Russian missiles

Syrian President Bashar Assad has confirmed his regime has received the first batch of the S300 missiles it had been promised by Russia. The delivery, if confirmed, comes days after a European Union arms embargo on Syria was lifted.  MORE

What’s the French for French kissing?

After centuries of lacking a French word for that sloppy Gallic export “French kissing”, a verb has finally been given its rightful place in the French dictionary. Galocher – to kiss with tongues – features among the new entries in the 2014 edition of Le Petit Robert, which was launched yesterday.

Historic men’s club faces closure

One of Britain’s oldest working men’s clubs is set to close. The  Holbeck Club in Leeds, which opened in 1877, is £67,000 in the red. Secretary Liz Holgate said the club had to stop paying acts to perform on a Sunday night, adding: “Now we are just down to the bingo.” MORE

Glastonbury is wrong direction for 1D

Boy band One Direction should avoid playing at Glastonbury, according to one of the member’s best friends. Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw, who is friends with Harry Styles, said only “incredible artists” should perform. “I don’t think Take That should do it,” he added. “I don’t want to see Howard Donald on the Pyramid Stage.”

Criminals left gas  in ticket machines

Police are warning rail travellers to be wary when using Deutsche Bahn’s automatic ticket machines as criminals using explosive gas to break them open may have left gas behind in others. Since April, 10 ticket machines have been blown open and cash stolen. But in six cases the attempts failed, leaving the explosive gas inside.

Callard set for Corrie comeback

Beverley Callard is heading back to Coronation Street more than 20 years after her first appearance on the cobbles. The actress, who plays Liz McDonald, will return to the show in October. “I have missed Liz so it will be great to play her again,” she said. “Hopefully her skirts will have a got a little bit longer but we will see.”