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The News Matrix: Friday 6 June 2014

DPP aims to boost rape convictions

The Director of Public Prosecutions has announced new measures to increase successful prosecutions of rape, and said police and lawyers must stop thinking of offenders as “a man in a balaclava in a dark alley”. The new strategy comes after i and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed worrying falls in the proportion of rape claims that end up with a criminal conviction. MORE

NHS needs to be ‘reset’, says Labour

Labour has said the NHS will have to be “reset” after the next election, with patients given “powerful new rights”. Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, said the significant changes will be outlined in a leaflet about “what people should expect” from the NHS. MORE

Man caught virus from his own camel

A Saudi man who died of the new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus contracted the disease from a camel in his own herd, scientists say. Their study into the case found that it was highly likely the animal’s nasal secretions were to blame for the infection.

Fresh evidence on ‘Islamist’ schools

New evidence of the failings of Birmingham schools to protect children from extremist views has fuelled the row between ministers. An Ofsted report suggested that female teachers at one school feel intimidated while some children are at risk of marginalisation.

Workers ‘should take decent breaks’

Employers have been urged to encourage their staff to take decent breaks after a study found that one in five people are working through their lunch break. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy warned that firms are risking the health of their businesses.

Latest victim raises ferry toll to 289

Another victim of the South Korean ferry disaster has been retrieved from the water, raising the death toll to 289. The body was found floating about 25 miles away from where the ship sank off the south coast, the government said. Fingerprint scans were used to identify the body.

Putin urged to open talks with Ukraine

The G7 industrial nations yesterday urged Russia to talk with the new leadership in Kiev to end the crisis in Ukraine. They said Moscow must recognise Petro Poroshenko, who becomes  president on Saturday. MORE

Elderly couple ‘shot dead by daughter’

An elderly couple was shot dead by their daughter and son-in-law, who then buried the bodies and told family members they were still alive, a jury heard. Susan and Christopher Edwards lied for 15 years to cover up the killings, prosecutors told Nottingham Crown Court. MORE

Fasting can boost  the immune system

Fasting regenerates the body’s immune system, scientists have found in a “remarkable” new breakthrough. The starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white cells, which fight infection. The effects were even recorded in the elderly at the University of Southern California.

Couple cremated in double casket

A completely devoted couple who died just two hours apart have been cremated in a double casket. Kevin and Christine Shearson, both 64, from Hemel Hempstead,  Hertfordshire, died just weeks before their 40th wedding  anniversary. It is thought to be the first funeral of its kind in Britain.

Manure is turned into drinking water

Scientists have found a way to turn cow manure into water that is clean enough for livestock to drink. Professor Steve Safferman, from the Michigan State University team, said: “With more than 87 million cows in the US, the system could theoretically produce 870 million gallons of clean water every year.”

Harvard book ‘made with human skin’

Scientists have finally confirmed that a book in Harvard University’s Houghton Library – long suspected of being wrapped in animal skin – had “without a doubt” been produced using human skin. Des Destinées De L’ame was deposited at the Houghton Library in 1934 by book collector John Stetson Jr.

Tortoise races to the recycling plant

An appeal has gone out to find the owner of a tortoise after it travelled nearly 300 miles in the back of a lorry to Norfolk. Workers at a recycling plant in Kings Lynn were surprised to see the reptile buried under a pile of newspapers which were just about to be pulped. The lorry had driven 270 miles from Silverton in Devon.

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