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The News Matrix: Friday 7 September 2012

Children find books embarrassing

A fifth of children would be embarrassed if their friends saw them with a book, a new survey has claimed. The National Literacy Trust said it was "worrying" that children are reading less than they did seven years ago. Of the 21,000 children surveyed, 54 per cent said they preferred watching TV. MORE

No complaint yet from Harry

The Press Complaints Commission said it would be "inappropriate" to open an investigation into the Sun's publication of nude photos of Prince Harry, as his representatives had not yet made a formal complaint.

Three new cities get the green light

Construction of three privately run cities in Honduras that will have their own police, laws, government and tax systems can begin in six months now that the government has approved the project. Some say they will bring badly needed economic growth but others think they are a dangerous prospect. MORE

Bermuda braced for arrival of Leslie

Tourists are postponing holidays in Bermuda and locals are stocking up on emergency supplies as Hurricane Leslie approaches the wealthy British Atlantic territory. Beaches were closed as the approaching storm whipped up surf, and hotel cancellations were reported across the territory.

Risk of blindness for contact lens wearers

Millions of contact lens wearers could be risking blindness by failing to clean them or keeping them in a dirty case. Doctors said they treat around 75 cases of the eye-devouring amoeba acanthamoeba each year, but there is a problem with diagnosing it. The parasite is abundant in tap water and rivers and ponds.

Striking miners reject peace deal

Managers of a mine where police killed 34 striking workers signed a peace deal yesterday with main labour unions but a breakaway union and the strikers themselves rejected it. The National Union of Mineworkers said the accord showed good intentions to end the violence. MORE

MPs' expenses rise 25% to reach £90m

The bill for MPs' expenses went up by a quarter to nearly £90m last year. Politicians spent the money on second homes, staff, travel and office costs – including dozens of iPads. The figure is now only slightly lower than in the run-up to the scandal that rocked Westminster in 2009.

Yes, I still can, Obama tells party

President Barack Obama was due to make his argument for re-election last night at the Democratic National Convention. Obama's acceptance speech for his party's presidential nomination had to be moved to an indoor arena, after the threat of severe weather forced a move from a 74,000-seat football stadium. MORE

Save the Children staff told to leave

The Pakistani government has ordered foreign staff members of Save the Children to leave the country, a spokesman for the international aid group said yesterday. The group has come under scrutiny because of reports it arranged meetings that helped hunt down Osama bin Laden, but the charity denies this. MORE

Government plans 'won't boost market'

Government plans to cut through red tape on large-scale projects to build more homes won't provide a significant boost to the housing market, town-hall chiefs say. Local Government Association said the "stalled" economy is the overarching problem.

Separate Scotland 'may lose pound'

An English government would not allow an independent Scotland keep the pound, the Chancellor appeared to suggest yesterday. Speaking in Glasgow, George Osborne said it would be difficult to "combine currency union with full fiscal and political independence".

Alliance fights for GCSE inquiry

Teachers, unions and school organisations have formed an alliance to campaign for an independent inquiry into the GCSE English marking fiasco. The alliance, including the NUT, says it has "lost confidence" in the exams regulator Ofqual, and wants the issue debated in Parliament. Schools claim it was unfair to change the grade boundaries in the summer exams. MORE

Scientologists help Agent Orange victims

People with ailments linked to Agent Orange are being "detoxified" with saunas and vitamins developed by the Church of Scientology. The church employs the "Hubbard Method" used on drug addicts and alcoholics. The US dumped 75 million litres of herbicides on Vietnam between 1962 and 1971. MORE

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Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape