The News Matrix: Friday 7 September 2012


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The Independent Online

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