The News Matrix: Monday 11 November 2013


A quarter of walk-in centres have closed

Almost a quarter of NHS walk-in centres have been closed in just three years, leaving patients unable to access the facilities they need. The health regulator Monitor found that since 2010, 53 of England’s 238 walk-in centres have closed, leaving patients reliant on restricted GP hours.

Miracle nano-train controlled by DNA

Scientists have developed a nanoscale train set powered by micro-motors and controlled by DNA. The system can create its own network of tracks to transport cargo and proteins and could aid the development of sophisticated self-assembling systems for a wide variety of applications.

Politician criticised over ‘martyr’ remark

The army has condemned an Islamist politician who called the Taliban chief killed by a US drone strike a martyr. Syed Munawar Hasan made the comments, about Hakimullah Mehsud, to Pakistani television. He implied soldiers killed while fighting Islamists are not martyrs because they are allied with the US.

More people in debt over smartphones

Rising numbers of people are struggling to pay for smartphone deals, a debt charity has warned. The Money Advice Trust has seen the number of calls about telephone debt to its debtline more than treble over a five-year period, from 5,830 in 2007 to 17,776 last year.

Minister criticised over failed Iran talks

Laurent Fabius, the Foreign Minister, has been criticised for his part in failed nuclear negotiations with Iran. Though a breakthrough had appeared close, talks ended over the weekend without a resolution. There were suggestions that trade ties should be severed with France. MORE

Huge database will aid cancer research

The world’s largest cancer database has been launched by British scientists and could revolutionise the search for cures. CanSAR, developed by the Institute of Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK, includes data on 1.7 billion individual experimental results. MORE

Hamas appoints its first spokeswoman

The Hamas government has appointed its first spokeswoman. The appointment of Isra Almodallal, 23, is part of a push by the group to ease tensions with the outside world. The change in policy began six months ago when a new head of media, Ihab Ghussein, took over.

JK Rowling raises £1m for her charity

JK Rowling made £1m for her children’s charity Lumos – which aims to end the institutionalisation of children in orphanages worldwide – at a fund-raising dinner and charity auction held at the Harry Potter film studios in Hertfordshire.

No clemency for convicted Marine

The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, has dismissed calls for clemency for a Royal Marine who is facing life in prison after he was convicted of murdering an injured Afghan insurgent. Mr Hammond rejected calls from retired generals and former servicemen for a more lenient sentence because of the  exceptional pressures brought about by war.

I remember ewe: stolen sheep on show

About a hundred farmers turned out for a sheep identity parade following a police crackdown on rustling. Forty Swaledale sheep on show in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria were among 150 ewes recovered following thefts across the north Pennines.

Tube passengers told to walk or cycle

Commuters are being asked to walk or cycle instead of taking London Underground trains during the early-morning rush-hour in an attempt to cut overcrowding on the Northern Line during essential works due to be finished next year.

Two boar draws in a week for footballers

Wild boar have torn up the pitch of a non-league football club twice in one week. Gloucester side Soudley AFC estimates the damage will cost more than £1,000 to repair.

Designer debuts anti-cellulite jeans

A fashion designer has launched the world’s first anti-cellulite jeans. Alexandre Herchcovitch claims his denim stimulates cellulite-fighting micro-circulation.