The News Matrix: Monday 14 March 2011

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The Independent Online

Lansley mulls retreat on NHS reforms

NHS reforms could be watered down, after the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley indicated resistance from medical staff and Coalition colleagues might force a rethink. Liberal Democrat activists voted against the reforms this weekend. MORE

Fan fractures skull in 15ft fall at match

A football fan is recovering today after suffering a fractured skull when he fell 15ft from a railing during Leicester City’s 3-0 victory away to Scunthorpe on Saturday. The man, who is in his early 20s and from Leicester, is believed to have tried to stand on a railing, police said.

Targeted adverts coming to your TV

Advert breaks will be tailored to households, using information from postcodes and viewing preferences. So while those who choose family viewing may be tempted by people carriers, a bachelor pad next door may see racy convertibles. MORE

Jimmy Choo bids for firm bearing name

The shoe designer is reportedly in talks with financiers to advise him on a £500m bid to gain control of the shoe company he founded with Tamara Mellon a decade ago.

Al-Qa’ida launches women’s magazine

Mixing beauty tips with jihad, al-Qa’ida has launched a women’s magazine Al-Shamikha, (“The Majestic Woman”). With advice and interviews with martyr’s wives, the magazine’s editors said: “The enemies of Islam are bent on preventing the Muslim woman from knowing the truth.” MORE

Medics slam ‘lenient’ policy on alcohol

Health experts have accused the Department of Health of allowing the drinks industry to dictate alcohol policy. Six organisations are refusing to partner the government in a “toothless” alcohol “responsibility deal” to regulate the industry.

Burger King boss attacks UK in speech

The US boss of Burger King has insulted English females and food in a speech in Chicago. Bernardo Hees, chief executive of the chain, said: “The [British] food is terrible and the women are not very attractive.” He said it was intended as a joke. MORE

Beatification web page for former pope

The Vatican will unveil Pope John Paul II’s beatification Facebook page, with links to video highlights of his 27-year papacy, ahead of him being made a Saint on 1 May. The Vatican will launch a web new portal at Easter set up for tweeting, posting and blogging. MORE

Damilola killer is sent back to prison

One of the two brothers convicted over the death of schoolboy Damilola Taylor has been sent back to prison less than six months after his release. Ricky Preddie, who was 13 at the time of the offence, was arrested after failing to stick to a curfew. He was released last September after serving two-thirds of his sentence for the manslaughter of the 10-year-old.

Bus driver claims he was driven off road

New York police are investigating a bus driver’s claims that he was driven off a major highway before his bus slid into a sign, killing 14 people. But witnesses reported that he was speeding before one of the deadliest US bus accidents in years. MORE

Tenants gone, so is the house

A Malaysian landlord making his rent call was shocked to find the house missing. All that was left of the double-storey wooden house was scattered wood and 24 concrete pillars.

Tesco looks for staff in Slovakia

Tesco has started advertising in Slovakia for store managers. The supermarket chain said it was looking on the Continent as it couldn’t fill vacancies locally, despite nearly 2.5 million people being unemployed in the UK. Recruits will get paid the same as those hired in this country.

Bookies debunk lucky Irish myth

Two bookmakers there is no such thing as the Luck of the Irish after studying 12 months of betting data. Ladbrokes and looked at 28,123 punters each side of the Irish Sea and found that 5,902 Brits win more than 40 per cent of the time, compared with 3,471 Irish.

Couples tire of each other more quickly

The “three-year glitch” has replaced the “seven-year itch” as the tipping point where couples start to take each other for granted, according to a new survey. Weight gain, stinginess, toenail clippings and snoring are some of the passion-killers that have led to a swifter decline in relationships.

Danger of giving a dog a bad name

Staffordshire Bull Terriers should be given a “second chance” and do not warrant their bad reputation. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home spokewoman Ali Taylor said a minority of irresponsible owners had misled the public into thinking the dogs are dangerous.

Britain has a new favourite apple

The Cox’s Orange Pippin, the country’s most popular apple for at least a century, has been pipped by Gala apples. More than 22,000 tons of Gala apples, first imported to the UK from New Zealand in the 1980s, were sold in Britain’s supermarkets last season compared with 21,600 tons of Coxes.