The News Matrix: Monday 2 July 2012


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The Independent Online

Childcare costs higher in poor areas

Childcare costs swallow more than a quarter of families earnings in the poorest areas of Britain a new report states. While the British average is £4,993 a year for 25 hours of care a week, or 18.9 per cent of average earnings, in Ebbw Vale, South Wales the costs equate to 28.2 per cent of earnings, or £5,539 a year. MORE

Culture emphasised in new citizen test

Foreign nationals hoping to become British citizens will have to take an overhauled test, with the Government wanting to place a greater emphasis on the nation's culture and past, according to reports yesterday. A new handbook is expected to be issued for the test. MORE

Biggest captive crocodile identified

Guinness World Records has declared a crocodile blamed for attacks in the Philippines the world's largest in captivity. It is 20.24ft long and weighs more than a tonne.

Dali painting is returned to spender

A stolen Salvador Dali painting worth $150,000 has been recovered after being mailed to the United States from Greece. It was snatched from a New York gallery on 19 June.

Emotions may make pain feel worse

Emotions may determine how much pain a person feels, according to a study of brain scans. The study by an American university was able to predict with 85 per cent accuracy which individuals would go on to develop chronic pain.

New leader urged to resolve discord

The Chinese President , Hu Jintao, swore in Hong Kong's new leader on Sunday while calling on him to resolve "deep disagreements" ranging from recent government scandals and political discord in the freewheeling financial centre after a year of transition. Security was tight, with hundreds of police ensuring that the isolated demonstrations were kept out of sight. page 9

Iran defiant over EU oil embargo

Iran has dismissed an EU oil embargo which took effect yesterday and said it was prepared to counter the impact of sanctions with a $150bn war chest of foreign reserves. The EU ban on Iranian crude imports is part of efforts to force Iran to curb its nuclear programme. page 11

58-year-old dies after sports car crash

A father of four, hospitalised for nearly a week after a 100mph car crash, has died. The £150,000 Lamborghini overturned while Graham Padmore, 58, was driving his son around Woodford Aerodrome near their home in Stockport for his 21st birthday.

Budget cuts force museum closures

Large numbers of museums and galleries are closing in the wake of budget cuts, latest research shows. Some 11 per cent of museums had permanently shut whole sites, while a further 22 per cent had closed parts of their sites temporarily or permanently, with school services also hit. MORE

Heatwave follows in wake of fatal storms

A heatwave baking eastern states in record temperatures is set to continue after deadly storms killed at least 12 people with emergencies declared in Washington DC, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.  MORE

Taxi troubles are Europe-wide

Service from taxi companies across Europe leaves a lot to be desired, a survey has found. In 22 major cities, not including London, nobody provided a "very good" service, and six were "very poor", with overcharging and rudeness common. MORE

Demand for places to drop by 10%

Applications to university for this Autumn, the first year of up to £9,000 tuition fees, are predicted to drop by seven per cent or 45,000 students. This will leave an excess of 100,000 students compared to places available. The rate could hit up to 10 per cent if counting English applications separately. MORE