The News Matrix: Monday 3 December 2012


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The Independent Online

Pensioners give more to charity

Pensioners are twice as likely to give money to charity as younger people. A study by the financial services group Foresters found the over-65s donate 0.49 per cent of their annual income to charity compared with the 0.24 per cent given by under 30s. Retirees also predicted they would donate £30 more next year, but younger people said they would decrease their donations by around £4.

Editors line up to call for new regulator

Publications are lining up to call for a new press regulator without being compelled by legislation. Hundreds of editors have already spoken to Lord Hunt, who is co-ordinating efforts to agree a new press complaints body. The Commons will debate the Leveson's findings today. MORE

Pentagon to expand spy network

The Pentagon is to send hundreds of spies overseas as part of a plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size. The aim is to transform the Defence Intelligence Agency into a spy service focused on issues such as the influence of fundamentalists in Africa. MORE

Thousands died from poor care

Thousands of patients died or suffered serious harm last year as a direct result of bad hospital care.

Figures revealed to BBC's Panorama found 2,875 died and 7,585 suffered serious harm. The Health Secretary yesterday said putting in safeguards was his "major priority". MORE

Guardsman being leant on over turban

A Buckingham Palace guardsman who has been given permission to wear his turban on duty instead of the traditional bearskin has been put under pressure not to do it.

Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, 25, is reportedly under fire from his colleagues over the issue. MORE

Merkel considering tanks sale to Saudi

Angela Merkel's government is said to be considering the sale of several hundred German-made Boxer armoured patrol transport vehicles to Saudi Arabia – equipment that critics of the deal say could be used to crush popular dissent in the Gulf country. MORE

Concern over North Korea rocket launch

China expressed concern yesterday over its ally North Korea's plans to launch a long-range rocket in mid-December. The launch is likely to heighten already strained tensions with Washington and Seoul.

Professor: maths should be harder

Primary school maths should be reformed, an academic has warned, calling for more advanced levels of the subject to be taught. Professor David Burghes also called for higher standards in teaching, saying many teachers don't have a real understanding of the subject.

Court suspended after judges barred

Egypt's top court suspended its work indefinitely after supporters of the Islamist president prevented judges from entering the courthouse to rule on the legitimacy of a disputed constitutional assembly. The decision was taken by the Supreme Constitutional Court. MORE

Davey: 'World is not doing enough'

Global warming is not being kept at bay, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said. Speaking before UN talks on climate change, he said: "The world is plainly not on track to keep the global temperature increase from climate change below two degrees."

Unions warn fire stations could close

The Fire Brigades Union claims that spending cuts will leave almost 70 fire stations at risk of closure under the Coalition's austerity plans. The union said London will be worst-hit, with 17 stations at risk. Manchester and Merseyside will have 10 at risk.

Desperate Dan to live in virtual world

The Dandy, one of Britain's best-loved comics, will only be available online after this week. Publishers DC Thomson confirmed the move earlier this year following a drop in circulation. But they insist the characters, including Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat, will continue.

Louvre directs art world focus on Lens

The Louvre will spread the light of high culture this week, as the Paris museum opens a gleaming new satellite in a depressed former coal mining town. The hope is that the Louvre can do for Lens what the Guggenheim has done for Bilbao in northern Spain. MORE

UK online spending record under threat

Today will be the busiest ever for UK online shopping, analysts predict. Experian expect £320m sales with shoppers making 115 million online visits – a 36 per cent increase on last year. The first Monday in December sees consumers spending their last salaries before Christmas. MORE

Olly Olly Olly! Murs tops charts

The former X Factor contestant and TV host Olly Murs secured number one in both the album and single charts yesterday. The singer's third album, Right Place Right Time went straight in at number one on the Official Albums Chart, selling 127,000 copies in its first week.

Goodbye Flipper, hello Robo-dolphin

Some dolphins used by the US Navy to track down mines will soon lose their jobs to robots. From 2017, 24 of the Navy's 80 trained dolphins will be replaced by a 12ft unmanned torpedo-shaped vehicle. The dolphins will be redeployed to port security and other duties. MORE

Soldiers given extra leave at Christmas

British soldiers will get an extra five days off this Christmas for their hard work at the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, defence officials have said. But the move has been criticised as a cost cutting measure by a former commander in Afghanistan.

A vampire? Could revive the economy

Villagers in the tiny western Serbian hamlet of Zarozje say rumours that a legendary vampire ghost has awakened are spreading fear – and a potential tourist opportunity. Advice from the local council concerning garlic and wooden crosses seems to have at least one eye on tourism.

Bonaparte's boast (in Napoleonic code)

A coded letter sent by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812, boasting that his French forces would blow up the Kremlin in Moscow, has sold for 10 times its estimated price. The Paris Museum of Letters and Manuscripts bought the document at auction for €187,500 (£151,965). MORE