The News Matrix: Monday 31 October 2011


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The Independent Online


Worried families feel the squeeze

Millions of Britons are cutting spending as fears grow over the economy. A poll found that a third of households had already cut spending and 19 per cent were set to make more savings next year. Another survey found that 49 per cent of firms were worried about their prospects. MORE

Sex abuse crisis hits scouting movement

Boy Scouts of America is in the midst of an abuse crisis to rival that of the Catholic Church after it emerged that the organisation is attempting to block the release of files detailing the cases of more than 5,000 leaders and volunteers expelled after accusations of sexual misconduct. MORE

Tribunal orders end to Qantas chaos

Tens of thousands of stranded travellers breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after a tribunal in Australia ordered an end to the Qantas airline strike that has grounded flights across the world. MORE

NGOs say they are being squeezed out

Human rights groups and NGOs in Egypt have accused banks including HSBC of colluding with the country’s ruling military council by complying with requests to gather information on their activities. The NGOs say the military council is trying to apply pressure on them. MORE

Women could have right to C-section

Women could give birth by Caesarean section without a medical reason if draft NHS guidelines are adopted. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has proposed that women with a “ fear of childbirth” could have a planned Caesarean section on the NHS. MORE

Councils may lose powers on adoption

Councils that fail to find suitable homes for children in their care are to be named and shamed – and could be stripped of their powers over adoption. David Cameron will today launch a drive to increase the adoption rate following the disclosure that homes were found last year for just 60 of the 3,600 babies in care in England. Thousands of children are meanwhile held in care homes or with foster parents.

Regular drinkers run the risk of disease

Drinkers who regularly exceed recommended alcohol limits without getting drunk are increasing their risk of cancer, liver disease and mental health issues, says a new report. Twenty-six per cent of men and 18 per cent of women drink too much, the study by 2020 health found.

Sanaa airport closed after blast at airbase

Large explosions shook a military airbase on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital yesterday, causing authorities to temporarily close the nearby Sanaa Airport. At least one shell hit the al-Daylami base. The country has been rocked by fierce fighting as protesters attempt to oust President Saleh.

Prince saddened by DJ’s death

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have led the tributes to the DJ and broadcaster Sir Jimmy Savile, 84, saying they were saddened to hear of his death on Friday. Celebrities including the opera singer Katherine Jenkins and the former deputy Labour leader Lord Prescott shared their sadness over Twitter. MORE

Near death events are all in the mind

Near death experiences are triggered by a change in normal brain function and are not paranormal, researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Cambridge University have said. Psychologists found that the phenomena was caused by a reaction in the brain prompted by a traumatic, but sometimes harmless, event.

Ladakh, the capital of altitude sickness

Scientists have issued a warning to the world’s trekkers and mountain climbers. They say that the worst place in the world for altitude sickness is Ladakh, on India’s northern border with China and Tibet – but they don’t know why. Travellers are drawn there by its culture and extraordinary panoramas. MORE

Light brigade bugle to be sounded again

The bugle sounded during the Charge of the Light Brigade will once again be heard as during a re-enactment of the battle by the Lancers Display troop at this year’s British Military Tournament. Usually held in The Queen’s Royal Lancers Museum, the instrument was blown by Billy Brittain, of the 17th Lancers.

Workers torch rival pizzeria in Florida

Two Domino’s Pizza managers stand accused of burning down a nearby Papa John’s pizzeria in Lake City, Florida. Bryan Sullivan, 22, who was arrested with co-worker Sean Davidson, 23, on arson charges, admitted starting the fire, saying he had hoped for an increase in orders if Papa John’s was put out of business, police said.