The News Matrix: Monday 7 March 2011

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The Independent Online

At least 50 hospitals at risk from cuts

The future of at least 50 hospitals is under threat from the unprecedented squeeze on NHS finances, and there is growing alarm among senior managers of NHS trusts about cuts to services as the hospitals struggle to balance their books, according to the King’s Fund. MORE

Chirac’s embezzling trial begins in Paris

A Paris court is to hear evidence that the career of the former president Jacques Chirac was illegally subsidised by Paris taxpayers. Only two former heads of state have ever been placed on trial in the country. MORE

Minister re-ignites immigration debate

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s newly-appointed Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has said Islam “does not belong” in Germany, a country with a resident population of four million Muslims. MORE

Job centre staff to vote over conditions

Jobcentre Plus staff are to vote today on whether they should strike over “intolerable” working conditions. The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is balloting up to 7,000 members at offices across the country.

Scientists pinpoint heart disease genes

Scientists have found the largest number of genes – 13 specific mutations – associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, in a study that paves the way for genetic tests that will identify people most at risk of heart attacks and strokes. MORE

Motion writes tribute to Larkin

The former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion has written a poem in memory of Philip Larkin, who died of cancer in 1985. Motion has written the poem, entitled Legacy, inspired by photographs taken by Larkin. MORE

Kosovo and Serbia to start talks tomorrow

Kosovo will tomorrow hold its first face-to-face talks with Serbia since declaring independence three years ago, after insurgency and ethnic cleansing left 10,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. Serbia has said it will never recognise Kosovo’s independence. MORE

Lung-cancer rates rise among women

A soaring rate of lung cancer – among women aged 60 and older between 1975 and 2008 – has been blamed on smoking. The figure jumps from about 5,700 to more than 15,100 women diagnosed with the disease. For those over 80 it leapt from 800 in 1975 to 4,700 in 2008.

Charities warn of ‘impending doom’

The world should prepare for up to five major disasters hitting big cities over the next 10 years, a group of UK aid agencies says. The Disasters and Emergencies Committee, which is made up of 13 leading humanitarian charities, said the worst-feared catastrophes were earthquakes in the cities of Tehran, Istanbul and Kathmandu. MORE

Costliest Picasso goes on display

The most expensive Picasso painting ever goes on show in the UK for the first time today. Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932) will be exhibited at London’s Tate Modern. It was bought for $106m (£70m) in May 2010. MORE

Man uses software to replace voice

A man suffering with motor neurone disease is preparing himself to read for his son even after he loses his power of speech. Laurence Brewer, 43, from Bolton, has used software called ModelTalker to start to “bank” 1,600 phrases and sentences to enable him to continue to read to 13-month-old Stan.

School is a ‘role model’ for teachers

A school in an ethnically homogeneous corner of Cornwall has emerged as a surprise role model for educators teaching pupils about tolerance. Gwinear Primary School, near Redruth, has won an award for its inspiring programme that encourages understanding. MORE

Che’s motorcycle companion dies

Cuba is mourning Alberto Granado, who accompanied Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara on an epic 8,000-mile journey across South America that was to awaken their political consciences and alter the geopolitics of a hemisphere. Mr Granado died in Havana at the weekend, aged 88. MORE

McQueen director not designing dress

The Alexander McQueen label has been forced to offer a denial after newspaper reports that its creative director Sarah Burton was asked to design Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. Ms Burton worked with McQueen for 14 years before his suicide in February of last year. MORE

Football film plays to packed houses

A movie about a famous victory by a team of barefoot Indians over English soldiers in a football match 100 years ago has been playing to packed houses in India. The filmmakers hope it will spark a growing interest in the sport throughout the cricket-mad nation.

Adele continues her chart-topping run

Adele’s domination of the charts continued last week as she held on to the No 1 spot on both the singles and album charts. Her single “Someone Like You” has now been No 1 for three weeks and her album 21 has topped the album charts for six weeks.