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The News Matrix: Saturday 14 June 2014

Air force’s own nukes hit Carolina

Dumb luck saved the US from a nightmare scenario in January 1961 when a B-52 carrying two nuclear bombs dropped the weapons on farmland near Goldsboro, North Carolina. Documents just declassified leave little doubt how close the US came to catastrophe.

250,000 more are waiting for surgery

NHS trusts will be able to apply for a share of a £250m fund, made available by the Department of Health to cut back waiting time for elective surgery. An additional 250,000 patients are waiting for pre-planned surgery, with health officials blaming the ageing population.

Israeli teenagers go missing hitching

Concern was mounting yesterday for the lives of three Israeli teenagers who according to news reports were last seen on Thursday night at a hitchhiking station near a settlement in the West Bank and are thought by authorities to have been kidnapped. Troops conducted sweeps in Palestinian villages and towns.

Japan catches 30 whales despite ban

Japan has caught 30 whales off its northern coast in its first hunt since an international court ordered the halt of its annual expedition in the Antarctic. The Fisheries Agency said a fleet killed 30 minke whales as part of Japan’s north-western Pacific research hunt.

YouTube asked to remove assault video

Authorities in Egypt have asked YouTube to remove the video of a woman being sexually assaulted during a rally in Cairo supporting the newly elected President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. A spokesman for Mr Sisi said the request was made by the Egyptian embassy in Washington.

Junta lifts curfew across country

The military government  announced it has lifted a  nationwide curfew it imposed after seizing power last month, saying there is no threat of violence. The junta said a return to elected civilian rule cannot be expected for at least 15 months.

Venice mayor quits in corruption scandal

The mayor of Venice resigned yesterday over an alleged corruption scandal linked to the construction of the city’s flood barrier. Giorgio Orsoni was arrested last week accused of receiving £447,000 in illicit political financing from the consortium responsible for the barrier.

Alan Bennett says  pursuit of profit bad

Playwright Alan Bennett has used his sermon at Cambridge University to condemn the pursuit of profit in public services such as prisons and the NHS, comparing those in favour or privatisation to 17th-century “devout louts”. He said privatisation was driven by “ideologues”.

Bowe Bergdahl  back in the US

Bowe Bergdahl, the US Army sergeant who had been recovering in Germany after five years as a Taliban captive, returned to the US yesterday to continue his medical treatment. Sergeant Bergdahl flew to Brooke Army Medical Centre in Texas.

Carers suffering from lack of respite

Four in 10 non-professional carers have not taken a day off in the past year. The charity Vitalise found that 46 per cent of the 455 carers surveyed said there was no one to look after their loved ones, and it warned that carers could suffer from emotional and physical strain.

Suicide outbreak to avoid cremation

Some elderly Chinese have allegedly committed suicide so they could be laid to rest before a new ban on traditional burials was introduced. The new rules, brought in at the start of the month because of a lack of space in cemeteries, mean families have to cremate their loved ones.

Miliband apologises over ‘Sun’ photo

Labour leader Ed Miliband has issued an apology after posing for a photo with a World Cup edition of The Sun. Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram said such support of the publication was “deeply shocking” in light of its Hillsborough coverage at the time of the disaster.

Tributes paid to man killed at festival

The family of a festival-goer who died in a row over an inflatable doll have said he was “simply awesome”. Robert Hart, 26, was punched to the ground at the Parklife music event in Manchester on Saturday night, after an altercation triggered by an inflatable doll striking his girlfriend.

Ninety inmates on run from open jail

Nearly 90 prisoners have been on the run from open prison HMP Ford in West Sussex, some of whom have been missing for years. Sussex Police’s appeal to trace murderer Robert Donovan was only made four years after he walked out, it was revealed this week; 89 prisoners are unaccounted for.

Father loses 13-year fight to see daughter

A 63-year-old man has lost a family court fight for the right to see his daughter, 14, despite winning the sympathy of a High Court judge. The judge refused to order the teenager to have “direct contact” with her father. His decision drew a line under a 13-year legal dispute.

Bid to slow spread  of ‘cannabis clubs’

A clampdown on so-called “cannabis clubs” has been launched in Barcelona in a bid to halt their proliferation throughout the city. No new clubs can open for 12 months, also allowing tighter regulation of the 160 currently operating. The venues have fuelled a boom in drug tourism.

Entrepreneurs set up in gin business

A surge in popularity of juniper-based spirits has resulted in a rise in the number of UK micro-distilleries. And many more young entrepreneurs showed interest in entering the gin business at this week’s “Ginposium” in London as they sought advice from up-and-running distilleries.

Astronauts to grow fruit and veg

Astronauts could be growing fruit and veg in space, with German scientists developing greenhouses for a potential Mars colony. Scientists, who say growing produce in space may boost astronauts’ morale, have already grown dozens of lettuces in a sterilized laboratory.

Last Python reunion show to screen live

The final reunion show in the Monty Python Live (Mostly) run at London’s O2 Arena will be screened live on comedy channel Gold on 20 July. “We are very excited that not only do we get the chance to screw up on stage, we get a chance to screw up live on TV too,” said Eric Idle.

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