The News Matrix: Saturday 16 February 2013


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The Independent Online

DfE staff 'subjected to intimidation'

Workers at the Department for Education are allegedly subject to a culture of bullying and intimidation, internal documents claim. A staff member with 27-years of experience brought a grievance appeal against two senior advisors but no action was taken. MORE

Hunt condemns 'self-preservation' in NHS

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has condemned a culture of "institutional self-preservation" in the NHS after a hospital trust's "first reaction" when whistleblower, former chief executive Gary Walker, broke a gagging order to raise concerns about patient safety was to "get their lawyers".

We're open for business – Cameron

David Cameron will tell Indian industries that Britain is "open for business" on a three-day visit to Mumbai and Delhi next week. Officials said the two nations are on course to double bilateral trade by 2015, but business leaders in India claim they still face difficulties getting UK visas. MORE

Chicago has new Public Enemy No 1

Chicago authorities have designated Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, head of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, as Public Enemy Number One – the first time the city has handed out the title since Al Capone earned it after the infamous St Valentine's Day Massacre 84 years ago. MORE

Witness recounts Philpott phone call

Mick Philpott, accused of killing six of his children in a house fire, was overheard on the phone saying someone being interviewed by police was going to "drop us in it". Claire Tyler told Nottingham Crown Court she "heard him say he has not got the story right". He denies the charges.

Hundreds injured in meteor blast

A meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia yesterday, raining fireballs over a wide area and causing a shock wave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured over 1,100 people. Workers in Chelyabinsk said they heard an explosion then saw a bright light. MORE

Controversy greets Pope's new banker

The Vatican has been drawn into a new controversy after acknowledging that its bank's new president is also the chairman of a shipbuilder that makes warships. Ernst von Freyberg was named yesterday in one of Pope Benedict XVI's last major appointments as Pope.

Cairngorm avalanche victim is named

One of the three people killed in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands was named yesterday as RAF Squadron Leader Rimon Than, 33. The avalanche in the Cairngorm mountains on Thursday struck as two groups of six climbers made their way up opposite sides of a gorge.

New sanctions from EU over nuclear test

The European Union will tighten sanctions on North Korea to curb trade in gold and diamonds and crack down on financial links in protest at Pyongyang's recent rocket launch and nuclear bomb test, EU diplomats said yesterday. They have agreed on a new list of sanctions.

Gay soccer star quits 'to discover myself'

A US international soccer star who played for Leeds United has announced that he is gay and quitting football. Robbie Rogers, 25, from California, disclosed his sexuality in a blog post. "Now is my time to step away. It's time to discover myself away from football," he wrote.

Baywatch star duped into fronting scam ad

Police have arrested 14 people for allegedly pulling off a stock scam that conned 20,000 investors out of $30m by fraudulently pumping up share prices with marketing campaigns, including one fronted by former Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson. She is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

Stricken cruise ship finally reaches port

More than 4,200 people trapped for several days aboard cruise ship, Triumph, were jubilant as they reached a US port yesterday. They complained of blocked toilets, food shortages and sleeping on decks. The liner was left drifting in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine-room fire. MORE

Critics fail to laugh at Dame Judi's jokes

Critics have slated a new film starring Danny Dyer and Dame Judi Dench. Our own critic, Anthony Quinn, said of Run for Your Wife: "Perhaps never in the field of light entertainment have so many actors sacrificed so much dignity in the cause of so few jokes." MORE

Burglar scared off by giant rabbit

A burglar fled a home in Plymouth after being scared off by the family's giant pet rabbit. Kimberley May said she was asleep when the intruder broke in, but the noise he made robbing the cupboards woke up Toby, their 4.5kg British Giant bunny. Toby's thumping drove the thief away.

Pistachio in export ban to control price

Iran has ordered a six-month ban on pistachio exports to try to control the price of the nut, which doubled in the past month. Pistachios are among Iran's top non-oil exports and widely consumed at home, bringing in an average of £1bn a year and providing work for thousands of people.