The News Matrix: Saturday 5 January 2013


Zero Dark Thirty film-makers 'misled'

Top US politicians have accused the CIA of misleading the makers of the Osama bin Laden raid film Zero Dark Thirty by allegedly telling them that harsh interrogation methods helped track down the terrorist mastermind. A Senate investigation showed that such methods produced no useful intelligence.

Nine million hospital meals thrown out

The NHS binned more than nine million uneaten hospital meals in 2011-12, according to a new survey. Analysis by data specialists SSentif shows that the wasted food cost taxpayers £27m, with the worst Trusts reporting more than a quarter of meals returned untouched.

Helium shortage thwarts research

Brain scientists have been forced to shut down research projects due to a global helium shortage. The problem is being blamed on the US government, which in 1996 decided to sell off its reserves of helium (used to cool brain scanners) at rock-bottom prices to balloon companies. MORE

Campbell mugged by motorcyclists

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was mugged by two people who tried to steal her handbag in Paris in late November. Campbell lodged a complaint with police after being attacked by two men on motorbikes in the capital's trendy Marais neighbourhood.

Hotel evacuated in 'chemical incident'

Guests at the Sandbanks Hotel in Poole were evacuated yesterday after a "chemical incident". Four people were treated by paramedics at the four-star hotel with another taken to hospital. Firefighters dealt with the incident, which involved chlorine gas and liquid.

Treasury Secretary to step down

The US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is planning to leave near the end of January, putting the White House in a tricky situation by depriving President Barack Obama of his longest-serving economic adviser for its next fiscal showdown with Congress. MORE

Congress prepares aid for Sandy victims

The first large aid package for victims of the deadly Superstorm Sandy started moving through the US Congress yesterday, as the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved $9.7bn to pay flood insurance claims. The storm left 120 dead and thousands homeless.

Listen With Mother 'voice' dies aged 93

Daphne Oxenford, the voice of Listen With Mother, BBC Radio's classic medley of children's stories, songs and nursery rhymes, has died aged 93. Her opening line, "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin", was eventually included in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Man missing since New Year's Eve

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a retired vicar after his car was found abandoned near a remote clifftop in Cornwall. Barry Kinsmen, 72, from Padstow, failed to turn up for lunch on New Year's Eve and has not been seen by family and friends since.

Seven children killed in refuge fire

A fire at a shelter for orphans and abandoned children has killed at least seven of them. The fire broke out yesterday at a shelter run from the home of a woman called Yuan Lihai, in Henan province. The woman was a street vendor for years before sheltering abandoned children.

Al-Qa'ida leader's brother captured

The brother of the leader of al-Qa'ida has been captured in Syria, deepening speculation that the opposition is being overshadowed by militants. But rebels have insisted that Mohamed al-Zawahiri, whose brother took over from Osama bin Laden, was on a humanitarian mission. MORE

Hundreds of pubs face closure

Hundreds of pubs will be forced to close every year if urgent action is not taken to ease financial pressures on landlords, ministers will hear next week. Labour is calling on the Government to act quickly to regulate the large firms that dictate prices to leasehold landlords. MORE

Coalition heading for 'perfect storm'

Coalition tensions could create a "perfect storm" in Whitehall that will blow the Government off course, according to the Institute for Government. The influential think-tank said the civil service will have to defuse tensions between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Toothbrush put security on high alert

The tick-tick-ticking sound of a bag alarmed employees at the world's busiest airport, Atlanta, but it turned out to be nothing more than a passenger's battery-powered toothbrush.

Californian trio are ones to watch

A trio of Californian sisters, whose music has echoes of Fleetwood Mac, have been placed top of the BBC's Sound of 2013 new music list. Haim's sound is a blend of rock and hip-hop that pays homage to the guitar-led music of the 1970s and synth-pop of the 1980s. MORE

Britons begin search for buried Spitfires

A team of British archaeologists are flying to Burma to unearth a cache of British fighter planes thought to be carefully buried beneath Rangoon's airfield. The excavators hope to uncover dozens of Spitfire aircraft that have been underground for more than 60 years. MORE

Bardot threatens to leave over elephants

The actress Brigitte Bardot is threatening to join Gérard Depardieu in Russian exile, but her cause is not tax: instead, she wants France to halt the scheduled euthanasia of two sick circus elephants. The 1960s screen diva says authorities have ignored her "numerous proposals".

Oscars will pay tribute to 007

This year's Oscars show will feature a celebration of James Bond, paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of the series. The award nominations are announced on Thursday.