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The News Matrix: Saturday 8 February 2014

GPs: patients at risk from cash squeeze

Patient care is being compromised by a “chronic lack of investment” in GPs, leading doctors have warned. GP funding in England is at its lowest ever, the Royal College of General Practitioners said, at 8.5 per cent of the NHS budget compared with 10.95 per cent eight years ago.

Vice-President may run for White House

US Vice-President Joe Biden says he sees “no obvious reason” not to run for president in 2016. In an interview yesterday on CNN, Biden said he would make a decision by the summer of 2015. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is widely seen as the Democratic front-runner.

Policing fracking protest will cost £1m

Policing a two-month anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss in Salford will cost £1m, according to Greater Manchester Police. The figure emerged amid accusations by campaigners of police violence and the use of disproportionate levels  of force. MORE

Evacuation begins of civilians from Homs

Evacuation has begun of an initial 200 women, children and the elderly from the besieged Old City of Homs under a UN-brokered agreement by which civilians leave and aid enters the rebel-held enclave. The implementation of the deal is taking place during a three-day ceasefire. MORE

Growth in borrowing highlights recovery

Credit card borrowing is growing more strongly than at any other time in the past five years as the economy picks up, the British Bankers’ Association has reported. Annual growth in borrowing has reached 4.7 per cent and 40 per cent of the total borrowing is not incurring interest.

Ski resort death investigated

The death of a 22-year-old from Wales after a night out in Borovets is being investigated by police following reports eight other British nationals were taken to hospital following a night out in the same ski resort. Nina Holmes collapsed outside BJ’s bar on Sunday. MORE

Princess Cristina to appear in court

Princess Cristina, daughter of King Juan Carlos of Spain, will today be the first member of the royal family to appear in court in a fraud and money-laundering case that has brought scandal to the embattled monarchy. She was formally named as a suspect in January. MORE

Derby’s Al-Madinah free school to close

The troubled Al-Madinah free school in Derby is to close in September. Schools minister Lord Nash, responsible for free schools and academies, announced that the closure of the secondary school was due to the poor quality of teaching. It is the second free school to close. MORE

Balls blames Tories for all-male MPC

The absence of female economists on the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee is a symptom of a Conservative “problem with women”, shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said. He said it was “astonishing”, and promised to redress the balance if Labour takes power in 2015.

Ecclestone bribery trial starts in April

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s trial will begin on 24 April. The Munich regional court said it will run until 16 September. The 83-year-old is charged with bribery and incitement to breach of trust connected with a £27m payment to a German banker. He denies the charges.

Cameron to chair poaching summit

Wildlife crime has grown into such a serious issue that it is now a part of the global struggle against organised crime and terrorism, which it fuels, and mounting concern over industrial poaching has prompted an international summit in London next week, chaired by David Cameron.

President moots new name for his country

The president of Kazakhstan has reportedly suggested changing the country’s name, saying the “stan” puts off tourists and investors. President Nursultan Nazarbayev floated Kazak Eli – or Kazakh Nation – as a possible alternative, the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency said.

Gas explosion dog  back from the dead

A pet dog feared to have been killed in a house gas explosion two days ago has been found alive by a Labrador rescue dog. Four-year-old collie Cayyad was discovered in rubble at the site in Clacton, Essex, by the fire investigation dog which was alerted to a “whimpering noise”.

Bacon artwork worth £30m goes on show

A Francis Bacon artwork expected to fetch more than £30m and a Damien Hirst depiction of Mickey Mouse went on show yesterday ahead of their sale at Christie’s next week. Bacon’s 6ft canvas features his former lover George Dyer, who died two days before the work was displayed in 1971.

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