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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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The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star