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The News Matrix: Thursday 30 January 2014

NHS deaths outliers shown in report

Six NHS trusts have “persistently” high death rates with patients dying in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, new data has revealed. A further 12 trusts are also considered “outliers” for their low death rates, the Health and Social Care Information Centre report showed. MORE

Plans to hold peace talks with Taliban

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed yesterday that his government will pursue peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, naming a four-member committee to facilitate negotiations. Mr Sharif has long supported talks as the best way to end the years of fighting in the country. MORE

New therapy could crack a tough nut

People with peanut allergies could be spared potentially fatal allergic reactions thanks to a new therapy. Giving sufferers tiny amounts of peanut in steadily increasing doses can vastly improve the body’s tolerance, medical researchers in Cambridge have found. MORE

Father took wheel before boat deaths

A SKY TV executive and his eight-year-old daughter were killed by their out-of-control speedboat after he took the steering from his wife. Nick Milligan, 51, and his daughter Emily died in the incident at Padstow, Cornwall, last May. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch found his wife, Victoria, at the helm of the boat but she was not attached to the boat’s kill cord. MORE

Merkel: ‘Spying makes us less safe’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that countries who spy on their allies risk destroying trust, resulting in less security. Merkel used her first parliamentary speech after her re-election to slam the US and Britain over their spy programmes. 

Hacking: Coulson ‘knew what went on’

Phone hacking was an “open secret” at the News of the World, and former editor Andy Coulson knew “exactly what went on”, a former reporter told the Old Bailey yesterday. MORE

Iceland ‘bin theft’ charges dropped

Charges have been dropped against three men accused of stealing waste food from bins behind a branch of Iceland. The frozen food firm said staff had not alerted police and asked prosecutors why action was being taken. The case highlighted the practice of “skipping”, where people take items from bins to minimise waste. MORE

Government bans smoking in schools

China has banned smoking in schools, the latest step in a government drive to kick the country’s pervasive tobacco habit. Despite years of campaigning, China is the world’s largest consumer of cigarettes. But with a huge public health burden looming, China has intensified efforts to stamp it out.

Von Trier film hit with censor’s ban

The Romanian cinema board has declared Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac II unfit for public viewing, a decision the distributor says is unique in Europe. The movie was due to be released 7 February but the National Centre of Cinematography yesterday said the film was banned to the general public.

Today’s forecast: iron rain and 1,000C heat

A “weather map” for a failed star where it rains molten iron has been produced. Scientists have found that the brown dwarf Luhman 16B – 6.5 light years away in the constellation Vela – is surrounded by a blanket of patchy cloud made up of droplets of liquid iron and other minerals, with temperatures exceeding 1,000C.

Britons baffled by confusing airports

Orlando, Malaga and Faro are the most confusing foreign airports for British people to navigate, according to research. Holidaymakers have been left baffled by bad signage at the US, Spanish and Portuguese holiday destinations, which came top of a nationwide survey commissioned by Holiday Autos.

Trump may run for New York governor

He’s been a real estate mogul and a reality TV star. Now Donald Trump is toying with the idea of challenging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Trump, who says the state’s high taxes and gun-control laws make the Democrat vulnerable, has met Republican leaders and pledged millions of dollars on a potential campaign.

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Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone