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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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

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Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee