The News Matrix: Wednesday 17 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Scandal of patients in botched surgery

Operations are having to be repeated on patients because many NHS surgeons fail to carry out their first attempts successfully. Thousands of patients face the ordeal of returning to hospital for a second op because as many as half of operations by some surgeons end in failure. MORE

Man held over girl’s fake bomb ordeal

Australian businessman Paul Peters faces extradition following his arrest in the US state of Kentucky, accused of breaking into a home in Sydney and chaining a fake bomb to a girl’s neck. The motive behind the 10-hour ordeal suffered by Madeleine Pulver, 18, remains unclear. MORE

No action on banks in arms industry

Arms industry investments will not be regulated by the Government, sources have told i. Despite our revelations yesterday that several high street banks invest in firms that make cluster bombs, official sources said they did not intend to change investment rules. MORE

Fat cats must pay fair share, says Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg insisted yesterday that top earners must still pay their fair share if the 50p tax rate is to be scrapped. His comments follow Chancellor George Osborne’s claim that the top tax rate undermines the ability of British business to compete internationally.

Failed marriage link of murdered mums

Two mothers, killed with their children on Jersey, were brought together by the collapse of their marriages, it has been claimed. Izabela Rzeszowska, 30, and friend Martha De La Haye, 34, died after Mrs Rzeszowska’s husband, Damian, allegedly launched a knife attack on Sunday.

UN envoy arrives for talks on Libya

The UN’s special envoy to Libya arrived in Tunis yesterday to step up pressure for what Tunisian officials called a “peaceful transition” from Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year rule. The move comes as the rebels close in on the capital Tripoli, prompting Leon Panetta, the US Defence Secretary, to optimistically declare: “Gaddafi’s days are numbered.”

Military assault leaves 35 dead

Gunfire erupted across the besieged city of Latakia as the death toll rose to 35 from a military assault now in its fourth day. President Bashar al- Assad has escalated the crackdown, launching operations in Latakia, the opposition stronghold of Hama, Homs and Deir el-Zour. MORE

Arrest of Hazare sparks protests

The Indian government sparked angry protests across the country yesterday by detaining anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare before he was to begin a public hunger strike.

Body found after sinking of tugboat

A man’s body has been recovered following the sinking of a tugboat in the Thames. It was found near Convoy’s Wharf, Deptford, south London. Two crew members were rescued after the tug sank off Greenwich Pier on Friday morning but a 40-year-old crewman was reported missing.

More smokers try to quit. . . but more fail

The number of people trying to quit smoking has trebled in the past decade but success rates have fallen, the latest NHS figures show. People are counted as successful quitters if they are still not smoking four weeks after their quit date.

Pesticide blamed for deaths of tourists

Thai authorities have concluded that six tourists, including two Britons, and a guide who died in Chiang Mai were exposed to pesticides. but could not identify the chemicals involved. Victims’ families are frustrated by the lack of information. MORE

Snap, crackle, drop for the big cereals

Britain is falling out of love with cereal, sales figures for the last year have shown. Eight in 10 of the big brands have seen a drop in sales numbers. i has found more people are picking up healthier morning snacks or opting for less expensive supermarket own brands.

Conservationist sues baby food company

An organisation founded by Britain’s primate expert Jane Goodall is suing an organic baby food company, claiming it failed to pay up after she agreed to market a product called Janey Baby. The New York Post reports that Goodall’s institute claims Sprout Food owes it $720,000.

Stolen Rembrandt found at a church

Authorities have recovered a Rembrandt sketch, snatched over the weekend from a private art display at a hotel. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the $250,000 17th century sketch was found at a church, but refused to reveal any further details.

Students get chance to study in China

Days before students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive A-Level results, Nottingham University has said it will offer scholarships to study on its campuses in Malaysia and China. The 10 chosen students will get an accommodation bursary of £4,800 and living expenses.

Nun ends 84-year vigil to meet Pope

Sister Teresita, a 103-year-old nun who has spent 84 years in her Spanish convent, is to leave the holy confines for the first time since she was 19 to meet the Pope on his visit to the country later this week.

Cry for help of a boy in school holidays

An 11-year-old German boy fed up with being asked to do chores in the school holidays called the police and complained that he was the victim of child labour. His mother explained to nonplussed police that her son had simply been asked to pick some paper up from the floor.

Children quids in as pocket money rises

The country may be struggling economically but piggy banks in the UK are in better shape than ever before. Figures from Halifax reveal that the average pocket money is £6.25 a week, 6 per cent up on last year’s average of £5.89. It ends a seven-year decline in pocket money in the UK.

BBC sells ‘Radio Times’ to Exponent

The BBC has sold the Radio Times to a private equity fund. Exponent has bought the 88-year-old TV listings guide alongside 10 other titles from the corporation. The deal will see BBC Worldwide retain ownership of other titles such as Top Gear, Good Food and Lonely Planet.

Forces have their royal titles restored

The Canadian navy and air force are to have their royal titles reinstated more than 40 years after they were abolished. They will be known as the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force as the government seeks to promote a more conservative national identity.