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The News Matrix: Wednesday 17 July 2013


Nuggets the norm for fast-food kids’ menus

Most of Britain’s major restaurants and fast-food chains are failing to provide basic standards of food for children, research published today reveals.  A survey of 21 of the nation’s most popular eating chains found that meals aimed at children are still dominated by unhealthy options such as chicken nuggets, burgers and sausages – with very few fruit or vegetables on offer.

More GM animals used in lab testing

The number of genetically modified animals used in scientific research in Britain has exceeded the number of ordinary laboratory animals for the first time. Official statistics show a 9 per cent increase in the use of experimental animals last year – to about four million animals.  MORE

Best and worst of times for BBC boss

Tony Hall, the new Director-General of the BBC, has expressed his regret at the BBC’s “chaotic handling” of the Jimmy Savile scandal and cited “unforgivably poor journalism” by BBC2’s Newsnight. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he said, quoting Dickens. MORE

Sikhs ‘tried to slash Indian general’

Four Sikh separatists tried to slash the throat of a retired Indian general on a London street, a court heard. Two of the men and a female co-defendant appeared in court accused of attacking Lt-Gen Kuldip Brar, whom they believed responsible for atrocities allegedly committed in 1984.

Police searching for missing ‘Bond’ actor

Detectives are searching for Paul Bhattacharjee, a respected actor, who left rehearsals for a play last week and has not been heard from since. Mr Bhattacharjee, who appeared in the Bond film Casino Royale, had been rehearsing at London’s Royal Court Theatre for Talk Show.

Snowdon ‘should be tried for espionage’

The former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has applied for temporary asylum in Russia, should be returned to the US to face espionage charges, the White House has said last night. “He is not a dissident. He is accused of leaking classified information,” a spokesman said.

Minister’s struggle  after maternity leave

Yvette Cooper, shadow Home Secretary and wife of Ed Balls, spoke yesterday of being “cut off” by the Whitehall machine when she took maternity leave for the second time as a minister. Ms Cooper said she had to “fight” to be kept up to speed with developments.

Printers begged for copies of JK Rowling

Booksellers have implored Little, Brown, publisher of The Cuckoo’s Calling, to reprint as quickly as possible, as many ran out of copies after JK Rowling was revealed to be the author. The printers are “working around the clock” to get copies into the shops by the end of the week.

Sharpton calls for ‘day of action’

The Rev Al Sharpton, the veteran civil rights leader, has called for a “Justice for Trayvon National Day of Action” on Saturday and said protests are planned in more than 100 cities across America. Demonstrations continued against the acquittal of George Zimmerman. MORE

Army chief takes over as Deputy PM

A new interim government was sworn in yesterday, with the army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the ousting of Mohamed Morsi, becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister. 

Protests dent leader’s popularity

A new poll shows the President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity has plummeted after massive protests swept the country last month. The poll shows Ms Rousseff’s approval rating dropped from 73.7 per cent in June to 49.3 per cent in July.

Like a boar in a  china shop...

A wild boar went on a rampage in central Prague on Sunday,  terrorising pedestrians and  smashing a window at a five-star hotel, police said yesterday. Police chased the boar through four  districts of the capital before it was sedated, after it attempted to attack a mother pushing a pram.

Museum shut down over fake exhibits

Authorities have closed a museum in northern China after it emerged that most of its exhibits were fakes. They included a vase decorated with cartoon characters billed as a Qing dynasty artefact, state-run media reported. The museum was built at a cost of £57m and opened in 2010. MORE

‘Star Trek’ watch arrives right on time

Microsoft employees are testing a smart watch made from aluminium oxynitride – known as “transparent aluminium” that is three times harder than glass. The material  is so futuristic that its first public mention was in Star Trek.

Man arrested over 56 skulls at his home

A 47-year-old man is to be charged with disturbing the peace of the dead after police found 56 skulls and 55 other bones at a museum he had created in his home. Police in the province of Burgenland said the relics were taken without authorisation from a church cemetery and had now been returned.

Bono ‘unspeakably’ honoured by award

Rock singer and campaigner Bono was yesterday awarded France’s highest honour,  the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in a ceremony at the Ministry of Culture and Communication in Paris. “Being an Irish Francophile, a student of many great French artists and writers... it is unspeakably special,” said the U2 frontman.