The News Matrix: Wednesday 17 October 2012


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The Independent Online

Disabled 'will suffer under new system'

Up to half a million disabled people and their families could be worse off under the new system of Universal Credit (UC) once fully implemented, according to a report. An inquiry headed by former wheelchair athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has said several "key" groups will lose out under UC, which will start to replace much of the benefits and tax credits system from next year. MORE

Some hospital meals cheaper than prison

Some hospital patients have less money spent on their meals than prisoners, according to new figures. Last year, Newham University Hospital NHS Trust spent just £2.19 on breakfast, lunch and dinner for each in-patient, while the average cost to feed prisoners each day is £2.20. MORE

Art worth £250m stolen from museum

Paintings by artists including Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin and Freud have been stolen from a museum in Rotterdam. Police in the Netherlands said the works, worth an estimated £250m, were taken from the Kunsthal Museum early on Tuesday morning.

Great British Bake Off winner crowned

John Whaite, a law student from Manchester, was the unexpected victor in yesterday's Great British Bake Off finale. The 23-year-old, who was awarded first-class honours despite taking exams during the cookery competition, beat rivals Brendan Lynch and James Morton.

Far-right Euro MP quits the BNP

One of the two British National Party Euro-MPs has quit the far-right party. Andrew Brons was elected alongside the BNP's leader, Nick Griffin, in the European Parliament elections of 2009. Mr Brons said: "I have been expelled in all but name."

Clintons come to Obama's aid

Hours before last night's second presidential debate, the Clintons attempted to shore up Barack Obama's position, with Hillary taking the fall for events in Libya that led to the death of the US ambassador, and Bill slamming Mitt Romney's tax plan. MORE

Expectant moment for seaside town

Damien Hirst's 20m bronze statue, Verity – a naked, pregnant woman wielding a sword – has been erected on the Ilfracombe seafront in Devon. Locals have called it a "monstrosity" and "an affront to public decency".

Police force fined for memory stick loss

A police force has been fined £120,000 following the theft of a memory stick containing names of members of the public who gave statements in drug probes. The unencrypted device with no password protection was stolen from a Greater Manchester Police officer's home.

'Impudent' Karadzic begins his defence

Former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic launched his defence at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague yesterday with a display of the impudence that served him so well during the siege of Sarajevo. He is accused of war crimes. MORE

Goldman Sachs ex-intern's book out

The former Goldman Sachs employee who wrote a scathing article about his time at the company will release his book, Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, next week. Greg Smith describes his time as an intern at the firm as "innately demeaning". MORE

Anger at Orthodox army recruits plan

The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has announced plans to draft thousands of Ultra-Orthodox students into the army – a move that could set him at loggerheads with the religious parties in the run-up to a general election in January. MORE

Downton gay kiss edit upsets viewers

The country's state television service has been criticised for editing out a gay kiss on Monday's primetime premiere of the popular British period drama Downton Abbey. Greeks took to social networking sites such as Twitter to complain about the NET channel's decision to axe the scene.

Number of girls going to school rises

Afghanistan has achieved a level of success in its efforts to educate girls, according to a new global education report released yesterday by Unesco. In 1999, under Taliban rule, fewer than 4 per cent of girls were enrolled in school, but by 2010 female enrolment was 79 per cent, it said.

Inspectors seize meths-laced drinks

Food inspectors have seized 7,600 bottles of poisonous drinks that could have killed thousands of people. Spirits laced with toxic methylated spirits have killed at least 28 people and blinded several others over the past six weeks in the country's biggest health scare in decades

Beyoncé lands Super Bowl gig

Beyoncé has landed the prestigious half-time show at the Super Bowl next year, reports have claimed. She will take the stage at the Superdome in New Orleans in February. Madonna's halftime performance at this year's NFL championship game was seen by 114 million people.

Medvedev calls for ban on tobacco ads

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for a ban on all tobacco adverts as the government prepares to phase out smoking in public. The government will consider a bill this month that would ban all tobacco adverts and gradually ban smoking in all public places by 2015.

Depression strikes thousands more

Recession is being followed by depression according to researchers who say the number of patients seeking treatment has leapt by up to half in the last three years. Almost 500,000 extra people were registered with depression in 2010-11, bringing the total to 4.8 million.

Nuclear missile sites given listed status

Two nuclear missile sites readied for use during the Cold War have been given listed status to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The former RAF bases in Rutland and Northamptonshire are the most intact examples of Thor missile sites in England.