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The News Matrix: Wednesday 4 July 2012

NHS may charge within 10 years

The NHS could start charging for some services and treatments within 10 years, research suggests, in a warning of the effects of austerity measures. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said radical changes were needed to keep up with the demand from Britain's ageing population. MORE

Constable painting sells for over £22m

John Constable's The Lock has become one of the most expensive British paintings ever sold, fetching £22.4m at auction at Christie's. The full price of £22,441,250 for the 1824 masterpiece depicting Suffolk rural life places it joint fourth on the list of most-expensive Old Masters. MORE

UK starting salaries for graduates to rise

The starting salaries of graduates are to rise by 6 per cent to an average of £26,500, while the jobs market is starting to stabilise, research has predicted. A study of 215 employers across the country found that three years of graduate salaries standing still are coming to an end. MORE

Sarkozy is probed over L'Oreal heiress

French investigators have searched former President Nicolas Sarkozy's home and office in a probe into suspected illegal financing of his 2007 presidential campaign. The probe centres on the finances of France's richest woman, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. MORE

Female F1 driver is hurt in freak crash

A Spanish F1 driver was left with "life-threatening" head injuries after a crash at Duxford airfield, near Cambridge, yesterday. Maria de Villota, a test driver for Marussia, collided with a lorry during a test run. MORE

Officer says he was wrong to hit vendor

A police officer accused of killing a newspaper vendor told a court yesterday he was wrong to hit the man with a baton and shove him to the ground during protests in London. PC Simon Harwood, 45, accepted he had "gone over the top" in striking Ian Tomlinson but said he mistakenly believed the 47-year-old was walking towards police lines when he hit him.

Assad aims to avoid conflict with Turkey

President Bashar al-Assad said he regrets the shooting down of a Turkish jet by his forces and that he will not allow tensions between the two neighbours to deteriorate into an "armed conflict", a Turkish newspaper reported yesterday. MORE

Protesters win fight to halt copper plant

A city in Sichuan province has scrapped plans for a copper plant after thousands protested over possible health risks. Authorities in Shifang had warned that protesters faced severe punishment. MORE

Unearthed, an early map of America

Researchers at a Munich library have found a rare early-16th century map of America by the cartographer, Martin Waldseemueller, who named the continent. It was hidden in another book. MORE

Couple halfway to Disney trip milestone

A couple from California has passed the halfway mark in a quest to visit Disneyland every day this year. Tonya Mickesh and Jeff Reitz hold annual passes. Both of them were out of work when they decided that instead of moping at home, they would cheer themselves up with the challenge of going to Disneyland every day.

Ian Brady in hospital following a seizure

Moors Murderer Ian Brady was in hospital last night after being taken acutely ill – reportedly following a seizure – at Ashworth high security psychiatric unit, where he has been held since 1985. Next week Brady is due to make his first public appearance since his trial in 1966 in which he, with lover Myra Hindley, was convicted of murdering John Kilbride, 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

Pakistan opens supply routes to Nato

Pakistan and the US reached a deal yesterday to reopen land routes that Nato uses to supply troops in Afghanistan, ending a seven-month closure imposed after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by Nato aircraft last November. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered "sincere condolences" for the deaths. MORE

Citizens try to bury past before elections

With Libya's landmark elections now just three days away, citizens are trying hard to put old rivalries behind them. While some families are held in hatred for the actions of relatives years ago, others are harbouring anger over the killings that have continued since Gaddafi's overthrow.

Clarke: UK is losing the war on drugs

Britain is "plainly losing" the war on drugs and may even be going backwards, the Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, below, said yesterday. But he insisted he was personally opposed to decriminalisation and the Government had "no intention whatever" of relaxing the law. MORE

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own