The News Matrix: Wednesday 7 November 2012

 

Atos says 75% of claimants can work

Atos, the company carrying out the controversial reassessment of people on incapacity benefit, has classified three-quarters of those receiving handouts as fit to work at some point in the future. Some 36 per cent of the 139,200 tested were found fit for work and told they must look for a job immediately. Charities claim the assessments classify seriously ill people as suitable to work. MORE

Students using drugs to boost exam results

One in ten British students are turning to prescription drugs such as Ritalin and modafinil to boost their academic performance, a study has found. University tutors are concerned by the rising number of students using "cognitive enhancers" to get ahead. MORE

Sellafield criticised for no long-term plan

The owners of the UK's largest and most hazardous nuclear site do not know how long it will take to replace its ageing facilities or the cost, claims the National Audit Office. Sellafield's ponds and silos pose the most risk, but NAO said long-term plans were subject to "dithering and delay". MORE

Judge orders GCSE cases to be heard

A legal challenge to the GCSE grade scandal has been expedited by the High Court. Mr Justice Cranston has ordered the case to be heard soon. Almost 400 cases are involved in the mass challenge over British exam boards' decision to raise the boundary needed to get a grade C.

Level of paedophile activity is 'horrific'

Nine inquiries are now under way into the stream of child abuse allegations relating to Jimmy Savile and North Wales care homes. Home Secretary Theresa May admitted the extent of paedophile activity which has emerged across Britain recently was "absolutely horrific". MORE

PM urges Merkel to freeze EU spending

Crunch talks between David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel tonight will see the PM renew his call for a freeze in spending by the EU. In the Commons last night, 23 Tory Eurosceptics urged him to veto proposals to forge a banking union among the 17 countries in the EU. MORE

'Gay' edit an error, admits Channel 4

Channel 4 has admitted that its compliance department had been overzealous in editing the word "gay" in its homosexual context out of a Sunday lunchtime repeat of The Simpsons. MORE

NHS spends £1bn on 'private' patients

The NHS is spending almost £1bn a year treating patients with private medical insurance. One in three people receiving NHS hospital treatment is privately insured, and £609m a year is spent on their emergency medical or surgical treatment.

Footballers loses rape challenge

Footballer Ched Evans has lost a challenge against his conviction for rape. The former Sheffield United and Wales striker had his case rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London. The 23-year-old was jailed for five years in April for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.

Former oil boss 'to be new Archbishop'

The Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, a former oil executive who has been a bishop for only a year and opposes gay marriage, is rumoured to be close to being named the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Bookmakers Ladbrokes has suspended betting.

FT's owner could raise £1bn from sale

The owner of the Financial Times is exploring selling off the newspaper, it has emerged. Pearson Plc will consider offers – hoping to sell at around £1bn, Bloomberg reported. FT Group accounts for 8 per cent of Pearson's revenue and 12 per cent of profit.

British spy tells of his pride in career

George Blake, a former British spy who doubled as a Soviet agent, has spoken about his career with pride in an interview with Russian government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Mr Blake, who will turn 90 on Sunday, has lived in Russia since his escape from a British prison in 1966.

Rumours rife over defence chief's exit

Vladimir Putin has fired his defence chief over a corruption scandal, but a heady mix of sex, power struggles and military vendettas dominated talk in Russia about what was really behind the downfall of Anatoly Serdyukov, who is married to the daughter one of Putin's close allies. MORE

Men injured when whale lands on boat

Three men were injured when a humpback whale leapt out of the water and landed on their inflatable boat off South Africa's south coast. Its weight pushed the craft underwater but when it came up one of the men raised the alarm on his mobile phone, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

Wiggo's throne loses its lustre

The gold throne that Bradley Wiggins sat on after winning cycling gold at the Olympics failed to sell at auction. The "magnificently kitsch" chair was expected to sell for £10,000 to £15,000 at Sotheby's in London. But the top bid was £9,500, less than the reserve price.

Devil is in the details of burnt chickens act

Police in Bridgeport, Connecticut, reported a satanic ritual in which chickens are doused with cologne and set on fire in a cemetery. Officer Ken Ruge reportedly found a dead burned rooster and a nearby cologne bottle at the cemetery. A second chicken was found burned but alive.

Police may have planted weapons

South African police may have altered evidence and planted weapons after they shot dead 34 striking miners near Lonmin's Marikana mines in August, according to photographic evidence presented at a commission of inquiry into the killings. MORE

The mummy returns (and it's only 1ft tall)

A 700-year-old mummified toddler seized from antiquities traffickers in Bolivia has been returned to Peru. The mummy, which stands 1ft tall, was presented at a news conference wrapped in white linen. Its sex is uncertain but archaeologists believe it comes from a pre-Inca culture.

Pavement driver's placard punishment

A woman caught on camera driving on a pavement to avoid a Cleveland school bus that was unloading children will have to stand at a road junction wearing a sign that says: "Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus," a judge has ordered.