The Daily: trains
Friday, 30 August 2013

The Daily: August 30

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Natasha Howe
New findings reveal that nearly one in three of Britain's trains are late
New National Rail statistics have revealed that almost one in three of Britain's trains are late, affecting more than half of journeys on some routes. The study was extremely strict, recording the train as late if it was more than 59 seconds delayed. The worst findings came from the CrossCountry franchise managed by Arriva, resulting in a punctuality rate of a mere 45 percent. This was closely followed by Virgin Trains, whom only achieved 47 per cent of their trains on time. Chintern Railways performed the best in the study, achieving 97.5 per cent of their trains on time, with London Underground behind by only 1.3 per cent. Despite these findings, the Associating of Train Operating Companies claimed that trains are more punctual than they were 15 years ago.

One of the world's largest canyons was discovered concealed under the Greenland ice sheet
A huge canyon stretching 466 miles and reaching up to 800 metres deep has been uncovered by airborne radar in Greenland. The canyon pre-dates the ice sheet covering it and rivals the sheer size of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It ends at the Arctic Ocean and is an important find as it paves the way to finding out more about how much of an effect global warming is having on the world, as if Greenland's ice sheets were to melt, the world's sea level would rise by 7 metres.

Letters from World War One soldiers written 100 years ago have been released
An archive full of never-before-seen love letters and wills written by hand by a number of soldiers has been opened to the public. As the letters officially belonged to the War Office and the Government, they were never sent out to the families of the soldiers; however, recently, efforts have been made to index the thousands of letters. These letters were intended to be opened in the case of the soldiers' death and contained personal letters as well as wills explaining who to give their belongings to. The letters are extremely emotional and personal, with one written by Private Joseph Witchburn confessing, 'I dare say this will be the last letter you will receive from me'.

NHS receives 3000 complaints a week, almost half against medical professionals
Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre have revealed that the NHS receives more than 3000 complaints a week, with 162,000 in the past year. Surprisingly, this is a decrease from last year. Doctors and surgeons received a much larger number (47 per cent) of complaints than nurses, despite the fact that nurses make up a larger proportion of the NHS employees, receiving only 22 per cent of complaints. The NHS confederation argued that it was vital to keep the statistics in perspective, as hundreds of millions of procedures are carried out each year, one million people every 36 hours, with only a small number resulting in complaints.

Rolf Harris has been charged with 13 sexual offences against teenage girls
The famous television presenter and singer has been charged with numerous sex crimes against teenage girls, having committed nine indecent assaults in the 1980s and having created indecent images in 2012. The victims affected included teenagers aged as young as 14. Rolf Harris was first interviewed at the end of November, after detectives in Operation Yewtree had searched his home and found deemed him as suspicious. He was then arrested in March but the public only discovered he was a suspect in April. The Australian presenter is also an artist, having painted an official portrait for the queen. He was also appointed CBE in 2006.

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