The News Matrix: Friday 10 April 2015


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Ashya hospital staff ‘would do it again’

Staff at Southampton General Hospital, where brain-cancer patient Ashya King was treated before he was taken abroad by his parents, have told a BBC documentary about the “outpouring of hatred” they received – but said they would act in the same way if it happened again.

UN’s £118m appeal for Boko Haram victims

The United Nations launched an appeal yesterday to raise $174m (£118m) to support refugees who have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger to escape Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist insurgency. Fighters have killed thousands in their six-year bid to create an Islamist emirate in north-eastern Nigeria.

Don’t run into trouble with pollution levels

The public is being urged to avoid physical activity today because of air pollution. Levels will reach their highest level this year. The elderly, those with heart conditions, and marathon trainers have been warned. Air quality campaigner Simon Birkett, said: “Everyone should reduce physical exertion.”

Sex workers protest against shutter bid

Scores of prostitutes took to the streets of Amsterdam yesterday to protest moves to rejuvenate the city’s famed Red Light District by shuttering windows where scantily clad sex workers pose to attract clients. The prostitutes say that the closures are depriving them of safe places to work.

Top officer faces quiz on Lawrence inquiry

Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens is to be investigated in connection with the inquiry into Scotland Yard’s handling of the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence. The IPCC confirmed it was investigating the UK’s former highest-ranking serving officer.

Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of genocide

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani  has accused Saudi Arabian forces of enacting a “genocide” in Yemen. Saudi forces, backed by a coalition, are engaged in a campaign against Houthi rebels in the country. The violence has taken an increasingly sectarian tone as Iran and Saudi Arabia, vie for dominance.

‘Obesity may protect against dementia’

Expert advice that being overweight in middle-age raises our risk of dementia later on may be wrong. Indeed, a new study suggests obesity may even protect against mental decline. The research concludes it is those who are underweight in middle age who have a greater chance of dementia.

Banned driver faces jail for killing cyclist

A lorry driver with a “cavalier lack of respect” for the law is facing jail for killing a cyclist in London after jumping a red light. Unlicensed trucker Barry Meyer, 53, had been banned from the road five times when he crushed Alan Neve to death in 2013. He admitted causing death by careless driving.

Historic moment for America and Cuba

At today’s Summit of the Americas a US president and a Cuban leader will be on stage together for the first time since 1958. But as relations warm between the two countries, ordinary people in Havana are wary about what America’s influence will look like, and how much Cuba should be willing to give up.

Famous violin is going for a song

A violin which has passed between talented hands since the 17th century could fetch up to several hundred thousand pounds at auction. Bonhams auctioneers said the delicate instrument was once owned by the famous Belgian virtuoso Edith Volckaert, who died in 1992 at the age of 42.

How Jong-un was always streets ahead

Children in North Korea are reportedly to be taught that Kim Jong-un learned to drive at the age of three, as part of a new school subject entirely dedicated to his life and “revolutionary works”. Teachers will be expected to teach the outlandish claim as fact, according to a report from South Korea’s TV Chosun.

Nobel design is no shining example...

A design for the new £125m home of the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm drawn up by award-winning British architect Sir David Chipperfield could be scrapped in the face of mounting opposition. His eight-storey Nobel Centre has been derided as too “shiny”.

Dark ratings for lighter look at life

A new television channel in China aimed at highlighting people’s good deeds is failing to incite many warm feelings amongst viewers. The manager of the Lei Feng channel wants to showcase stories about the brighter side of life, but viewing figures have so far been dismal, the official China Youth Daily reports.