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The News Matrix: Friday 11 April 2014

Adviser defends stockpiling Tamiflu

The decision to stockpile £609m of Tamiflu, which has been found to be virtually useless at preventing flu transmission, has been defended by scientists. An adviser said it is fanciful to think the Government could have ignored the possible use of antiviral flu drugs.

When the Queen met McGuinness

The Queen and Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s deputy First Minister and a former IRA commander, shook hands at a Windsor Castle reception for Irish President Michael D Higgins last night. Mr McGuinness congratulated the Queen on her role in the peace process and said they had both “seen the contribution these big acts of reconciliation can have”.

Big problem for oil workers on choppers

Overweight oil workers could be restricted from flying on helicopters under new safety regulations. The new rules from the Civil Aviation Authority come in the wake of a string of fatal helicopter incidents, which have seen 27 workers killed since 2006.

UN approves peacekeeping force

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a nearly 12,000-strong peacekeeping force for the Central African Republic. The 10,000 UN troops and 1,800 police will  take over from 5,000 African Union soldiers from 15 September.

Man charged with Omagh bombing

A 43-year-old man has been charged with the murders of 29 people in the Omagh bombing – the single bloodiest attack of the Troubles. Seamus Daly, from Cullaville, Co Monaghan in the Irish Republic, was previously been found liable for the 1998 attack in a civil court case. MORE

Kiev urges protesters to give up weapons 

Hundreds of pro-Russian protesters, some said to be armed, were still occupying Ukrainian government buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk yesterday while authorities sought a peaceful solution to the stand-off. In Kiev, the authorities said they would not prosecute the activists if they surrendered their weapons. MORE

People ‘paying too much to borrow’

A “significant number” of people are paying too much for their overdrafts amid confusion over complex charges, the Financial Conduct Authority has found. The probe into the £8bn market found it is not providing good value, with “virtually no evidence” consumers are shopping around.

Colbert to replace chat king Letterman

Comedian Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s satrical Colbert Report, will replace David Letterman as the face of The Late Show when the veteran host retires next year. Colbert, 49, has reportedly signed a five-year deal. Letterman has been a feature of US late night schedules for some 30 years.

It’s a rap as MEPs  get hip with voters

Members of the European Parliament have reportedly held a rap battle to engage youth voters in the May elections. Four teams each made up of politicians and a professional freestyle hip hop artist, took to a stage at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss issues that they say matter to young Europeans.

Head wants more eloquence in class

The skill of talking must be taught in schools to overcome the stereotype of the “grunting, monosyllabic teenager”, a leading headteacher and former adviser to Tony Blair has said. Peter Hyman, who runs a free school in east London, said teaching pupils to speak eloquently was now a “moral issue” for schools. MORE

‘More icebergs now than in 1912’

Global warming means arctic icebergs pose a bigger threat to shipping today than they did when the Titanic sank in 1912, say scientists. They dispelled a theory that a high number of icebergs were adrift the year of the liner’s ill-fated voyage, and said rising sea temperatures had increased their occurrence.

Sewage plant turns into wedding venue

A sewage treatment plant near Seattle is advertising itself as a wedding venue. The Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Center says on Facebook it has a full catering kitchen, audio-video equipment, dance floor and parking. One couple has already reportedly booked the plant, paying  $2,000 (£1,200) for eight hours.

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