The News Matrix: Friday 12 December 2014


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The Independent Online

Lonely at Christmas – the elderly suffer

Two and a half million people aged over 65 are not looking forward to Christmas because of loneliness and fears that the period will bring back bad memories, according to a study by Age UK. Caroline Abrahams, director of the charity, said: “People’s social networks often shrink due to life-changing events… which can increase the risk of feeling lonely.”

Confusion over official’s death

Israeli and Palestinian pathologists disagreed yesterday on whether a blow to the body or a bad heart was the cause of death of a Palestinian minister who collapsed after scuffling with Israeli troops. The death of Ziad Abu Ein could further inflame tensions.

Music soothes in the operating theatre

Playing music while operating on a patient has been endorsed by the British Medical Journal. It said that background music can soothe patients. The report said: “Data suggest that this calming effect is maintained before, during (when awake), and after surgery.”

Berlin’s new mayor hoping for take off

Berlin’s new mayor has taken office, inheriting the problem of trying to open the capital’s much-delayed new airport. Michael Mueller, a centre-left Social Democrat, takes over from Klaus Wowereit, who presided over the city’s emergence as a tourist destination.

‘Serial killer’ admits murdering 43 victims

A man arrested by police in Rio de Janeiro on suspicion of murder has apparently confessed to killing 42 people over the past decade, making him potentially one of the country’s most prolific serial killers. Sailson Jose das Gracas, 26, said that he killed for the adrenaline rush.

Mother jailed for promoting terrorism

Runa Khan, 35, from Luton, has been jailed for five years and three months after Kingston Crown Court found her to be guilty of promoting terrorism on Facebook. In 2013, the mother-of-six reposted an article which encouraged women to carry out jihad.

Listen to scientists and act, Ban urges

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, yesterday urged governments to listen to scientists who were “shouting from the rooftops” and accelerate talks on a global pact to fight climate change.

Man guilty of killing girl in 1993

A man has been found guilty of the 1993 murder of 16-year-old Claire Tiltman. Colin Ash-Smith, 46, was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court of stabbing Ms Tiltman to death in Kent. He was serving three life sentences for other attacks. He will be sentenced on Friday.

‘Wolf Hall’ viewers will see Tudor light

BBC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall will be filmed in the light of a single candle to give it added authenticity. “With the advent of the Alexa camera it is actually possible to shoot by candlelight,” said the series’ director Peter Kosminsky. Mantel said the adaptation had “exceeded” her expectations.

Sting extends run to keep his show afloat

Sting has said he will stay aboard his Broadway musical The Last Ship, which has struggled at the box office, for two weeks longer than expected. Producers said yesterday that the Grammy winner will extend his stay in the show until 24 January. He received a standing ovation after his first performance on Tuesday.

Glasgow mooted for national film studio

Actors and others from the industry have called for a national film studio to be based in Glasgow. An open letter, extolling the city’s “cultural and hospitality amenities” and signed by Peter Mullan, Daniela Nardini, Gary Lewis and Ewan Bremner, has been sent to the Scottish Film Studio Delivery Group.

Sony bosses sorry over leaked emails

Two executives have apologised following the latest in a series of leaked emails in the Sony hacking scandal that calls the actress Angelina Jolie a “spoiled brat”. Scott Rudin, the producer who made the “spoiled brat” comment, and Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal yesterday apologised for the comments.

 ‘The Birds’ display ruffles feathers

Tens of thousands of crows roosting in Springfield, Ohio have some residents comparing the landscape to the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds. Local man Roger Sherrock says that walking outside and seeing the estimated 50,000 birds “everywhere” was “unnerving”.