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The News Matrix: Friday 14th September 2013


Al-Qa’ida marks 9/11 with call for attacks

The leader of al-Qa’ida has issued an audio message marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in which he has called for the need for small-scale attacks – and even a boycott – to damage the US economy. Ayman al-Zawahiri also used the tape to praise April’s Boston bombings in the US.

Victims’ families to oversee inquiry 

Campaigners told Director of Public Prosecutions Kier Starmer they must have “meaningful oversight” of police and IPCC investigations into the Hillsborough disaster. Families met DPP and IPCC chair Dame Anne Owers demanding panels overseeing investigations “have teeth”. MORE

At least 30 dead in mosque bombing

A bomb hidden inside an air conditioner exploded yesterday at a Sunni mosque in Umm al-Adham, north of Baghdad, the deadliest in a series of attacks in Iraq that killed at least 33 people, officials said. Police said the blast killed at least 30 people and wounded at least 45.

Thames Water price rises could be axed

Price rises planned by Thames Water could be axed following condemnation from the industry regulator. Thames Water wants to charge an extra £29 per household to fund the construction of a super sewer in London, but watchdog Ofwat claims it has no right to do so. MORE

Computer bank raid is foiled by police

A gang’s attempt to steal millions of pounds was foiled by police and 12 men were arrested. A bogus telephone engineer walked into a London branch of Santander and attempted to fit a device to a computer that would operate the machine remotely – but he failed. MORE

Boys dominate class, union boss insists

Teachers should attempt to stop boys from dominating lessons, union leader Mary Bousted, pictured, has suggested. The general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said it can be “dangerous” for young women to speak up as it can make them the target of abuse.

New Bank notes may harbour bacteria

The plastic Bank of England notes set to be introduced in 2016 provide the ideal environment for E. coli and MRSA, according to a study. Dutch and Turkish scientists showed that nasty bacteria survived for a minimum of six hours on the plastic notes used in Romania. MORE

Fire ravages towns rebuilt after Sandy

Two New Jersey seaside towns, ripped apart last year by Superstorm Sandy and newly rebuilt, woke up yesterday to the aftermath of a raging fire that destroyed 50 businesses, causing millions of dollars in damage. “I feel like I want to throw up,” the state’s governor, Chris Christie, said.

Opposition party names PM candidate

The main opposition Hindu nationalist party BJP has named a controversial ideologue as its candidate for Indian PM if it wins the 2014 national elections. Narendra Modi, 62, is accused of not doing enough to stop anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat state in 2002 in which 1,000 people died.

Cowell’s franchise loses its x-factor

Simon Cowell’s flagship franchise looked to be in trouble last night as the The X Factor USA attracted an all-time low of 6.2 million viewers – millions fewer than the British version. The show, in its third series, was down by almost 50 per cent on  X Factor’s American debut in 2011.

Prison officer in love has sentence cut

A prison officer given three years in jail after falling in love and helping an inmate, has had her sentence cut by the Court of Appeal. Rebecca King, 33, will now serve 27 months. King put credit on the criminal’s phone and police found £9,000 of his cash in the loft of her mother’s home.

Owner will not get escaped ape back

Darwin, a Japanese macaque taken into care after he escaped in an Ikea car park in Toronto in December, will not be returned to his owner, a court ruled. Judge Mary Vallee said Darwin was a wild animal and a sanctuary should keep him because he might also be carrying disease.

Montevideo to send its zoo’s tigers to US

Montevideo’s zoo is sending its two tigers to a US sanctuary. Some zoos have tried to turn into conservation societies, but Montevideo succumbed to pressure from animal-rights groups. Authorities say this, not the $1,000-a-month tiger-feeding costs, was the main factor in the decision.

Train toilets are flush with inspiration

Toilets on trains are being turned into “inspiration stations” to give passengers “a window into a different world”. Operators including Chiltern Railways and Southern have installed floor-to-ceiling images on routes from London to Birmingham and Brighton.

McVie to rejoin Fleetwood Mac

Singer Christine McVie is to rejoin Fleetwood Mac at two shows on their forthcoming European tour, her former bandmate Stevie Nicks has confirmed. McVie was in the group from the 1970s to the 1990s, writing and performing some of their biggest hits.

Netflix to spend big on original shows

The online TV subscription service Netflix is to double the amount it spends on original programming. The firm’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos boasted of the Emmy nominations it had with shows like Hemlock Grove. He said it will earn recognition from Bafta “sooner or later”.

Mr Darcy completely bear for latest role

The Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth, pictured, will voice Paddington Bear in a new animated film. Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent will also provide voices for the project, the brainchild of the Harry Potter producer David Heyman.