The News Matrix: Friday 26 December 2014


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Bad diet involved in 600,000 cancers

A healthier lifestyle could have prevented almost 600,000 cases of cancer in the UK over the past five years, according to new figures from charity Cancer Research UK. Giving up smoking would have had the biggest impact on reducing cancer, while a balanced diet low in red and processed meat and salt and high in vegetables would also have contributed to fewer cases.

Scientists convert skin into sex cells

Infertile couples who cannot produce their own sperm or eggs may finally be able to have children after scientists achieved a key breakthrough in making sex cells from skin cells. The development could also help understanding of ageing and cancer.

Protests flare over  police shooting

Protests flared in the St Louis suburb where a white policeman fatally shot a black man who brandished a gun at a petrol station on Tuesday night. The site was just a few miles from the Ferguson street where a white police officer shot dead Michael Brown, 18,  in August.

Labour moans about the lack of trains

Labour has accused the Tories of allowing a near shutdown of Boxing Day rail services, despite the Tories bemoaning the lack of trains when they were in opposition. Chiltern Railways is one of the few train companies offering services, along with Southern and Southeastern.

Women drivers sent to terrorism court

Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month after defying a  ban on women driving were  referred yesterday to a court established to try terrorism cases. Activists said it was the longest detention of female drivers in Saudi history.

Put fans on the board, says Labour

Premier League clubs have been criticised by Labour’s shadow Sports minister, Clive Efford, for their failure to appoint representatives of ordinary supporters to their boards of directors. He claimed that only Swansea had done so.

Putin caps vodka prices as crisis hits

Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian government to rein in rising vodka prices. Mr Putin told a meeting with officials that expensive vodka prices encourage the production  of bootleg spirits.

‘The Interview’ opens in cinemas

The Interview, Sony Pictures’ film about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, opened in midnight screenings in American cinemas yesterday. Filmgoers said they supported the studio’s decision to stand up to efforts to censor the comedy.

Competitive eater  is as full as an egg

If anyone feels they’ve overeaten this Christmas, spare a thought for competitive eater Pan Yizhong, who consumed 160 eggs in one sitting. Mr Pan sported a red and white Santa hat as he gobbled 150 quail eggs and 10 chicken eggs in less than 40 minutes to promote a restaurant in Hunan province in central China.

Mugger gets a lot of stick from pensioner

A mugger who tried to snatch a pensioner’s handbag on Christmas Eve got more than he bargained for when the 65-year-old woman knocked him over with her walking stick. The man, thought to be in his early 20s, fled empty-handed after his battering in the Clifton area of York, North Yorkshire Police said.

Cash free-for-all is a Christmas bonus

Christmas came early to Hong Kong on Wednesday when boxes filled with more than $2m in cash spilt out of an armoured van on to a major Hong Kong highway. Traffic ground to a halt on the busy Gloucester Road as taxi drivers rushed out of their cars to make a grab for the hundreds of banknotes.

Man ordered to close ‘zombie nativity’

A suburban Cincinnati town ordered a man to kill off his large “zombie nativity” scene. Jasen Dixon manages a haunted house attraction in Ohio  and his display has a white-eyed creature in the manger where the baby Jesus would be in traditional Christmas nativity scenes.

Smith dances off with Strictly win

Olympic gymnast Louis Smith has added another trophy to his collection after winning the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, in which Sir Bruce Forsyth returned to the ballroom. The 25-year-old competed with Aliona Vilani against contestants from previous series including Rachel Stevens, Lisa Riley and Russell Grant.