The News Matrix: Friday 30 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Tory rhetoric may lose them election

With a record four million  foreign-born people eligible to vote in this year’s general election, Conservative chiefs have warned that anti-immigrant rhetoric could cost the party dearly. A new analysis has found that UK residents born overseas could sway the result of up to 70 constituencies on 7 May.

Gunman arrested at national broadcaster

A man wielding a pistol forced his way into the studios of the Dutch national broadcaster NOS yesterday demanding to be allowed to go on air, but was quickly arrested. The man, wearing a black suit and tie, entered the studio after threatening a guard with a pistol, witnesses said.

Victims’ names on committee website

The names of four child abuse victims were inadvertently published on a Commons committee’s website. The victims said they had been subjected to online hate campaigns and had even received death threats as a result of the disclosure.

Qatari London home plan rejected

The Qatari royal family’s plan to create a £200m palace in London has been rejected by Westminster Council. The family wanted to knock two Grade 1 listed mansions in Regent’s Park together to create a 17-bedroom home. An official said the plan would lead to a loss of homes.

Hospital chiefs rebel over funding cut

Hospitals have carried out an “unprecedented” rebellion against national NHS spending plans, warning officials they can no longer guarantee safe patient care under funding proposals which amount to a £1.7bn cut. They are refusing to sign off on the NHS tariff for 2015/16.

Pope offers haircuts to the homeless

The Vatican is to offer the homeless a free haircut and shave from mid-February. The service will be offered by volunteer barbers every Monday, when Italian hairdressers are typically closed. Barbers have already donated chairs, hair-cutting instruments and mirrors.

Politicians in Italy fail to elect new president

Politicians failed to elect a new president in a first round of voting yesterday. The Prime Minister Matteo Renzi proposed the constitutional court judge Sergio Mattarella, 73, to be head of state.

Russians scolded for airspace incursion

Russia’s ambassador has been called to account for military planes flying close to UK airspace, which “caused disruption to civil aviation”. RAF Typhoons were scrambled on Wednesday to escort the Russian jets “throughout the time they were in the UK area of interest”.

Fans fear for future of ‘Downton Abbey’

The news that Downton Abbey could end this year has been met with shock from fans. According to reports, the programme’s creator, Julian Fellowes, wants to start work on a new show, The Gilded Age, set in 19th-century New York, after the conclusion of the next series.

7-second-late lottery ‘winner’ loses appeal

Joel Ifergan, a Canadian man who was denied part of a C$27m (£18m)  jackpot because he missed the 9pm deadline to buy the ticket by seven seconds has lost his appeal to get the money after a seven-year legal battle. While the clock on the lottery terminal read 8:59pm, the winning ticket was not registered in time.

Relatives to claim veterans’ free ale

Descendants of select Waterloo veterans are being asked to come forward and claim their right to free ale to mark the 200th anniversary of the major battle. Organisers of the Durham Regatta are seeking descendants of the 43 infantrymen who first enjoyed “a plentiful supply of strong ale and punch” in 1834.

Don’t count your chickens – they will

Chickens can count, a study at the University of Padova in Italy has found. Scientists say newborn chicks show a human tendency to place numbers in ascending order. Researchers showed how three-day-old chicks associated low numerical values with space to their left and higher values to their right.

Elvis memorabilia collection on sale

The estate of an eccentric Elvis Presley memorabilia collector who, for more than two decades, offered tours of his Mississippi house at any time day or night will be auctioned tomorrow, his attorney said. The sale will be held at the Holly Springs home of Paul MacLeod, below. The house is known as “Graceland Too”.