The News Matrix: Friday 9 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Cameron: no debates without Greens

David Cameron has said he will refuse to take part in televised debates in the run-up to general election unless the Green Party is included. It follows Ofcom’s ruling that the party do not have enough support to warrant inclusion – despite outstripping the Lib Dems in some polls. A successful campaign by the Greens is thought more likely to hurt Labour or the Lib Dems.

Flight in ‘urgent’ landing at Heathrow

A British Airways Dreamliner touched down safely at Heathrow yesterday after declaring a level of urgency short of a full-scale emergency. It is believed one of the engines had shut down. The Calgary-bound Flight BA103 had taken off with 213 passengers on board.

Man dies in Outback a mile from safety

A man who attempted to trek 30 miles across Australia’s parched Outback after his car broke down has been found dead just over a mile from safety. Police said the 60-year-old was driving to remote Windidda Station in Western Australia when his car broke down.

Tesco may close staff pension plan

More than 200,000 Tesco workers are facing uncertainty over the future of their pensions after the retailer said it was considering closing the company’s defined benefit scheme. Tesco said it might close the scheme “to all colleagues” including existing members.

Call for MPs to have less say on schools

Ministers with no teaching experience making decisions on the way schools are run is “ridiculous”, according to a former  education department figure. In a scathing attack on Government policy, Sir David Bell called for MPs to be stripped of such powers.

Dozens killed by Boko Haram

Dozens of people have been killed by Boko Haram militants who burned down a town with a population of 10,000. Witnesses said the Islamist fighters had been shooting indiscriminately and setting fire to buildings in the north-eastern town of Baga in the last few days.

President faces defeat at the polls

Voter turnout was heavy in Sri Lanka’s Tamil heartland yesterday as President Mahinda Rajapaksa faced his toughest electoral challenge, with a former ally trying to unseat him. Results are expected today.

Instructor talked to ‘Sun’ about princes

A Sandhurst instructor let Princes William and Harry down by becoming “the eyes and ears” of a Sun reporter, a court heard. John Hardy, who denies misconduct in a public office,  was said by royal editor, Duncan Larcombe, to be his “most important Sandhurst contact”.

Deadly scorpion had been a house guest

An Essex mother who found a lethal scorpion in her kitchen was horrified when she was told her family had been living with it for three months, following their return from a trip to Australia. Experts identified the three-inch arthropod as a Bark Scorpion with a sting powerful enough to kill children and elderly people.

Elvis fans mark his 80th at Graceland

Elvis Presley fans have gathered at Graceland to celebrate what would have been the singer’s 80th birthday. His wife and daughter, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, joined fans from around the world for a cake-cutting ceremony yesterday outside the singer’s Memphis home. Elvis died on 16 August 1977 aged 42.

The naked truth about statues

Ahead of a March exhibition, the British Museum has tackled the question: why are Greek statues naked? Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art will explain. “The Greeks took their clothes off more than we did, but they didn’t walk down the high street naked,” said curator Ian Jenkins.

Sacked: worker who took 25 years off

The Indian government has sacked a civil servant who went on leave in 1990 and never came back. Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said a case of “wilful absence” had been proved against electrical engineer A K Verma, who had been under investigation at various points since 1992.

Academics to study Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk is to be the subject of an international academic conference. The event, to be held at Birmingham’s Aston University, will explore the effect of the electronic band on music and the wider culture. “They are producing music you can dance to, but at the same time they are high-brow art,” said organisers.