The News Matrix: Monday 15 December 2014


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Activists denounce new climate deal

Environmentalists have denounced a new UN climate deal agreed between nearly 200 countries, calling it weak and ineffectual. The two-week talks almost collapsed over disagreements between rich and poor nations over who will pay for the poorer nations to adapt to climate change. Activists criticised the failure to agree on specific plans to cut emissions before 2020.

Cable: Tories will cut the armed  services

Conservative spending plans would reduce the armed forces to a “largely ceremonial role” and destroy public services, Vince Cable has warned. The Liberal Democrat Business Secretary said further deep reductions in budgets had not been signed off by his party.

Scheme offers 20% discount on homes

David Cameron will launch a scheme today offering 100,000 first-time buyers new homes with a 20 per cent discount. Under-40s who have never owned a property can register their interest in buying via the Starter Home initiative from the beginning of next year.

Supermarket for the struggling opens

A “community supermarket” will open its doors today enabling struggling families to purchase high-quality surplus food from major chains at low prices. The Community Shop, in Lambeth, south London, will supply goods to local residents on income support.

Ukrainian soldiers treated in Britain

The first of five badly wounded Ukrainian soldiers has arrived in Birmingham for UK-funded medical treatment. Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are performing reconstruction surgery for severe wounds sustained in the battle against pro-Russian rebels.

Tsunami brothers plan children’s home

Two brothers who lost their parents in the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 are set to open a children’s home in Sri Lanka a decade after the tragedy occurred. Robert and Paul Forkan were with their parents and two other siblings when the earthquake struck in the Indian Ocean.

Gay adviser causes rift in Le Pen’s party 

Rifts in France’s far right have been exposed by the appointment of a senior gay activist as cultural adviser to  Front National’s leader Marine Le Pen. The appointment has riled the movement’s grass-roots.

£1m grant to save Scottish wildcat

The endangered Scottish wildcat is to be helped with a Lottery grant of almost £1m. The award of £973,000 has been given to Wildcat Action, made up of more than 30 organisations and landowners. The money will boost numbers of wildcats in six priority areas.

Not-so magical Wonderland closes

Magical Winterland in Harrogate has closed following complaints from visitors. Some described the attraction, which opened on Wednesday, closed on Thursday, and reopened on Friday, as a “waste of money”. The operator said: “We received some positive feedback, but also some adverse publicity.”

Paul Revere’s time capsule is found

A time capsule buried in 1795 by Paul Revere, a hero of the American Revolution, has been discovered during repairs at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. The box-shaped capsule has not yet been opened, but is believed to contain coins, papers and a metal plate made by the silversmith-turned-soldier.

Cash for cinema and ‘Peter Pan’ gardens

One of Scotland’s oldest cinemas and the the gardens that inspired Peter Pan have been awarded Lottery funding. The century-old Campbeltown Picture House on the Kintyre peninsula will receive £1.1m, while Moat Brae House, Dumfries, where author JM Barrie played as child, has been awarded £1.7m.

Slaughterhouse  cow does a runner

A 1,000lb (450kg) cow escaped from a slaughterhouse, jumped a 6ft fence and bolted through the streets of an Idaho town before police shot and killed it after a lengthy chase. Scott Marchand, the chief of police in Pocatello, said his officers had fired two shots at the heifer because it posed a safety risk.

Ben shocks Fleur with ‘X Factor’ win

Ben Haenow is on the road to stardom after winning the final of The X Factor last night. Victory for the 29-year-old van driver, from Croydon, came as a shock after his rival Fleur East, 26, was installed as the favourite. After the result was announced, Haenow said: “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it. Thank you so much. My dream has come true.”