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The News Matrix: Monday 16 December 2013


Mandela buried in ancestral village

South Africa laid Nelson Mandela to rest yesterday, in a ceremony at his ancestral home of Qunu. The country’s first black president, who fought to end apartheid, died earlier this month, aged 95. Among guests were Prince Charles, Oprah Winfrey and Idris Elba. MORE

New MPs to be given lessons in honesty

MPs are to have compulsory classes on how to avoid traps that lead them to break ethical rules. The “honesty classes”, organised by the chairman of the committee on standards in public life, Lord Bew, are intended to avert scandals like the one that blew up around MPs’ expenses.

Homeless people may inspect GPs

Homeless people could be asked to take part in inspections of GP surgeries under a radical overhaul of regulation. The new chief inspector of general practice, Professor Steve Field, said inspection teams would now include a patient representative with GPs and an inspector.

Concerns raised over Zimbabwe diamonds

The sale of 300,000 carats of Zimbabwean diamonds in Antwerp has caused concern among rights groups that proceeds will bolster Rober Mugabe’s tainted government. The auction marked the European debut of gemstones from the Marange fields.  MORE

Prison officer wins  ‘The X Factor’

Prison officer Sam Bailey won the UK’s 10th X Factor competition last night. Ms Bailey, a 36-year-old mother of two, has won a recording contract and will support Beyoncé on her UK tour in February.

Britain asked to send troops to Africa

Britain will today be asked to support France’s intervention in the Central African Republic.

The French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said two European Union countries were considering joining French forces’ attempts to head off a possible civil war. The conflict between Muslims and Christians is threatening to overrun the former French colony.  MORE

Gaza receives fuel after storm havoc

The Gaza Strip received its first shipment of industrial fuel in 45 days yesterday, bringing much-needed relief to the coastal territory after a winter storm dumped rare snow across the region. The storm crippled the city of Jerusalem. It also left thousands without power in Israel and the neighbouring West Bank.

Veterans’ charity to gain from Libor fines

Almost £2.5m in fines from firms caught rigging the Libor rate will benefit thousands of armed forces veterans in Wales. Three windfall awards will fuel a substantial expansion of charity work, providing homes for homeless veterans in Wales and specialist employability support.

Fears for bird stranded in Wales

There are fears for an African migratory bird which has been blown to Conwy, Wales, in last week’s storms. The hoopoe needs a northerly wind to aid its journey, and none is forecast for north Wales for at least the next week.

Piano-playing police officer draws praise

A young traffic policeman in the Czech Republic caught on camera playing piano whilst on duty has been praised by Prague’s chief of police. A 35-second clip, recorded on a phone, has been watched more than 800,000 times on YouTube.