The News Matrix: Monday 22 December 2014


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The Independent Online

‘Useful’ talks with FBI on Lockerbie

Scotland’s top law officer has met the director of the FBI to discuss progress in the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland, described Friday’s talks with James Comey as “very useful”. Yesterday he headed the Scottish delegation of law officers at a memorial service at Arlington Cemetery, Washington, on the 26th anniversary of the bombing.

John Freeman: MP and TV pioneer

The politician and pioneering television interviewer John Freeman has died at 99. Mr Freeman, who was elected to Parliament in 1945, was perhaps best known for his interviews on the television programme Face to Face for the BBC.

First hangings for eight years

Jordan’s interior ministry has announced that 11 people, convicted of murder, have been hanged – the first executions to take place in the country for eight years. The 11 unidentified Jordanian men, who were convicted in 2005 and 2006, were executed early yesterday.

Summit called to save Aberdeen jobs

A summit to bring together governments, trade unions and industry bodies to save jobs in Aberdeen has been announced by Jenny Laing, leader of  the council.  The North Sea oil industry is currently struggling with plummeting oil prices.

Four Guantanamo detainees go home

The Pentagon has confirmed that four Afghans from the Guantanamo Bay detention center have been returned to their home country in what is seen as a sign of confidence in new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. There is no requirement that the men remain detained.

Terror suspect shot dead after attack

Anti-terror police are investigating an attack at a police station where three officers were slashed by an assailant with a knife before he was shot dead. The attacker, identified as Bertrand Nzohabonayo, 20, of Burundian origin, struck in Joué-lès-Tours, a suburb of Tours.

‘The Omen’ actress  Billie Whitelaw dies

Actress Billie Whitelaw has died aged 82, her son has told the BBC.

She was famous for her roles in films including The Omen as well as working alongside the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett.

Threat to woodlands and wildlife sites  

Thousands of “secret” wildlife sites are being destroyed by farming, development and neglect, according to the Wildlife Trust. Ancient woodlands, meadows and quiet churchyards are apparently under threat – endangering the likes of bees, orchids and hedgerows.

Monkey business leads to croc attack

A visitor to an Egyptian zoo had to flee from an angry chimpanzee, but ended up in worse trouble. During a boat trip in the facility near Alexandria, the man flicked water over an ape. When it attacked, he jumped out of the boat into the water, which was full of crocodiles. His fellow passengers saved him.

‘Relaxed’ pantos increasingly popular

An increasing number of theatres are offering “relaxed” versions of pantomimes over the festive period so that families with autistic children are able to attend shows. The productions are specially adapted to include quieter songs and calmer lighting displays that are less of a distraction.

French lose taste for foie gras delicacy

The French may be losing their taste for foie gras, an opinion poll has found. According to an OpinionWay poll, carried out for a French animal protection group, 47 per cent of those questioned said they would support a ban on the force feeding of geese and ducks, the process by which the delicacy is made.

Extremely rare moss  found in Scotland

Moss lovers are celebrating the rediscovery of a rare form of the plant thought to be extinct in Scotland. Water-rock bristle, not seen in Scotland since the 1940s, has been spotted in Roxburghshire.

Bryologist Dr David Long told the BBC: “I have been looking for it for the last 30 years.”

‘Holy grail’ of rare records sells

A Northern soul track dubbed the “holy grail” of rare British records sold for £14,500 in a frantic auction last night. Collectors crashed the auction website as they tried to enter last-minute bids for the 7in vinyl single “Open the Door to Your Heart” by Darrell Banks. The copy of the  1966 classic surfaced in June.