The News Matrix: Monday 26 January 2015


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Merkel ‘halts arms sales to Saudis’

The Bild am Sonntag newspaper claims a secret government panel composed of Chancellor Angela Merkel and eight ministers has halted arms exports to Saudi Arabia. In the past Germany exported military goods worth hundreds of millions of euros a year to Saudi Arabia.

US blames Russia for escalating violence

The United States placed the blame for recent violence in Ukraine firmly on Russia yesterday, as shells struck the south-eastern city of Mariupol at the weekend, killing at least 30 people. The attacks covered a wide area and targeted schools, homes and a busy market.

Rocket launcher found after brawl

Two men have been arrested after police seized a rocket launcher and other firearms following a brawl. Metropolitan Police found an assault rifle, a Second World War machine gun and the rocket launcher at the scene of the dispute in Bromley, south-east London, yesterday.

Trial begins of men ‘who fleeced heiress’

A real life, political and high-society soap opera which has gripped France for seven years – the Bettencourt affair – may finally come to trial today. Ten men stand accused of fleecing the L’Oréal billionaire Liliane Bettencourt of hundreds of millions of euros.

Howard Marks has inoperable cancer

The notorious former drugs  smuggler and author Howard Marks has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. The 69-year-old said he had “no regrets” about a life in which he spent seven years in jail.

Brittan accused of multiple child rape

The late Lord Brittan was accused yesterday of “multiple child rape”. The MP Tom Watson said he had spoken to two people who claimed they were abused by the Conservative peer, including a witness who alleged he had been attacked more than a dozen times as a boy. Lord Brittan, who died last week, had always denied any allegation of sexual wrongdoing.

£700,000 bill for  fly-tipping clean-up

The cost of cleaning up a “mile-long” fly-tipping site in Essex could exceed £700,000, a council has said. Land in Purfleet was used to dump builders’ rubble, wood and medical waste last year. Thurrock Council said it had started work on bringing 11 or more prosecutions.

Hoax caller put through to Cameron

A hoax caller was put through to David Cameron’s phone after claiming to be the director of eavesdropping agency GCHQ. The Prime Minister ended the call. GCHQ had disclosed the mobile phone number for its director Robert Hannigan to a caller.

Breast implants going out of fashion

The number of breast implant operations dropped by nearly a quarter last year, new figures show. There were 8,619 breast augmentations last year, down 23 per cent on 2013, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said.

Noisy polar bear can keep singing

A 6-ft mechanical polar bear  investigated over complaints that it was a “noise nuisance” should not be “gagged”, Central Bedfordshire Council has ruled. Bernard burst into song when people walked past Loft Café in Shefford over Christmas.