The News Matrix: Monday 3 June 2013


Balls to scrap winter fuel allowance for rich

The winter fuel allowance would be scrapped for richer pensioners under Labour, Ed Balls will announce today. The proposal would see pensioners over 75 with an income higher than £42,000 no longer eligible for the £300-a-year supplement. MORE

Red Cross raises alarm over Qusayr

The Red Cross has expressed alarm over the situation in the besieged Syrian town of Qusayr, and has appealed for immediate access to deliver aid. Thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped as pro-government forces battle rebels, with food and water scarce. MORE

PM: protesters are merely ‘extremists’

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rejected claims he is a “dictator”, dismissing protesters as extremists. A huge protest in Taksim Square in Istanbul subsided overnight on Saturday, but an estimated 10,000 people streamed into the area yesterday. MORE

Higher bills for BT customers

BT customers taking out its line rental saver plan will see bills increase from £129 to £141. Yesterday’s announcement came within weeks of the firm promising free live Premier League football for broadband clients. A spokeswoman said there was “no link whatsoever”. MORE

Trial of WikiLeaks soldier opens

WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning’s trial starts today. The former US army intelligence analyst is accused of leaking national secrets and aiding the enemy.  MORE

Storm chasers  killed by tornado

Three veteran storm chasers were among the 10 people killed when a violent tornado barrelled into the Oklahoma City metro area. Jim Samaras said yesterday that his brother Tim Samaras was killed. Tim Samaras’ son, Paul Samaras, and another chaser, Carl Young, also died. The three died on Friday night near El Reno when a tornado hit the area. MORE

Child victims of imprisonment

Children with a parent in prison are more likely to face problems in later life, according to Barnardo’s. They are twice as likely to be disruptive in school and to be affected by mental health problems. It is estimated that some 200,000 children a year fall into this group, described as “hidden from view”.

When is a corpse not a corpse?

A group of leading anaesthetists will today put forward a proposal to more clearly identify death. It will include the stipulation that corpses should be watched for five minutes. Recent studies revealed a lack of international consensus on determining whether a person is dead.

Couple beat odds with set of twins No 3

A Glasgow couple have had a third set of twins – beating odds of 500,000-1. Karen Rodger, 41, and husband Colin, 44, are the proud parents of Rowan and Isla. The two girls join 14-year-old Lewis and Kyle and 12-year-old Finn and Jude, all boys.

Soldiers in undies are disciplined

The Israeli military has disciplined a group of female soldiers who posed for photos in underwear and combat gear and posted the images on Facebook.  The military said yesterday the photos were unbecoming of Israeli soldiers.

Cameron suffers an identity crisis

David Cameron almost missed his flight to Ibiza with his wife Samantha, wrongly assuming a bodyguard had his passport. A police officer was sent to fetch it.

Some things are easy to forget… but a car?

A woman who left her car in a Munich car park for nine years will only have to pay €7,000 (£6,000) rather than €70,000 – the rate if she had been charged by the day.