The News Matrix: Monday 30 June 2014

 

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The Independent Online

Budget cuts affecting children’s therapy

Budget cuts have taken their  toll on children with communication difficulties, leaving them without vital speech and language therapy, a study has found. Some children have had to wait for up to a year for therapy, compared with about 18 weeks in 2011.

Nasa is one small step closer to Mars

Nasa has tested technology designed to bring spacecraft – and one day even astronauts – safely down to Mars, declaring the experiment a qualified success. The experiment was the first of three involving a Low Density Supersonic Decelerator vehicle.

Poorest miss out on top university places

Gifted children from disadvantaged homes are missing out on places at elite universities. Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, said: “Each year 2,000 of the brightest, poorest children ... miss out on a top university place.”

Secure your border, President tells Putin

President Petro Poroshenko  urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to strengthen Russian control over its borders to prevent militants and weapons from entering Ukraine after violence threatened a truce between the government and pro-Moscow separatists.

Lib Dems promise £790 pension boost

The state pension would be boosted by an extra £790 annually under Lib Dems plans. Pensions minister Steve Webb (left) said pensions would rise by the rating that was highest each year – earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent.

Army tries to rout fighters in Tikrit

Iraq’s army sent tanks and armoured vehicles to try to dislodge insurgents from the northern city of Tikrit yesterday, the second day of an assault against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis). The government said troops have taken parts of Tikrit University and have positioned snipers in high buildings as part of the attempt to retake the city.

Bitten England fan blames racism

An England fan who had his ear bitten off after the national side’s World Cup loss to Uruguay claimed he was racially abused by his attacker. The man was left with  half his left ear ripped off, the Association of Chief Police Officers confirmed.

‘Angel of Woolwich’ accused of racism

The woman who confronted Lee Rigby’s killers is facing an allegation of racial abuse. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett’s actions won praise when Fusilier Rigby was murdered  last year, but shes is now facing a probe over claims a Tesco worker was racially abused in Helston, Cornwall, on Friday.

Queen to name navy   ship – with whisky

The Royal Navy’s largest ship will be formally named on Friday. The Queen will smash a bottle of Islay malt whisky against the HMS Queen Elizabeth at Rosyth, Fife, where the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier has been assembled and fitted out.

Young stars ‘will regret behaviour

Singers such as Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber will eventually regret their debauched behaviour, the 1970s pop star Jimmy Osmond has warned, saying bad behaviour was rewarded “because it’s good business for the media”.

For sale: small town, not many people

A businessman is selling the South Dakota town of Swett for £235,000. It used to have a population of 40, but now consists of a bar, workshop, three caravans and a house.

Cows do their bit for rare butterflies

Cows are helping endangered high brown fritillary butterflies on a Lake District farm by trampling bracken, letting violets thrive. The butterfly larvae live on violets.

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