The News Matrix: Monday 5th January 2015


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Civil servant opens up on Parkinson’s

One of Britain’s most senior civil servants was told Parkinson’s disease “will end your career”. Andrew McDonald was warned at the time against being open about his illness. He is the newly appointed chairman of the disability charity Scope.

Falklands trades on its recent history

The Falkland Islands Tourist Board is expecting more than 3,000 British visitors this year as it plans to open a London office. Visitors will be able to learn about the 1982 war at a new museum at Port Stanley, and tour the battlefields of Goose Green and Mount Tumbledown.

Six killed in bomb attack by Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda militants bombed a local headquarters of Shia Houthi rebels south of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, yesterday, killing six and wounding 31. Police said the bombing in Dhamar province targeted  the Houthi movement, which has seized a string of Yemeni cities, including the capital.

Ebola nurse still in a critical condition

Pauline Cafferkey, the British nurse infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone, is still in a critical condition in intensive care at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Ms Cafferkey has undergone experimental transfusion therapy with plasma donated by Ebola survivors.

Abbott visits Iraq  to discuss Isis fight

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott made an unannounced visit to Baghdad yesterday. He met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss ways his country can help the country’s forces in fighting Isis.

CBI critical of Labour’s wage plan

Maternity leave should be extended and parents should be provided with 15 hours of free childcare, Katja Hall, the deputy head of the Confederation of British Industry, has said. The CBI has stated that Labour’s plans to increase the minimum wage is “unaffordable” and that instead the threshold for National Insurance payments should be higher.

Roma baby refused burial by mayor

A two-month-old baby Roma girl who died on Christmas Day will have a resting place after a mayor reportedly refused to allow her to be buried in his town south of Paris, where the parents live in a camp. The girl’s funeral will be held today in a nearby town, 11 days after her death.

Gay film ‘straight-washed’ by studio

The cover art of Pride, the acclaimed British film about a group of gay activists, has been digitally altered to remove reference to homosexual themes ahead of its DVD release in America.  The changes have led critics to accuse those in charge of “straight-washing”.

Cannabis farm found in WW2 bunker

Police in Holland say they have found a cannabis farm hidden in a Second World War bunker. A group was hiking near the North Sea at Katwijk, north of The Hague, when they discovered the illegal factory containing more than 150 plants.

Retail boss gets blues over Black Friday

John Lewis boss Andy Street has lamented that Black Friday is “difficult to organise” despite the fact that the US shopping craze – which seemed to take off in the UK this year – has helped John Lewis reach record sales.

Jackson making a Hobbit of success

Peter Jackson’s final Middle Earth film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, has spent a third week atop the US and Canadian movie charts, scooping $220.8m (£144m) since its 17 December release.

Downton Abbey star joins campaign

Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville has backed a campaign to preserve a building used in the ITV drama. Villagers in Bampton, Oxfordshire, hope to raise £250,000 to save their Old Grammar School.