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The News Matrix: Monday 7 April 2014


Energy complaints treble in a year

The highest number of energy complaints ever recorded have come in the first three months of this year, the energy sector’s ombudsman has said. Between January and March, complaints reached 10,638, compared with 3,277 during the same period last year. More than 2,000 consumers complained about not receiving bills, while 1,474 made complaints about charges. 

Nitrogen in soil ‘at critical levels’

Nitrogen pollution in Britain, which has contributed to the recent smog, poses a significant threat to wildlife, experts have warned. Nitrogen in the soil – the result of emissions from agriculture, power stations and cars – has reached critical levels on non-agricultural land. MORE

World’s biggest election begins

Voting in the world’s biggest election begins today, to choose members for India’s 543-seat Lok Sabha, or House of the People. Results are due on 16 May. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, and its allies are forecast to win the most seats but not a majority. MORE

Students may launch  challenge to Ukip

Ukip leader Nigel Farage could be challenged by millions of students at next year’s general election if a motion at this week’s National Union of Students conference is agreed. He is accused of leading a party of the “nationalist right”, the rise of which should be challenged.

Pistorius to give evidence this week

The defence team for athlete Oscar Pistorius is set to begin stating its case today as the murder trial of the Paralympian reopens. Pistorius is expected to give evidence sometime this week. He denies the charge of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

McGuinness to attend state dinner

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness, will be a guest at a state banquet at Windsor Castle during the first official visit to the UK of an Irish President this week.

Daily glass of milk helps fight arthritis

A glass of milk a day can keep osteoarthritis at bay, at least for women with the disease affecting their knees, research reported in the latest edition of the journal Arthritis Care & Research has shown. Increasing consumption of fat-free or low-fat milk was found to slow progression of the condition.

Fifa ‘must pressure’ Qatar on workers

Fifa and the national football associations of the UK should put pressure on Qatar to improve the “sub-human” working conditions of thousands of migrant labourers building facilities for the 2022 World Cup, Labour’s shadow international development secretary Jim Murphy has said.

Police barriers not enough to stop race

Police blocked roads but were unable to prevent runners from completing a half marathon through Sheffield yesterday, after the event was cancelled by organisers at the last minute on health and safety grounds. MORE

Government spy HQ goes into education

GCHQ is to give its official stamp to Masters degrees in cyber security, effectively creating a certified MSc for spies. The agency has told universities that graduates of selected courses can say they have “completed a GCHQ-certified degree”. MORE

Killer zombies attack Cardiff

Streets in Cardiff came to a standstill following a new zombie craze when 500 people took part in a cross-city chase game. 2.8 Hours Later sees players immersed into a film-like story where actors playing the undead are out to get them.