The News Matrix: Saturday 10 January 2015


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Too-busy Cameron is branded ‘chicken’ 

David Cameron was yesterday branded  “chicken” for saying he did not have time to take part in a debate series with young voters, despite praising Bite the Ballot’s Leaders Live initiative to engage 16- to 24-year-olds in politics. Ed Miliband and other party leaders have taken part.

Private company quits NHS hospital

Circle Holdings, the first private company to be put in charge of an NHS hospital has said its contract is “no longer sustainable”. The announcement came as Hinching- brooke Hospital in Huntingdon was put into special measures by the Care Quality Commission.

Public invited to  mourn RAF veteran

People are invited to attend the funeral of an RAF veteran who died with no family or friends. Keith Nutbrown, 83, died recently at the Treflys Care Home in Llandudno, Conwy. Mr Nutbrown is believed to have served in Sri Lanka. The service will be on 20 January at Chester Crematorium in Chester.

Cypriot airline is grounded for good

Cyprus’s national airline will lose its operating licence and stop flying after the European Union ruled it had illegally received tens of millions of euros in state aid. Cypriot government ministers said an administrator would be appointed to wind down Cyprus Airways.

Breast cancer gene breakthrough

Scientists at Cambridge have  identified the gene behind one of most aggressive forms of breast  cancer in a breakthrough which could bring life-saving treatments. Almost a quarter of patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer will not survive for more than five years.

Abu Hamza jailed  for life by US court

The radical cleric Abu Hamza has been sentenced to life in jail for terror offences. British governments spent a decade trying to extradite the preacher, 56, over allegations of his involvement in terrorist activities. Hamza was jailed at a courthouse in New York.

‘Pings’ could be from AirAsia black boxes

The search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501 has heard “pings”, in the Java Sea, which could be from its black box flight recorders. Divers investigated. Officials say the boxes may have been separated from the rear part of the plane. QZ8501 disappeared on 28 December with 162 people on board.

110mph winds cause major power cuts

More than 100,000 properties in Scotland and the North of England have lost power due to severe storms. In Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis, wind gusts reached 113mph – the highest for the port since records began in 1970; 110mph was recorded at Loch Glascarnoch.

Actor Lance Percival dies at the age of 81

The actor Lance Percival, who starred in the hit TV comedy Up Pompeii, has died at the age of 81. Among his notable film roles  were Carry On Cruising, Postman’s Knock and Darling Lili. On TV, he appeared in the late 1970s series Shoestring and Citizen James.

Church children’s home under review

An independent review is to be carried out into a former Church of England-run children’s home after claims that girls were given massive doses of drugs. The Bishop of Rochester has set up the review into Kendall House in Gravesend, Kent, from 1950 to 1986 – the year it closed.

PFA chief ‘sorry’ for Hillsborough gaffe

The head of the Professional Footballers’ Association has apologised for comparing convicted rapist Ched Evans’ situation to the Hillsborough disaster. The comments made by Gordon Taylor led to calls from Liverpool fans for the PFA chief executive to resign.

Rajapaksa is voted out as president

The long-time leader Mahinda Rajapaksa lost his bid for a third term yesterday, ending a decade of rule that critics say had become authoritarian and marred by corruption. The opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena took 51.3 per cent of the votes.

Family feud erupts at soldier’s burial

Police had to step in at the funeral of a Black Watch soldier after a family feud boiled over. Pte Mark Connolly’s body had lain in a morgue for three years while his wife and mother wrangled over a burial site. The funeral was held in Forfar after a sheriff sided with Mrs Connolly.

Ukraine crisis ‘may lead to nuclear war’

The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev fears tensions between Russia and Europe over the Ukraine crisis could result in nuclear war. The 83-year-old told a German magazine: “We won’t survive the coming years if someone loses their nerve in this overheated situation.  I am extremely concerned.”

Suicide bomber kills six in Rawalpindi

At least six people were killed, including a policeman, and 17 wounded yesterday by a suicide bomber outside a Shia mosque in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi. Police said the attack took place after a large number of people had gathered in the mosque for a religious service.

Kilt kit to be sold at  Lidl for Burns Night

The discount supermarket Lidl is to sell discount tartan kilts just in time for Burns Night with its new range of cheap and cheerful Scottish Highland wear. A range of traditional Scottish outfits will appear in the company’s 610 stores throughout the UK from 15 January.

Foie gras back on California menus

California’s ban on serving foie gras has been overturned by a judge after the delicacy was outlawed for two years. Judge Stephen V Wilson ruled this week that the product ban broke US federal laws regulating poultry goods, but said that the production of foie gras remained illegal.

‘Withnail’ takes on ‘Jekyll and Hyde’

Richard E Grant is to star in a new TV adaptation of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story. The Withnail & I actor will play Sir Roger Bulstrode, the head of the shadowy M10 secret service, in ITV’s Jekyll & Hyde, which will also feature former Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede.

‘Mr Turner’ missing from Bafta shortlist

Film industry insiders expressed surprise that Mike Leigh’s biopic Mr Turner was missing from this year’s Bafta nominations, announced yesterday. The film, starring Timothy Spall, was not nominated in any category. The Grand Budapest Hotel led the field with 11.

£4m win sends Elvis fan to Graceland

An Elvis fan is planning a trip to Graceland after winning more than £4m on Wednesday – one day shy of the  king of rock’n’roll’s birthday. David Hendry and his wife, Donna, of Edinburgh, said they will move house and take a few family holidays with their  12-year-old son – including the trip to Elvis’s  home in Memphis.