The News Matrix: Saturday 13 December 2014


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The Independent Online

Hollande: we should put patients to sleep

French President Francois Hollande has said terminally ill patients should be able to be put to sleep “in deep sedation” until their death, a compromise in the debate over euthanasia.  A draft law is set to be put forward next month, to be followed by a debate.

Protesters demand mortgage assistance

Russians who have seen mortgage payments rocket as the rouble has plunged in value took to the streets of Moscow yesterday to demand state help. It was one of the first big protests over the currency, which is down more than 40 per cent against the US dollar this year.

Drivers told not to rely on DIY kits

Motorists are being warned not to rely on DIY breath-testing kits. Trading-standards officers in Dorset tested 14 shop-bought kits and found that nine indicated that the user was safe to drive when they were over the limit. They also found false claims of links to the police on four devices which were bought over the internet.

Hadron Collider ready to go again

Cern’s Large Hadron Collider will be turned back on in March and a few weeks later will start smashing sub-atomic particles together again at nearly double its previous power, helping scientists hunt for clues about the universe. The particle collider has had a two-year refit.

Call for women to lose veils in court

Women who wear veils should be compelled to show their face in court, Britain’s most senior female judge has said. Baroness Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court, said “ways have got to be found” to ensure that face coverings are removed.

Papal age of simple things hit tailors

Catholic Church officials trimming their usually lavish wardrobes are hitting the pockets of Rome’s tailors. Priests and cardinals are following the lead of Pope Francis, who has shunned the traditional papal red cape trimmed with ermine that Benedict XVI liked to wear.

‘Sun’ writer sorry for  transgender quip

A columnist in The Sun newspaper has apologised for comments he made about Emily Brothers, a blind, transgender Labour election candidate. Rod Liddle said he was sorry for “the poor joke”, adding: “I I’d definitely vote for her if I lived in Sutton and Cheam.”

Last UK independent coke works closes

The UK’s last independent coke works, owned by Hargreaves Services, is to close this month – ending 130 years of production – after failing to weather competition from Chinese rivals. The Monckton site near Barnsley has struggled to win enough long-term contracts.

Burnham issues NHS waiting-time warning

Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, has said figures showing 35,373 NHS patients waited more than four hours for A&E treatment in the first week of December should be a “wake-up call”. The number was two-thirds higher than the same period last year.

‘Express’ owner hands £300k to Ukip

Ukip’s general election campaign has received a £300,000 donation pledge from the owner of the Daily Express. Richard Desmond is understood to have discussed the gift with Nigel Farage earlier this month, while the Express has hinted it is to support the party.

Life term for ‘predatory’ killer

A “predatory armed killer” has been jailed for life for murdering Claire Tiltman in 1993. Colin Ash-Smith, 46, must serve a minimum of 21 years in prison. Ash-Smith, who is already serving life for attacks on two other women, stabbed Claire, 16, to death in Greenhithe, Kent.

PM wants drug tests for all politicians

Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister who has vowed to remake Hungary into a “non-liberal” state as he moves closer to Moscow, wants mandatory drug testing for journalists and politicians. Critics say his plan is an attack on civil liberties and a cynical ploy to revive his flagging popularity.

That’s one way to earn a crust...

A baker has created the world’s most expensive loaf of bread – by adding gold dust to his flour. The loaves are being sold for €117 (£93) from Juan Manuel Moreno’s bakery in southern Spain, mostly to Arab, Russian and Chinese buyers, local media reported.

Girl, 11, takes £800 taxi to meet a boy

Arkansas police say an 11-year-old girl paid a taxi driver $1,300 (£827) to take her to meet a boy in Florida, but authorities caught up with her in Georgia after her parents reported her missing. The cab firm said the girl looked older and that the driver wouldn’t face disciplinary measures.

Magic mushrooms found at the Palace

A species of magic mushroom has been discovered growing in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. The Amanita muscaria, commonly known as fly agaric or fly mushroom, was found during a walkabout of the private gardens for a television show to be screened on Christmas Day.

Wedding ban for national anthem

China’s national anthem can no longer be performed at weddings, funerals, balls or other non-political functions and should only be performed at certain dignified events, state media said yesterday. The rule is to “standardise proper etiquette” for the national anthem.

Tapping into the Christmas spirit

A western New York brewery has constructed a Christmas tree out of hundreds of beer kegs. The Genesee Brewing Co. built the 23-metre-high Christmas tree out of 300 stainless steel kegs outsides its Brew House in downtown Rochester. The tree is trimmed with 600ft of green lights.