The News Matrix: Saturday 15 February 2014


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The Independent Online

Man jailed over girl who fell to her death

A maintenance worker has been jailed for four years for the manslaughter of a two-year-old girl who fell to her death from a block of flats. Robert Warner removed a panel from a fourth-floor barrier at the flats in Sheffield, leaving a gap through which Ryaheen Banimuslem fell.

Cameron faces women backlash

The Government faces a backlash from women at the general election because of how they have been hit by the cuts, warned Dave Prentis, head of Unison, yesterday. “It will take more than a pair of wellies to protect David Cameron ... from the voter backlash from women everywhere.”

Bovine TB figures overestimated

The number of herds of cattle infected with bovine tuberculosis, carried by badgers, has been “significantly” overestimated, official figures show. Revised figures show that the number of herds under restrictions was 3,417, almost a third lower than the previous figure of 4,778.

Conflict of interest claim over NHS job

Sir Stuart Rose, the former Marks & Spencer boss appointed to advise on improving the management of the NHS, could “make a fortune” from hospital takeovers by private companies, Unite has claimed. Sir Stuart has links with the private health company Care UK. MORE

Suicide bomber in martyrdom video

A video has emerged of Abdul Waheed Majeed, 41, thought to be Britain’s first suicide bomber. Before he apparently drove a truck loaded with explosives into the gates of a prison in Aleppo, Syria, he was filmed in a “martyrdom” video uploaded to Youtube by Jabhat al-Nusra. MORE

France ‘hid extent’ of nuclear test fallout

Declassified documents reportedly show that France covered up the extent of nuclear fallout from its first atomic bomb test in North Africa. The Local reported that “cancer-causing” particles had reached Spain and Italy after the 1960 detonation in Algeria.

Dutch priest will stay in besieged city

A Dutch priest who has been in Syria for almost 50 years, said he will remain with the 23 Christians who are the last of a community which used to consist of 60,000, despite a ceasefire that has allowed 1,400 people to leave the besieged city of Homs over the past week. MORE

iPads and TV ‘must not replace talking’

iPads and TVs must not replace human interaction, a group of child psychologists has said as a series of studies shows speaking directly to children can improve their performance in school. Watching television or playing with an iPad had no benefits on a child’s development. MORE

We need to talk to Taliban, says Khan

Imran Khan has defended his desire to engage the Taliban to restore peace and prosperity to Pakistan. Critics say Khan is too soft on the Pakistani Taliban, at a time when the group is carrying out deadly attacks. But Mr Khan said he always “stood for dialogue”. MORE

Tories told to win  more votes in North

After being pushed into third in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election, the Tories have been warned by activists that they must revive their fortunes in the North if they hope to win the next general election. The party is assessing the damage  after being beaten by Ukip. MORE

‘Withnail’ star to join the cast of ‘Downton’

Richard E Grant is to appear in Downton Abbey. The star of  Withnail and I is one of several new cast members joining the hit period drama for the fifth series. Anna Chancellor, who played Henrietta in Four Weddings and a Funeral, also joins the cast as Lady Anstruther.

Ten-year-old driver claims to be a dwarf

A 10-year-old boy has made headlines around the world after he crashed his parents’ car into a snowy ditch, then attempted to claim he was an adult dwarf  who had misplaced his driving licence. The child also loaded  his 18-month-old sister into  the car. MORE

It hasn’t junk in yet for pun shop winner

A Derbyshire second-hand shopcalled “Junk & Disorderly” has come first in a public vote of the best pun names. The shop in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, beat off competition from Plane in the Glass, Abra Kebabra, and Heaven Scent. Owner Pete Yates, 51, said he was “shocked” to receive the £100 prize.

Rover and out: the phone app dog collar

Japan’s largest mobile phone operator has created a collar attachment that will allow dog owners to monitor their pup’s wellbeing at all times. The “Petfit” will send information to a pet parent’s smartphone, including how many calories they are burning, and whether the dog is sleeping, walking or running.

Dylan Thomas’s writing shed on tour

A replica of poet Dylan Thomas’s writing shed is to tour the country  as part of a festival marking the 100th anniversary of his birth.  Visitors to the shed, built last  month, will be invited to make  up a new word which will be published in a Dictionary of Dylan,  in honour of his logophilia.