The News Matrix: Saturday 16 November 2013


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The Independent Online

New oil field to support 20,000 jobs

A new North Sea oil field is set to be developed, after the Department of Energy and Climate Change gave the go-ahead for the £4bn project. British oil company EnQuest said the development of the Kraken field, 77 miles east of the Shetland Islands, will support 20,000 jobs.

Chemical weapons request snubbed

Albania has turned down a US request to host the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons, its prime minister said yesterday. “It is impossible for Albania to get involved,” Edi Rama said. Protesters had opposed the plans to destroy Syria’s 1,000 tonnes of chemical weapons.

Manhunt for syringe attacker

A manhunt is under way in Birmingham after five young women were stabbed with hypodermic needles in the city. Police have released an image of a suspect after a 30-year-old woman was stabbed in the thigh in central Birmingham in the early hours of 3 November. MORE

Pianist ‘deserves jail’ for noise

Prosecutor Emma Ruiz says Laia Martin of Puigcerda, a professional pianist, should serve 16 months for noise pollution, plus another four months for causing her neighbour “psychological harm”. The case has caused a storm of ridicule. A verdict is expected within two weeks.

Mother calls for suicide website ban

Suicide websites should be banned, according the mother whose son died after researching how to take his own life. Ayden Keenan-Olson, 14, was found dead in his bed by his father after suffering homophobic and racist bullying at his school in Colchester, an inquest heard. MORE

Safety summit urged after spate of deaths

A safety summit should be held following the death of seven cyclists in  quick succession, according to the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. In a letter to the London Mayor Boris Johnson, the body said there was a “need for urgent action”. MORE

Schools blamed for social mobility drop

Britain has seen a “disturbing” decline in social mobility over the past 30 years, Foreign Secretary William Hague said. Mr Hague, who attended a state school, put the blame on shortcomings in the education system, which he said were being tackled by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Militiamen kill  peaceful protesters

Libyan militiamen attacked peaceful protesters demanding the disbanding of the country’s rampant armed groups yesterday, killing at least seven as they opened fire on a march. The march in Tripoli by thousands of people was the biggest show of anger at militias in months.

Green denies hiding money for friend

Sir Philip Green has appeared in court to deny sheltering money for a bankrupt tycoon at the centre of a high-profile divorce battle. The billionaire owner of Topshop, who is a former adviser to David Cameron, told the court he had lent Mr Young £80,000 in 2008. MORE

Row over ‘world’s largest nightclub’

Manchester could become home to the world’s largest nightclub. Developers plan to turn a Victorian train station in the city centre into a 7,500-capacity venue. However, the plans have been met with fierce opposition and lawyers have been drafted in to battle out the proposals. MORE

Passenger falls 2,000ft from plane

Rescue crews continued to search yesterday for the body of a passenger who fell 2,000ft out of a small plane over Miami. The pilot contacted the Federal Aviation Administration at about 1.30pm on Thursday and radioed: “He opened the back door and he just fell out the plane.” MORE

Marijuana haul goes up in smoke

The government of Liberia has decided to burn nearly 300kg of marijuana thought to have been smuggled into the country from neighbouring Sierra Leone by a member of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s staff. The burning was due to take place yesterday.

Ballsy protester faces charges

A nude performance artist who nailed his scrotum to Red Square as a political protest faces up to five years in prison, Russian media reported yesterday. Pyotr Pavlensky, 29, was arrested on Sunday, released and placed under travel restrictions. He now faces a charge of hooliganism.

London among first to be given domain

London will become one of the first cities in the world to have its own domain. A deal was signed this week that will make available internet addresses ending in .london from next year. Tens of thousands of brands are said to have already expressed an interest.

US Navy warns of Naples toxic water

The US Navy has warned its personnel in Naples to use only bottled water as local supplies have become dangerously contaminated. A major US study, leaked to the Italian magazine L’Espresso, found “unprecedented and shocking” levels of dangerous pollutants in water samples.

Young people surf to beat depression

Young people in Dorset are being offered surfing lessons on prescription to beat depression. The £10,000 scheme has been launched by the Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust to help budding surfers overcome a range of challenges.

Half of Italian men still ‘mamma’s boys’

More than half of young Italian men still live with their mothers, Italy’s statistics agency, Istat, revealed. Last year 52.3 per cent of men aged 25 to 34 were living with their parents, compared with 35 per cent of women. Italian men are often called mammoni, or mamma’s boys.

Commutes now take close to an hour

The average daily commute is almost five minutes longer than it was a decade ago at 54.6 minutes, according to research by the TUC. It found that men in their early 40s spend 67 minutes a day getting to and from work. Commute times for women peak in their late 20s at 54 minutes.

Villagers catch cheetahs after chase

Four villagers in north-east Kenya have chased down two cheetahs which were killing their goats. The men waited until the hottest part of the day to launch the chase over four miles, they told the BBC. The cheetahs, which can reach speeds of 64mph, got so tired they had to stop.

Language declines in old strongholds

Use of Gaelic in its traditional heartlands continues to decline, according to analysis of the 2011 Census. The Western Isles in the Hebrides is the only place where most people say it is their first language. On Skye, a former stronghold, just one parish had a majority of Gaelic speakers.

Time’s up: minister quits over watch

Poland’s transport minister,  Slawomir Nowak, has resigned after an investigation found he did not report a wristwatch reportedly worth more than £2,000.  The probe casts a new shadow on the governing Civic Platform party, which has been under fire for allegedly shady dealings.

Toronto council to strip mayor of power

Toronto city council voted by 39 votes to 3 to strip its scandal-plagued Mayor Rob Ford of some of his powers yesterday, but Ford, who has confessed to smoking crack cocaine while in office, said he would  legally challenge to any such moves by councillors. MORE