The News Matrix: Saturday 17 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Operators get more time for 999 calls

The time given to 999 call handlers to consider whether to dispatch an ambulance is to be tripled from 60 seconds to three minutes, to ease pressure on the emergency services. It is hoped that the extra time allowed will lead to fewer wasted ambulance call-outs.

No return for Cosby insists NBC chief

NBC’s top entertainment executive says the door is firmly shut on Bill Cosby’s return to the network. In the wake of new and renewed allegations of sexual assault against Cosby, NBC executive Bob Greenblatt said it was “safe to say” NBC would never air a project starring the comedian.

Man, 18, held over Xbox cyber attacks

An 18-year-old man has been arrested in a joint British and FBI-led operation following cyber attacks on Sony PlayStation and Xbox systems last year. The teenager was held today in Southport, Merseyside, on suspicion of unauthorised access to computer material.

Fighting rages for Donetsk airport

Fighting raged at the airport in the city of Donetsk yesterday as a fresh attempt to resume peace talks to end the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine failed. Kiev officials said six Ukrainian soldiers were killed overnight and 18 wounded in attacks by separatists.

Inquiry into Ched Evans website

An investigation into a website set up to support the footballer and convicted rapist Ched Evans is being investigated after suspicions it identified his victim. The Attorney General has ordered the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate if it is in contempt of court.

Collector hit with £3.7m legal bill

The former owner of a controversial painting is facing having to pay up to £3.7m in legal costs after losing a High Court battle. Lancelot William “Bill” Thwaytes accused Sotheby’s of giving him negligent advice about the value of Caravaggio’s The Cardsharps. He sold it for just thousands.

Lottery worker under investigation

A lottery worker in Iowa has been arrested more than four years after he attempted to illegally claim a multi-million dollar winning ticket via his friends. Eddie Tipton, 51, was arrested after being recognised on CCTV. A friend of his attempted to claim the prize.

Presenter faces five years in jail for tweet

A news agency says prosecutors are seeking up to five years in prison for Sedef Kabas, a television presenter who was detained last month for a tweet suggesting a cover-up in a corruption scandal. He has been charged with “targeting public servants tasked with fighting terror”.

Air rage passenger jailed for six months

A passenger who ignored London Mayor Boris Johnson’s pleas to calm down on a flight from Malaysia, and headbutted a flight attendant, has been jailed for six months. David Morris, 43, had been drinking on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to London when he began raging at cabin crew.

Four ‘Sun’ staff cleared of charges

Four former and current Sun staff have been acquitted of charges of corrupting public officials. Picture editor John Edwards, ex-deputy news editor Ben O’Driscoll, former managing editor Graham Dudman and former reporter John Troup were cleared.

Flooding kills 176, 200,000 homeless

More than 176 people are dead and at least 200,000 have been displaced from flooding that has left homes and schools submerged and roads washed away by the deluge in Malawi, its vice president said yesterday. At least 153 people are unaccounted for in the worst affected southern parts of the country.

Five foreigners  to be executed

Indonesian authorities plan to execute six prisoners on Sunday convicted of drug offences, including five foreigners, the government said. It is the first time capital punishment will be carried out under new President Joko Widodo, who took office in late October.

Muslim appointed to oversee intelligence

Top Democrats are defending their appointment of a Muslim congressman to the US House Intelligence Committee after warnings on social media that the move is dangerous. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this week appointed Rep. Andre Carson to the panel overseeing intelligence departments.

Rug gains fame after spelling mistake

A Florida sheriff’s office is auctioning a rug that earned fame when it was spotted its official crest read “In Dog We Trust”, instead of “In God We Trust”. The mat sat in Pinellas County sheriff’s office for two months. By yesterday the rug had attracted bids of more than $2,550.

‘Lovejoy’ may be ready for a return

Lovejoy could be making a TV comeback with top writer Tony Jordan polishing up the vintage gem. The man behind shows such as Hustle and Life On Mars is developing a script for the series about the escapades of the charming antiques dealer, according to

Mayor bans cheese to help Seattle win

In a friendly slap at Green Bay Packers American football fans, known as “cheeseheads,” the boss of Bainbridge Island City, near Seattle, has banned possession of cheese at City Hall ahead of Sunday’s pre-Superbowl playoff between the Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.

Cancer-battling hippo gives birth

Zookeepers at Whipsnade have welcomed the birth of an endangered male pygmy hippo – born to a mother who is battling cancer. Hippo Flora is still living with a tumour in her mouth, but vets say she has responded very well to treatment and her pregnancy was unaffected.

Tilda Swinton licks  coats, but is it art?

The actress Tilda Swinton is starring in a piece of performance art in which she talks to and licks coats. Titled Cloakroom, the 90-minute performance is being staged at the Pitti Uomo menswear show in Florence, Italy. Swinton takes coats belonging to the audience and treats them as her co-stars.