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The News Matrix: Saturday 17 May 2014

Doctor hits back in statins dispute

The doctor who made the incorrect claim that statins cause side-effects in 20 per cent of patients has hit back at the academic who lodged the complaint against his research. Dr Aseem Malhotra said the main point of his article had not been successfully challenged.

Paramilitaries clash with Islamists

Clashes have resulted in deaths, after a paramilitary force attacked Islamist militias in Benghazi. Media reported government troops had joined the attack, led by a former general. Acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni condemned it as “a coup against the revolution”.

Miliband gets tough on jobless migrants

Labour could bar migrants from claiming out-of-work benefits for more than six months, party leader Ed Miliband suggested as he insisted immigration to the UK could be brought down without leaving the European Union. Mr Miliband was campaigning ahead of next week’s European elections.

China keeps drilling despite Vietnam riots

China has vowed to continue drilling in an area of the South China Sea that is contested by Vietnam, despite anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam. General Fang Fenghui said Beijing could not “afford to lose an inch” of territory, blaming Hanoi for stirring up trouble in the region.

Coming soon to a galaxy near you

Filming has begun on the latest Star Wars instalment, production company Bad Robot announced yesterday on Twitter. The film company, founded by the movie’s director J J Abrams, tweeted a picture of a clapper board with the hashtag “#dayone”.

Miner tells of panic after pit collapse 

A miner who survived the pit collapse in Turkey has described his fear as he was trapped over a mile underground with more than 140 of his colleagues on Tuesday. Emre Alaca told i last night he had given up all hope of a rescue: “There was panic, shouting and confusion.”

Google flooded with ‘take down’ requests

Google has been inundated with “take down” demands – hundreds from people in Britain – triggered by a European Court ruling earlier this week giving people the “right to be forgotten”. They include pages relating to a famous actor’s affair with a teenager.

Farage flushed in tough interview

Nigel Farage’s image suffered a blow yesterday in an interview on LBC Radio. The self-styled “plain-speaking” Ukip leader became so rattled during the 22-minute talk, which touched on his views on race and his expenses, that his spin doctor tried to stop it.

Qatar World Cup a mistake, says Blatter

The awarding of the 2022 football World Cup to Qatar was a “mistake”, Fifa president Sepp Blatter admitted yesterday. In an interview with Swiss television, he conceded that the tournament will likely have to be held in the winter because of the heat.

Cameron expects report by end of year 

David Cameron expects the long-awaited Chilcot report into the Iraq War to be published by the end of the year. Publication of the report is understood to have been held back by negotiations over the inclusion of private communications between Tony Blair and George Bush.

UN gets food through to 18,000 refugees

The head of the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees says food has got through to 18,000 civilians trapped in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, but that medical supplies are badly needed. Yarmouk has been under a tight government blockade since mid-2013.

Heinz pays £50,000 over severed hand

Food giant Heinz has been fined £50,000 after an engineer had his hand severed in machinery at  one of its plants, the Health and Safety Executive said. Alec “Alf”  Brackenbury, 49, had to undergo eight operations following the  “life-changing injury” last June.

First census since 1970 starts smoothly

The first national census in Angola since 1970 – when the country was still a Portuguese colony – is under way. More than 90,000 officials have been deployed across the country, which has suffered 27 years of war. The process is reported to have started smoothly in the capital, Luanda.

Teenager kills man over blasphemy

A teenager walked into a Pakistani police station on Friday and shot dead a  65-year-old man from a minority sect accused of blasphemy, their spokesman said, the second murder involving the country’s controversial blasphemy laws in as many weeks.

Girl, five, dies after falling ill at school

A five-year-old girl has died after being taken ill at school. The girl, a pupil at Willow Bank Infant School in Woodley, Berkshire, died in hospital after being taken there by ambulance on Thursday. Thames Valley Police said: “The death is unexplained but not believed to be suspicious.”

Sofa, so good – cash in settee is returned

Three young flatmates living near New York found more than $40,000 (£24,000) in cash in an old sofa they bought from a thrift shop and then returned the money to the 91-year-old widow whose couch had been given away.

GCHQ searches for best hackers

GCHQ is backing a competition to find the best amateur security analysts in the UK. The Cyber Security Challenge asks applicants to prevent a mock cyber attack on the country and present their analysis to the National Crime Agency.

Sex at work video appeals to voters

A video highlighting the plusses of sex in the workplace is being used by a leading political party in the Czech Republic to appeal to voters in next week’s European Elections. The video was posted by the Czech Social Democratic party youth branch.

Ex-Marine welcomes free travel for dogs

An ex-Royal Marine has welcomed National Express’s decision to allow assistance dogs free travel. Jon Flint, 38, of Stedham, West Sussex, broke his back in service and relies on his dog, Varick, for help with daily tasks.

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