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The News Matrix: Saturday 18 May 2013

Dead children’s IDs ‘commonly used’

Police officers from Scotland  Yard’s Special Demonstration  Squad commonly used dead children’s identities in their undercover work, chief constable Mick Creedon told MPs yesterday. He said affected families had yet to be informed. MORE

Academy sponsors in overspend probe

Bosses at E-ACT, which runs 35 academies, were criticised in a government report for extravagant overspending. An investigation found they spent thousands of pounds of public money on “procedural irregularities”, including unapproved consultancy fees. MORE

Russia sends Assad anti-ship missiles

Russia has sent advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria, despite worldwide pleas to stop strengthening President Bashar al-Assad’s defences. Meanwhile, in a new report, Human Rights Watch said it has found evidence of torture devices in abandoned government prisons.

Imams to denounce sexual grooming

Imams are to give sermons condemning sexual grooming. On 28 June, religious leaders will give addresses across Britain as part of a Muslim campaign to tackle abuse. The event will follow a conference on preventing further abuse cases following the Oxfordshire paedophile scandal. MORE

Rape victim’s mother pleads for justice

The mother of a Delhi student, who died after a brutal gang-rape, yesterday tearfully pleaded for justice. Asha Singh was in court to testify against four men charged with the gang-rape. The four have pleaded not guilty, but face the death penalty if convicted. MORE

Mayor denies smoking crack 

A video purportedly of Toronto’s mayor smoking crack cocaine has caused uproar. The video has not been released publicly, but reports by website Gawker and The Toronto Star said it was taken by a man who claimed he had sold crack to Rob Ford, who said the claims are “ridiculous”.

£500,000 offered to aspiring indie bands

The Arts Council has launched a £500,000 fund for 75 aspiring indie bands and dance musicians in a bid to find the next Arctic Monkeys. A panel of industry experts will distribute the grants to groups already on the cusp of success but in need of an additional boost. MORE

Village mosque blasts kill 15 people

At least 15 people died and 70 wounded by bombs in two Sunni mosques in a village in north-west Pakistan, underlining the challenge facing the new Nawaz Sharif government. No one has claimed responsibility, but suspicion is likely to fall on the Taliban.

Gay marriage plans ‘upset vast numbers’

The Government is upsetting “vast numbers of people” with its same-sex marriage legislation, a cabinet minister has warned. Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, said the plans had led to a “real sense of anger” among voters. MORE

‘Packed lunches are close to child abuse’

Jamie Oliver has compared unhealthy packed lunches with child abuse. The celebrity chef said head teachers should do their bit in raising awareness about healthy food.  He said about packed lunches, “some are close to child abuse”.

Restaurant area  car bomb kills nine

A car bomb in Afghanistan exploded in a high-security community near the southern city of Kandahar, yesterday evening. At least nine people were killed and more than 70 wounded. A government spokesman said the explosion was near a restaurant area where families were dining.

Ryanair warns pilots  over airing concerns

Ryanair pilots face the sack if they go public with suggestions that the firm’s employment practices imperil passengers. Staff were told they would be guilty of “gross misconduct” if they signed a letter expressing such concerns. MORE

Anti-gay activists stop pride parade

A gay-pride parade in Georgia’s capital was abandoned after several thousand anti-gay activists occupied the street where it was to be held. Police in Tbilisi guarded several dozen gay activists and transported them out of the city. Protesters insist that homosexuality runs against Georgia’s Christian values. MORE

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