The News Matrix: Saturday 19 April 2014


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The Independent Online

NHS whistleblowers ‘must be protected’

The treatment of NHS whistle-blowers must be subject to a public inquiry, a leading doctor and patient safety pioneer has said. The statement comes after a heart surgeon who raised the alarm about poor care was found to have been wrongly dismissed by his hospital. MORE

Boy who was ‘on fire’ taken to hospital

A boy of seven was taken to hospital in Aberdeen yesterday following reports he was “on fire”. Police said they are following a positive line of inquiry, the incident involved petrol and that the boy has “quite serious burns”. Anyone with relevant information should call the police on 101.

Powerful quake rocks central region

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico yesterday, but there were no early reports of major damage or casualties. The US Geological Survey said the epicentre was north-west of the Pacific resort of Acapulco.

Henry plans protest over lack of diversity

Actor/comedian Lenny Henry plans to lead a mass protest to Parliament over lack of diversity in British TV. An urgent meeting is to be held between the BBC and key industry leaders to discuss the issue, says Henry, who has long campaigned for better representation. MORE

Mosque bomb attack kills 14 in Homs

A bomb killed 14 people at a mosque in Homs, Syrian state television said yesterday. The attack happened as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad looked close to wresting the symbolic central city back from rebels. Dozens more were wounded in the blast.

Fatal Devon  boating accident

One man died and another was taken to hospital yesterday after a boat capsized in a river estuary in Devon. The boat flipped at Bideford Bar, two miles off the north Devon coast. Neither of the two men, both in their 30s, were found wearing lifejackets.

PM takes privacy fight to court

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan applied to Turkey’s constitutional court yesterday to challenge the alleged violation of his and his family’s rights by social media. His government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation.

CCTV surge among nosy neighbours

Cheap household CCTV cameras have led to a surge of snooping disputes between neighbours. The court system can fail families who feel violated by cameras that peek inside their homes, according to the government’s new surveillance camera commissioner. MORE

Man dies of wounds after police clash

A Bahraini man died yesterday from shotgun wounds sustained during clashes with police during a funeral procession almost two months ago, rights activists said, becoming the first person killed in such circumstances  since February last year.

Waterstones starts bookshop fightback

Waterstones is to open its first new bookshop in six years, “designed for the 21st century”. It follows news that the growth in e-book sales is set to slow. Waterstones’ boss James Daunt said there was a need for more social bookshops with cafes and play areas. MORE

Vatican: hunger for gold is modern evil

The Vatican’s official preacher, at a Good Friday service attended by Pope Francis said huge salaries and the world financial crisis were modern evils caused by the “cursed hunger for gold”. The Pope presided at a “Passion of the Lord” service in St Peter’s Basilica.

Lawsuit over atheist number plate

A woman claims she was denied a licence plate proclaiming herself to be an atheist because it might be considered offensive. Shannon Morgan filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission violated her First Amendment rights when its website rejected the plate reading “8THEIST”.

Gardeners ‘throwing snails next door’

A fifth of gardeners admit to throwing snails over the fence into their neighbour’s garden to get rid of them. A poll for the Royal Horticultural Society found Londoners were most likely to get rid of snails by lobbing them over the fence, while it was least common in Scotland. MORE

Prince makes shock return to Warner

The pop star Prince has a signed a major deal with Warner Bros Records – the label he famously fell out with nearly 20 years ago. The split was so acrimonious that Prince called himself a slave and changed his stage name to a symbol. Now the star says the new deal will see a release of his classic album Purple Rain in time for its 30th anniversary.

Easter shares date with dope holiday

Social media in the US have been buzzing with jokes about how this Easter Sunday shares the day with the pot-lover’s highest holiday: April 20, or 420. One Los Angeles church is using medical marijuana imagery to attract new worshippers to Easter sermons called “Medicated,” about seeking fulfilment via God, not drugs.

Virgin birth? No, just a long pregnancy...

Doris the camel lives on a Cornish farm with no male camels, so it was a huge surprise to farmer Andrew Henshaw when she gave birth yesterday. But the mystery was later explained, not as a case of immaculate conception, but by the fact that camels have extraordinarily long pregnancies lasting up to 15 months.