The News Matrix: Saturday 21 December 2013


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The Independent Online

Grimsby mosque bombers jailed

Former soldiers Stuart Harness and Gavin Humphries, who fire-bombed a mosque in Grimsby following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, have each been jailed for six years at Hull Crown Court. The pair were caught on CCTV throwing homemade petrol bombs at the building. MORE

Solicitation and brothels to be legal

The Supreme Court struck down all current restrictions on prostitution yesterday, including bans on brothels and on street solicitation. The Canadian parliament has 12 months to come up with other ways to regulate the sex trade before the decision comes into force.

Palestinian militant link to Lockerbie

Suspicions that Palestinian militants masterminded the Lockerbie bombing have been supported by previously undisclosed evidence held by US intelligence. The revelations, which discount Libya’s involvement, came to light in a Channel 4 News special. MORE

Palestinian killed in Gaza Strip violence

Soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian and wounded three others in three separate incidents in the Gaza Strip yesterday, Palestinian officials said. The Israeli military added that its soldiers used live fire to contain a number of incidents near the border and “several hits were identified”.

Abuse victims were ignored, MP claims

Discrimination led to the police failing to save teenage girls from sexual abuse, the MP for Rochdale has claimed following a damning report into a sex ring. Police, prosecutors, social workers and healthcare teams all failed to act on danger signs, the review found. MORE

Pope hires KPMG  to clean up books

Pope Francis has taken the dramatic decision to allow an army of lay people into the secretive bowels of Vatican City. The Church is hiring McKinsey and Co to modernise its communications operations, and KPMG to bring its accounting up to international standards. MORE

Drugs firm appeals thalidomide ruling

A German drugs firm will appeal a Spanish court ruling ordering it to pay compensation to 22 Spaniards who blame their disabilities on the drug thalidomide. Gruenenthal Group said in a statement yesterday “the plaintiffs ... have failed to provide minimum evidence of their claim”.

Half of trains late for some UK passengers

Some rail passengers have had to contend with more than half their trains running late in the last year. Yet UK train passengers are the most satisfied in Europe, according to an EC survey covering 26,000 travellers. The poll comes after Network Rail published figures.

Mayor among four shot dead at airport

Gunmen shot dead four people, including the mayor of the southern town of Labangan, at Manila airport yesterday. Ukol Talumpa and three others were killed as they waited outside the terminal. Police are considering political rivalry as a possible motive for the attack.

Rain may have had role in collapse

Heavy rainfall may have played a part in the ceiling collapse at London’s Apollo Theatre which injured 79 people, according to investigators. The building’s owner had previously admitted London theatre buildings had “suffered years of benign neglect”. MORE

Refugees take UN shelter from fighting

As fighting continues in several parts of the world’s youngest nation, thousands of refugees have taken shelter in United Nations premises, including 20,000 in Juba. The China National Petroleum Company announced that it was evacuating its workforce yesterday. MORE

Harry Potter to hit the West End stage

Harry Potter is set to be brought to a West End stage within two years. A play of the hit novels, co-produced by author JK Rowling, will tell the story of Harry Potter’s young life after his parents had died, but before he was adopted. Rowling will not help write the play. MORE

Rodman’s birthday basketball for Kim

The bizarre antics of Dennis Rodman continued yesterday when he held trials for North Korean players to join a one-off match on Kim Jong-un’s birthday. “Don’t be afraid, it’s all love here,” he said to the US sportsmen he hopes will participate in the game.

Revolutionary ‘had skin disease’

Two researchers who gave the French revolutionary Robespierre a 3D makeover said it was possible he may have had an autoimmune disorder. Using the historical figure’s death mask, a pockmarked face was constructed that bears little resemblance to portraits.

Neanderthals ‘could speak just like us’

Neanderthals could speak like humans, according to a new study. Computer modelling of a fossilised hyoid bone – found in the throat – returned results “highly suggestive” of complex speech in Neanderthals, said researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Van Gogh painting gifted to the nation

An early painting by Vincent Van Gogh has been given to the nation to form part of the National Gallery collection. The work, Head of a Peasant Woman, had previously been on loan and has been handed over as part of a scheme to encourage  philanthropic giving.