The News Matrix: Saturday 24 May 2014


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The Independent Online

Universal Credit under the radar

The Government published its annual review of £400bn of public spending projects yesterday with no mention of Universal Credit. i understands the scheme received the lowest possible rating, leading Iain Duncan Smith to suppress its publication. MORE

Savile review on hold  until later this year

The BBC review into how Jimmy Savile carried out a campaign  of abuse over decades will not  be published until later in the  year. It has been reported that  Dame Janet Smith’s review  is expected to uncover hundreds  of victims.

Thai government surrenders to junta

Ousted members of Thailand’s former government surrendered to the new military junta yesterday, as soldiers dispersed hundreds of anti-coup activists who defied a ban on large-scale gatherings to protest against the army’s seizure of power earlier this week.  MORE

Whale activists gather in London

Activists in Leicester Square today will try to stop holidaymakers visiting whale or dolphin shows, as part of the Empty the Tanks initiative. Protests will be held in more than 50 locations worldwide; campaigners will display 5,500 crosses in London to represent the animals that have died in captivity.

Salmond’s childcare plan ‘doesn’t add up’

A plan by Alex Salmond to give parents 30 hours of free childcare a week “does not add”, the UK Treasury will claim. Officials will say that even if every parent in Scotland not working returned to employment it would not provide the projected tax revenues.

Childminders quit for better money

Thousands of childminders are quitting the profession amid tough financial conditions, it has been suggested. New statistics show that there are now about 7,700 fewer childminders working with pre-school children in England than there were five years ago.

First Everest climb since Sherpa deaths

A Chinese woman was yesterday the first climber to ascend Mount Everest from the Nepali side since an avalanche killed 16 guides on the mountain in April. The Tourism Ministry said 40-year-old Wang Jing reached the 8,850m summit on Friday afternoon in good weather.

‘Extremists’ banned from Pope’s visit

Police have barred several Israeli extremists from Jerusalem ahead of the arrival of Pope Francis (above). A police spokesman said five “right-wing individuals” were given orders banning them from Jerusalem after intelligence reports indicated they planned a “provocation”.

‘Disappeared’ tally adjusted to 8,000

The number of people who have gone missing since the start of the drug war in 2006 has been recalculated, giving a total of 8,000. It is unclear how many of the missing were kidnapped or killed by drug gangs. The interior ministry said this was the tally for the current and previous administration.

Fracking survey fails to find gas

Fracking has suffered a major setback after a survey of one of the UK’s great shale gas hopes found no evidence of gas. While the survey did find 4.4 billion barrels of oil under the Weald, it would be hard to extract and would yield less than 0.5 per cent of what the North Sea produces. MORE

Iran cuts nuclear stockpile by 80%

Iran has cut by 80 per cent its stockpile of higher-grade enriched uranium gas – a short step away from weapons-grade material – under an interim pact with world powers and has engaged with an IAEA investigation into suspected weapons research, the UN nuclear agency said yesterday.

Gender-based abortion warning

The Department of Health has issued guidance warning doctors who carry out abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby and pre-sign abortion forms that they are breaking the law. It follows recent reports of gender-based abortion occurring in Britain.