The News Matrix: Saturday 27 December 2014


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Hackers ‘wanted to show poor security’

A group called the Lizard Squad took credit for the outages which caused Sony and Microsoft games networks to crash on Christmas Day. Lizard Squad told the news site WinBeta they wanted to highlight the issue of how the companies failed to protect customers.

Priest shot dead in notorious cartel area

A Mexican priest was found dead after being shot in the head, his diocese said yesterday. The killing of the Rev Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta was the latest in series of abductions and attacks against Catholic clerics in an area of southern Guerrero state dominated by drug cartels.

Councils urged to cut rates for ATMs

Councils should encourage shops to install free cash machines by offering business rate discounts, the Local Government Minister, Penny Mordaunt, has said. The suggestion was welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores, which said half of local stores now had an ATM.

Mosques set on fire and vandalised

Police in Sweden say one mosque has been vandalised and a second mosque in the same town set ablaze, leaving at least five people injured. The two attacks in the central Swedish town of Eskilstuna took place within hours of each other Thursday and early yesterday.

Pregnant woman’s life support cut off

A brain-dead pregnant woman was removed from life support yesterday, after a ruling from Ireland’s second-highest court. The case, which concerned a mother-of-two, has highlighted the lack of clarity within the medical profession surrounding Ireland’s abortion laws.

Minister’s aides held in graft scandal

The arrest of some of the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s closest confidantes could jeopardise the status of his far-right party as kingmaker in Israeli politics. Mr Lieberman says the Yisrael Beiteinu party has been deliberately targeted.

Trial adjourned in beach murder case

Two Burmese men charged with the murder of two British tourists in Thailand have had their trial adjourned until July. The men protested their innocence at a hearing yesterday. David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found dead in September.

Free schools ‘failing to fill their places’

The free schools programme is paying for more than 2,500 pupils who don’t exist, Labour has claimed. It says that 83 per cent of free schools that opened this year have failed to fill all their places. The Department for Education said the research was “misleading”.

Details of ‘buried’ drug report revealed

A Home Office report which recommended that drug abuse should be treated as a health problem – with some addicts prescribed heroin – was “buried” by the Home Secretary Theresa May, claims former minister Norman Baker (pictured).

Talks will try to save City Link jobs

RMT, the union representing 2,727 workers facing redundancy at the parcel delivery group City Link, will meet the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, in the new year for talks which they hope will save jobs. City Link called in the administrators on Chrismas Eve.

Afghanistan efforts paid off, says Obama

President Barack Obama told troops in Hawaii that their efforts had given Afghanistan a chance to rebuild. His speech came a week before the official withdrawal of US troops. By the end of 2015 there will be 13,500 US and Nato troops there, down from 140,000 in 2010.

Overweight people ‘need NHS support’

Britons who are so overweight as to be classed as obese need proper support from the NHS to avoid developing costly diabetes, the organisation’s chief executive said yesterday. Doctors are to be  tasked with spotting overweight patients.

Stranded seal named Dumbledore

The adult grey seal found in a field has been named Dumbledore, after the Harry Potter wizard, by staff at RSPCA East Winch in Norfolk. It was taken to the centre after being found more than 20 miles from the mouth of the River Mersey in a field near Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, on 22 December.

MPs trade punches as debate turns nasty

A fist fight broke out between political parties in the Georgian parliament yesterday after an argument over the composition of delegations in international institutions. Some MPs tore off microphones from their desks and used them as weapons to strike their opponents.

‘Exodus’ film banned over ‘inaccuracies’

Egypt has banned the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings on the grounds of “historical inaccuracies”. The country’s censors were unimpressed with the film’s claim an earthquake sparked the parting of the Red Sea, rather than a divine miracle, and another suggesting that Jews built the Pyramids.

Employee clocks off after 60 years on job

Dennis Gerrish has finally retired, aged 90, after 60 years’ service with one firm. Mr Gerrish joined Wiltshire-based Waldens Farm Foods in the 1950s as a mechanic, staying until 1989. He was then asked to return as a groundsman,  and stayed with the company after it became Apetito in 1996.

Christmas tree donations ‘humbling’

A woman who collected 150 unwanted fake Christmas trees to distribute to food banks has said she has been “humbled” by the overwhelming response to her “tree-bank” scheme. Hayley Dolbear, from March in Cambridgeshire, said that one supplier gave her 100 real trees, which raised £450 in donations.

Topless protester snatches baby Jesus

A topless activist from the group Femen has been arrested after she invaded the Nativity scene in the Vatican on Christmas Day and snatched the baby Jesus. A Vatican guard covered Ukrainian activist Yana Zhdanova with his cape, while she shouted “God is woman”, still clutching the figure.