The News Matrix: Saturday 29 March 2014


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The Independent Online

Build-up of Russian troops alarms US

The US is alarmed about a build-up of Russian troops along the border with eastern Ukraine. While Moscow has said the soldiers are merely involved in military manoeuvres, fears are growing in Washington that preparations may be under way for fresh incursions.

Search for wreckage shifts 680 miles

The search for wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 moved 680 miles to the north-east yesterday following a fresh analysis of radar and satellite data. Five aircraft combing the new stretch of Indian Ocean quickly found multiple objects which ships will try to locate today.  MORE

Protesting farmers take sheep to Louvre

A herd of sheep joined tourists at the Louvre in Paris yesterday. The flock was led by farmers protesting at reforms to the European Union’s common agricultural policy. They were objecting to the industrialisation of agriculture, saying they feared for farmers’ jobs.

Muslim prison population doubles

The Muslim prison population has doubled in the past decade. The dramatic rise to one in every seven prisoners, shown in figures from the Ministry of Justice, sparked calls from ministers to investigate whether police and the courts are treating Muslims more harshly. MORE

Missing teenager’s body found

Police investigating the disappearance of Nida Naseer have found the body of the teenager. The discovery at Newport Wetlands came three months after she disappeared. Nida, 19, was not wearing a coat or shoes when she vanished while putting out bins at her family home in Newport.

Dave Lee Travis faces new sex charge

Veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis, 68, is to be charged with a further count of indecent assault, a court has heard. He was cleared of 12 counts of indecent assault last month but jurors at London’s Southwark Crown Court were unable to reach verdicts on two further charges.

Taliban take hostages in siege

Taliban gunmen stormed a Kabul guesthouse used by a US-based aid group and held four foreigners hostage for several hours yesterday, just eight days before Afghanistan’s presidential election which the militant group has vowed to derail. Afghan security forces killed the gunmen. At least one Afghan child died.

Brooks feared ‘killer’ photo might be taken

Rebekah Brooks feared a “career-ending” photograph of her being handcuffed by police officers being taken, a jury at the phone hacking trial has heard. Her husband Charlie Brooks told the court she thought a “killer photograph” could prevent her from working again.

‘Three dead’ in election protests 

Three people were reported dead as hundreds of protesters took to the streets, some clashing with security forces, to protest at the decision by former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to run in the forthcoming presidential elections. El-Sissi is widely expected to win.

Former premier to be next Nato head

Norway’s former prime minister Jens Stoltenberg was named as the next Nato Secretary General yesterday, taking over from Anders Rasmussen. Mr Stoltenberg, 55, who was reportedly backed by David Cameron, Barack Obama and Angela Merkel, begins his four-year term in October.

Inquiry into union activities curtailed

The Government has scaled back a review into allegations of union intimidation following an internal row. Announced last November, the inquiry was due to examine the laws for preventing intimidatory actions in trade disputes. But the TUC said it would not co-operate

May orders review of gay asylum claims

Home Secretary Theresa May has ordered a review of asylum claims made by gay and lesbian applicants following reports that some handed over video evidence to prove their sexuality. MPs raised concerns that the process relied too heavily on “proving that they are gay”.

Obamacare still lacks a million enrolments

The universal healthcare law pushed through by President Barack Obama four years ago, Obamacare, and now in the first stages of implementation had attracted six million enrolments by this week – still short of the seven million originally projected for the first sign-up period.

Concern over games linked to food brands

Food and drinks firms are using online games to target children, in a move which is being blamed for undermining anti-obesity efforts. Health chiefs have called for tighter regulation of the games, offered by brands such as Swizzels, Chewits and Weetos. MORE

Facebook to widen net by using drones

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, plans to blanket two-thirds of the world in wi-fi using a fleet of solar-powered drones, in a bid to connect billions without the internet. Mark Zuckerberg said that his firm had hired Nasa experts to help with the project. MORE

Hitchhikers travel far back for reunion

The original cast of science fiction comedy The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy have reunited for a one-off show. The actors returned to the BBC Radio Theatre more than three decades after they recorded the show there. The reunion is part of Radio 4’s Character Invasion season.

Abbott got £2,000 for TV charity quiz role

Diane Abbott, former shadow health minister, received £2,000 to appear on Channel 4’s Fifteen To One, parliamentary records show. The Labour MP registered that it took six hours, around £333 an hour. The quiz show returned last year with a celebrity special to raise money for charity.

iPhones crash more often than Androids

Mobile apps are twice as likely to crash on Apple’s iOS operating system than they are on Android, according to a new report. The Mobile Experience Benchmark, conducted by Crittercism, found that the Samsung Galaxy S4 crashed 0.9 per cent of the time, with the iPhone 5s on 2 per cent.

£1,500 for a Kate Bush ticket online

Tickets for Kate Bush’s live comeback are being offered for sale to desperate fans for four-figure sums. Some of the tickets, which sold out within 15 minutes of going on sale, were originally priced from £49  but were later being punted online for £1,500 each.