The News Matrix: Saturday 30 November 2013


‘Dead’ comet may have survived Sun

A comet that flew too close to the Sun and was declared dead may have survived its close encounter. New images, described as “faint smudges on a screen”, appeared to show a streak of light that could be the lost Comet Ison, described as the “comet of the century”. MORE

Shipman victims’ organs burnt secretly

Organs of a dozen victims of serial killer Harold Shipman were kept for 12 years by police before they were secretly destroyed without the families’ permission. The bodies were exhumed in 1999 and tissue samples were taken to establish the cause of death, police said.

China scrambles jets over disputed zone

China sent fighter jets into its new air defence zone over the East China Sea, the state news agency Xinhua said, as tensions mounted in a standoff over islands that are also claimed by Japan and South Korea, both of which flew military aircraft through the zone this week. MORE

Saatchi has ‘no proof’ Nigella took drugs

Charles Saatchi admitted he had “no proof” whether his ex-wife Nigella Lawson had ever taken drugs, as a private email he wrote to her referring to the TV chef as “Higella” was read out in court yesterday. He was giving evidence in the embezzlement trial of two former assistants. MORE

Moscow pressure ends hope of EU deal

Under pressure from Moscow, President Viktor Yanukovych has vetoed last-minute attempts by the European Union at a summit this week in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, to rescue a trade deal that would have signalled a historic shift by Ukraine away from Russia.

Acid attack dancer faces nine years

Prosecutors have demanded a nine-year jail sentence for Pavel Dmitrichenko, the dancer accused of ordering an acid attack that nearly blinded Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet. They asked for 10 years for the man accused of throwing the acid.

Ofsted criticised for Nottingham ‘blitz’

A “blitzkrieg” of Ofsted inspections that resulted in most of Nottingham’s secondary schools being placed in “special measures” has been condemned as “crass and crude” by local politicians. Six of the city’s nine secondary schools are understood to be affected. MORE

Bill seeks €30,000 fine for burning flag

The Government has approved a draft law that sets fines of up to €30,000 (£25,000) for offences such as burning the national flag or causing disturbances outside Parliament. The Bill has been criticised as an attempt to muzzle protests against the handling of the economic crisis.

17 rescued in people trafficking operation

Seventeen men, women and children, mostly from Slovakia, have been “rescued from exploitation” after a people trafficking probe. They were taken from addresses in Leeds over three days. A further 33 “remained where they were”, police said. Eight people have been bailed.

Boat Race protester faces deportation

The man jailed for disrupting the 2012 Boat Race has warned that plans to deport him will mean he will be separated from his wife and baby daughter. Trenton Oldfield, an Australian who has lived in the UK for 12 years, spent seven weeks in prison after his infamous protest. MORE

Huge haul of missile warheads on boat

Police seized 3,300 missile warheads and a machine to make missiles and bullets. Deputy Superintendent Steve Brown said custom officials discovered the haul on a ship at Kingston Wharf. He declined to say where the shipment originated or its destination. No one has been arrested.

No marijuana for Mounties at work

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has ruled officers may not smoke marijuana in their regular working uniforms or the red serges used for formal occasions. The ruling was a response to a medical-marijuana case involving a Mountie who had post-traumatic stress disorder.

Man switched at birth sues hospital

Two 60-year-old Japanese men – one born poor, one rich – were switched at birth. One man should have been the eldest of four wealthy brothers, but instead was raised by a woman on welfare. He has successfully sued the hospital that made the mix-up in March 1953. MORE

Salinger stories leaked online

Three unpublished J D Salinger stories were leaked online this week. The reclusive author, who died in 2010, had not published any original material for almost 50 years and had left instructions for at least one of the leaked stories to be held back for another 50. MORE

How the dead will get closer to heaven

A young architect has earned a commendation for his plans to build the country’s first vertical cemetery. The tradition of wrapping bodies in plastic has left graveyards full. Martin McSherry’s idea of stacking coffins in a high-rise tower was “a highly original contribution”. MORE

Respiratory virus found in camel herd

Scientists have found three cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in a herd of camels, health officials say. Two men fell ill after contact with the infected animals but survived. The Sars-related virus has had a fatality rate of nearly 40 per cent since its emergence last year.