The News Matrix: Saturday 31 May 2014


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No verdict on ‘British Columbine’ accused

Jurors considering the case of a British teenager accused of planning a Columbine-style attack on his old school in Loughborough have failed to reach a verdict for the second time. Michael Piggin, 18, who denied terrorism charges, will not be retried, prosecutors confirmed.

Officers sacked for ‘refusing to find girls’

Two police officers have been sacked for allegedly refusing to help search for two missing girls who were later found gang-raped and hanged, officials say. They were also charged with criminal conspiracy, police said, adding that three people had been arrested so far.

Founder of ‘Oldie’ resigns from post

Richard Ingrams, the founder of The Oldie, has resigned after a fall out with the magazine’s publisher, who had summoned the 76-year-old former editor of Private Eye to a “disciplinary hearing”. He told i his departure from a publication which he set up 22 years ago was “farcical”.

Fighters agree to weapons amnesty

Officials say more than 100 fighters from an armed group in eastern Congo have handed over their weapons in a ceremony. The surrender of arms took place yesterday in North Kivu province. The military is still waiting for more than 1,400 fighters to surrender.

Jet engines in near miss during training

Two French fighter jets were involved in a near miss with another aircraft during a multi-national military exercise. The first French Mirage 2000 flew within 100ft of a BN2T Defender, which was on a solo navigation exercise to the north of Islay, the Inner Hebrides.

Scots’ income ‘£3,000 less than SNP claims’

New doubts have been raised over Alex Salmond’s claims that Scotland could operate a healthy economy. A study claims the country’s actual income is as much as £3,000 less per head than he suggested due to high levels of outside ownership of the country’s assets. MORE

‘Eating as a family reduces obesity risk’

Eating breakfast and dinner with parents leads to less chance that a child will be overweight, according to experts. Parents who took the time to eat with their children were more likely to ensure healthy meals and “family cohesion” carried other health benefits. MORE

‘UK has lost control of immigration in EU’

Britain has lost control of immigration within the European Union, a Conservative cabinet minister said last night. Sajid Javid insisted the Prime Minister would seek to restrict movement, following conflicting signals from Tory ministers over the party’s stance.  MORE

1,190 viewers accuse BBC of Ukip bias

The BBC has received 1,190 complaints over an apparent bias towards Ukip. It is thought to be the most complaints the broadcaster has ever received about its coverage during an election. No complaints of any bias towards the Coalition Government were made.

Theron: intrusion by press is like rape

Charlize Theron, who won a Best Actress Oscar in 2003, yesterday compared press intrusion with rape. Ms Theron, asked by Sky News if she ever googled herself, replied: “I don’t do that. When you start living in that world, and doing that, you start I guess feeling raped”. MORE

Robber is latest to abscond from jail

A violent robber has gone missing – the latest in a series of prisoners to have gone on the run from an open jail. Simon Rhodes-Butler, 37, jailed in September 2011 for a robbery in south London, absconded from Ford open prison in West Sussex on 22 May and has not been found.

Hotel staff praised for bomb response

Many lives were saved by the efforts of staff to evacuate a Londonderry hotel before a dissident republican fire bomb burst into flames, police have said. A holdall containing an incendiary device ignited into a fireball at the Everglades Hotel late on Thursday night. No one was injured.

Putin: it’s time to end bloodshed in Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin, in a telephone call with François Hollande, urged a halt to bloodshed in Ukraine and the start of talks between Kiev and separatists. The call came before a meeting between the two on 5 June in Paris that will be PMr utin’s first with a Western leader since the annexation of Crimea.

General: peace must come before poll

Army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the military junta that took control of Thailand in a coup last week, said yesterday it was unlikely new elections would be held for at least a year because peace and reforms would have to be achieved first.

Regulator assures patients over statins

The national drugs regulator has sort to reassure patients that statins are safe. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the drugs, which are currently given to lower cholesterol, offer greater benefits than side-effects, according to experts.