The News Matrix: Saturday 3rd January 2015


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Energy firms warn about drone dangers

Energy companies have warned that drones given as Christmas presents could hit power lines and cause blackouts. Rodney Grubb, of Scottish and Southern Hydro Electric Power Distribution, said: “Drones that are on the market nowadays are really powerful.”

Trial of skin cancer drug to begin in UK

A new pill, known as pan RAF inhibitor, which could help people with advanced skin cancer who are no longer responding to existing treatments, will be trialled in the UK in the next year. It could help people with a certain strain that cannot be helped by standard drugs.

Anger over Palin’s son stepping on dog

Facebook photos posted by Sarah Palin showing her son Trig using the family dog as a stool unleashed online fury reminiscent of reaction to the disclosure that Mitt Romney had once driven with his dog on the car’s roof. Trig, 6, who has Down Syndrome, is shown stepping on the Labrador to reach the sink.

Divorce webpage viewings increase

The number of people who read the divorce pages on the Government’s website was almost 80 per cent higher in January 2014 than in December 2013.  “People should use mediation rather than fighting expensive court battles,” said family justice minister, Simon Hughes.

Coastguard aids ship without a crew

A crewless ship carrying hundreds of migrants has been found in rough seas in the Mediterranean off Italy’s south coast in the second such incident in three days. Coastguards took control of the Sierra Leone-flagged Ezadeen, after the ship was drifting without fuel.

Monarch treated  for pneumonia

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is being treated for pneumonia and his condition has stabilised with the help of a breathing tube, according to a Royal Court statement issued yesterday. The monarch, 90, was transferred to hospital after experiencing shortness of breath.

Police station crash for suspected drunk

A suspected drink-driver was arrested after crashing his car into a police station. Officers did not have to go far to find the suspect whose car was left nose-end resting on the wall of Frodsham police station in Cheshire. The vehicle is believed to have “rolled” off a nearby car park.

Man charged with New Year murder

Terry Hamer, 34, has been charged with the murder of John Keenan, 43, found dead in the early hours of New Year’s Day in east London. A Met spokeswoman said: “It is understood that an altercation has taken place during a private party.” Mr Keenan died from a head injury.

Investigation begins on burned-out ferry

Wearing gas masks, firefighters and investigators boarded the charred Norman Atlantic ferry yesterday, trying to find out what caused the deadly blaze and search for bodies. The ferry was towed across the Adriatic Sea for 17 hours before it docked yesterday in Brindisi.

Islamophobia on the rise on social media

The number of Islamophobic posts on social media has increased in recent months, but Facebook and Twitter are refusing to remove them. Facebook said that it had to “strike the right balance” between freedom of expression and maintaining “a safe and trusted environment”.

Man dies after confronting gunman

A security guard died confronting a gunman firing at a crowd outside a California roller-skating rink where about 200 people had gathered for a New Year’s Eve party. The guard, Richard Williamson, 48, was killed and two other men were injured. Two other men were expected to survive.

Party organisers sorry for violence

Management of The Belfry golf resort in Warwickshire, which organised a party where six people were stabbed, apologised for the behaviour of the “low life, psychopathic and hugely inconsiderate thugs” in a statement issued on their Facebook page.

For when a refund is not enough…

Few things say sorry quite like a bouquet of flowers. So it should not come as too much of a surprise that HMRC dispatched 106 taxpayerfunded bouquets as part of apologies to customers over five and a half years, for reasons including making incorrect payment demands.

Dogs will fly… after Presidential decree

President Cristina Fernandez chose an unexpected theme for her New Year’s message: a change in policy at the state-run airline to allow passengers to carry their dogs with them on flights with Aerolineas Argentinas, the country’s main carrier, starting in mid-January.

Moose saved by snowmobilers

A moose buried by an avalanche on an Alaskan mountain was saved by three men passing on snowmobiles. The Alaska Dispatch News reports that the men, from Matanuska-Susitna Borough, used shovels to free the animal after spotting its snout sticking out of the snow.

Upbringing helped Lewis with royal role

Actor Damian Lewis says his public school upbringing helped with his portrayal of a king in Wolf Hall. The 43-year-old star, who plays Henry VIII in the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novel, said his background has given him insight into structure and social circles of royalty.