The News Matrix: Saturday 5 April 2014


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The Independent Online

Hague urges EU to plan more sanctions

Britain urged its European Union partners to press ahead with preparing tough economic sanctions against Russia, saying large numbers of forces remained on Ukraine’s eastern border. “Europe must not relax,” William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said.

Cameron rules out  ‘X Factor’ voting

Voters must be prepared to brave the elements and “wear down their shoe leather” to reach polling booths, David Cameron said yesterday, rejecting the possibility of X Factor-style elections. He said politicians must avoid pandering to calls for easier voting.

Suspected Ebola cases spark panic

Residents in Mali’s capital Bamako, say panic over suspected cases of Ebola has prompted demonstrations. Health officials in Mali have said they were investigating three suspected cases of Ebola amid an outbreak in Guinea and Liberia, which has killed dozens. MORE

Proof of corruption ‘disappeared’

Evidence of police corruption relating to the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan disappeared from Scotland Yard during the initial investigation, a leaked file indicates. A police statement from the inquiry suggests the victim was about to blow the whistle on “major police corruption”. MORE

Schumacher shows signs of awakening

Michael Schumacher, the former Formula One champion, is showing “moments of consciousness and awakening” more than three months after suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident. Doctors in Grenoble began withdrawing sedatives in January. MORE

Eddie Izzard raises cash for no campaign

Eddie Izzard last night fronted a comedy fundraiser in Edinburgh to urge Scots to vote no in the September referendum. Speaking ahead of the gig to raise money for the Better Together campaign, the comedian promised to keep the jokes apolitical. MORE

BBC offers more time to catch up

The BBC is to extend the amount of time its programmes are available on iPlayer from seven to 30 days. Shows including Sherlock, Doctor Who and Top Gear will soon be available for the extended window, after the proposals were approved by the BBC Trust.

Train crash driver who fell asleep fired

Chicago transit officials have dismissed a train operator who acknowledged dozing off before crashing a commuter train at the O’Hare Airport. The crash on 24 March injured more than 30 passengers and sent the eight-car train up an escalator leading into the airport.

Mayor faces Yard fraud inquiry

Scotland Yard is to look at allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement against Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman. He is alleged to have boosted funding for Bengali-run charities in an attempt to buy influence. He denies the accusations, made in the BBC’s Panorama.

Officer shoots  two journalists

Two journalists working for the Associated Press news agency have been shot by a police commander in eastern Afghanistan, in the town of Khost, near the Pakistan border, officials say. One, Anja Niedringhaus, died in the attack. Her colleague, Kathy Gannon, is “stable”. MORE

‘Corrie’ star charged with drink-driving

Coronation Street actress Barbara Knox has been charged with drink-driving, police said. Knox, 80, who plays Rita Tanner in the ITV soap, was charged following an incident in Knutsford, Cheshire, on 10 March. The actress will appear at Macclesfield magistrates’ court on 24 April.

Chinese firm to buy House of Fraser

The department store House of Fraser is being snapped up by a Chinese conglomerate after it agreed to a deal valuing the business at more than £450m. A source close to the transaction confirmed that Nanjing-based Sanpower had agreed terms on its purchase of an 89 per cent stake in the retailer.

Protesters clash with police

Protesters from across Europe clashed with police in Brussels at a demonstration against high unemployment. The protest was called by trade unions – who claimed 40,000 people took part – to highlight youth unemployment before a European Parliament election in late May.

It’s ‘nicer’ to gas badgers, says Anne

Gassing badgers is a “much nicer way” to control them, said the Princess Royal (above) on the BBC’s Countryfile yesterday, angering animal-rights campaigners. A report found the level of culling needed to reduce TB in cattle had not been realised by “controlled shooting”. MORE

Brucie nominates Boris for ‘Strictly’

Sir Bruce Forsyth is stepping down as presenter of the hit BBC1 series Strictly Come Dancing after a decade fronting the show. Asked who he would like to step into his shoes, he joked on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “The name I keep coming up with is Boris Johnson.”

How Siberian cheese gets its special taste

Investigators in Russia have opened an investigation into a cheese factory in Siberia after a photograph appeared online which appeared to show workers sitting in a vat of milk at the factory, along with a video of workers kneading cheese while bare-chested.

No chimichangas for you, Mr Putin

Mighty Taco, a US chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants, has banned Russian President Vladimir Putin from all of the company’s 23 locations in western New York state. The company announced that effective immediately, Mr Putin is banned from Mighty Taco for seizing Crimea from Ukraine. The posting says he will be “welcomed back” when he stops acting like a bully and “picking on people.”

Anti-Gove poem is an internet hit

A poem attacking the policies and curriculum implemented by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has become an internet sensation among teachers. “Dear Mr Gove”, by Jess Green, begins with the line. “I set a picture of you, Mr Gove, as the background on my phone”. MORE

Presidential portraits on show

Former US president George W Bush is displaying his portraits of world leaders in the first exhibition of his paintings, which opens today  at the George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. The former leader has even done a self-portrait.