The News Matrix: Saturday 7 March 2015


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The Independent Online

‘Possession’ child killers jailed

A woman was branded “wicked” as she was jailed for 18 years for killing the eight-year-old daughter of her lover, after brainwashing her into believing her child was possessed. The Old Bailey judge also jailed the girl’s mother, Polly Chowdhury, 35, for 13 years. She and Kiki Muddar were convicted of the manslaughter of Ayesha, whose body was found at their London home.

Lawmaker cleared over TV fracas

A lawmaker from a Nazi-inspired Greek party was acquitted yesterday of a charge stemming from an attack on two female left-wing colleagues during a live TV talk show. TV footage of the 2012 incident showed Ilias Kasidiaris repeatedly slapping one woman and throwing a glass of water at another before running away. The attack followed an exchange of verbal abuse.

Ford recovering from air crash drama

The Hollywood actor Harrison Ford was said to be well on his way to a full recovery yesterday after crash- landing his plane on a golf course on Thursday. Praise has been heaped on the 72-year-old Indiana Jones star for the way he expertly landed his single-engine aircraft on the Los Angeles  course – the latest in a series of daring air adventures. over the past few years

Amnesty condemns deliberate blinding

Amnesty International has condemned the official blinding of an Iranian man who was found guilty of an acid attack on another man. The group said the deliberate blinding was “a gruesome example of Iran’s brutal justice system in action”. The man had been sentenced to be blinded in both eyes, but the victim has requested the second half of the sentence  be postponed.

Second mummified body found on peak

Officials said yesterday that climbers have found a second mummified body in a glacier on Mexico’s tallest peak, and said they may be the remains of climbers missing since a 1959 avalanche on the peak. Initially, only a head and a hand could be seen sticking out of the snow and ice. But on Thursday, they excavated further and discovered the hand belonged to another body.

Minister vows to fight sexism in sport

Helen Grant, the minister for sport, has thrown her weight behind a new campaign urging football clubs to put sexism at the heart of the game’s anti-discrimination agenda. Footage showing supporters chanting sexist insults at Doctor Eva Carneiro, a medic working for Chelsea Football Club, has thrown the spotlight on discrimination on and off the field once more.

Tory-Lab coalition to counter SNP threat

The former Conservative chairman Lord Baker of Dorking will state today that a Tory-Labour coalition government should be formed in the event of a hung parliament to prevent a large bloc of Scottish Nationalist MPs provoking a constitutional crisis after May’s General Election. He will say that the stability of the UK would be at risk.

Boko Haram ‘could launch UK attacks’

An ally of the Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, has warned that Islamist group Boko Haram could try to emulate other groups and launch attacks on the West, including Britain. The Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, said that Nigeria had received unfair criticism and needed more help from the West to tackle the problem.

Standing ovation by Green Party faithful

The leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, received a standing ovation when she spoke at her party’s spring conference in Liverpool yesterday. Last month the party was embarrassed following a disastrous radio interview in which Bennett was floundering about policy details.

Women in minority of Holy See workers

The Vatican has always been a heavily male bureaucracy, and statistics released yesterday show only 18 per cent of Holy See employees are women, up from 17 per cent four years ago. Pope Francis has pledged to name more women in higher-ranking governance jobs in the Vatican, though he has ruled out naming a woman to head a congregation.

Immigrant numbers increase by 500,000

There has been an increase of more than half a million migrants in England in the past three years, experts have estimated. Researchers at the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory said that about two-thirds of the 565,000 migrants thought to have come to the country between 2011 and 2014 were born in other European Union countries.

Body found likely to be missing Briton

It is “highly probable” that a body found in Monaco is that of a missing British man, a Monaco government spokeswoman said. Michael Graydon, 29, from Bristol, has not been seen since 21 February. The spokeswoman said that while a medical examination still has to be completed, the body was found with a driving licence under the name of Michael Graydon.

BA jet lands safely after technical hitch

A British Airways aircraft carrying 218 passengers landed safely yesterday after having to return to London following a suspected technical problem. The Boeing 777 was flying from Heathrow Airport to Seattle in the US. It reached a point north-west of Edinburgh when the cockpit crew made the decision to return to Heathrow. A BA spokesman said the plane had turned back “as a precaution”.

Police left with egg on their face

A man of 85 says his Ohio home has been pelted with eggs several times a week for a year, and police haven’t been able to crack the case despite questioning neighbours, installing a surveillance camera and even testing eggshells as evidence. They suspect the eggs are being launched from a block or two away.

Another gig in the Hall, for Floyd’s Dave

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour got a special birthday present from fans when tickets for his Royal Albert Hall gigs sold out within minutes. The rocker, who celebrated his 69th birthday yesterday, will play five dates at the London venue as part of his tour of the UK and Europe.

Sero the cat’s pause in live interview

A live television interview with Turkey’s main opposition leader was interrupted by an unusual intruder: the party’s feline mascot, Sero. “A cat is walking around here and it’s Sero,”  the host  explained during the interview at the Republican People’s Party headquarters in Ankara, where Sero lives.

His superpower: helping homeless

A real-life “Spider-Man” has taken to the streets of Birmingham to help those in need. The mystery 20-year-old, who works as a bartender, buys sandwiches from supermarkets and gives them to homeless people. “I’ve worked with homeless and vulnerable people for three or four years and love seeing the smiles on people’s faces,” he said.