The News Matrix: Thursday 12 March 2015


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The Independent Online

Judge says legal aid cuts deny justice

Ministers have defended reforms of Britain’s legal aid system after a High Court judge said the “principle of individual justice” had been “sacrificed on the altar of public debt”. Mr Justice Mostyn said “gross unfairness” has been meted out to some parents in dispute.

Children ‘unaffected’ by family structure

Long-held assumptions that the traditional pairing of a man and woman represent the gold standard for bringing up children have been undermined by a major study. Children brought up by two mothers, two fathers or single parents fare no worse than those from “traditional” families, the study found.

Mayoral candidate found decapitated

A woman running for mayor in a violent Mexican state that sparked the biggest crisis of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration has been kidnapped and decapitated. State prosecutors said the body of Aide Nava was found in northern Guerrero, where 43 trainee teachers were abducted last year.

Mother wins 16-year compensation fight

A mother whose son suffered brain damage during birth spoke of her “enormous relief” after winning a 16-year fight for compensation. Nadine Montgomery, a Type 1 diabetic, was awarded £5.25m from NHS Lanarkshire after judges upheld her claim that medics neglected to give her proper advice.

Suspects ‘may  have been tortured’

After visiting three of the five ethnic Chechen suspects in the killing of Vladimir Putin critic and opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, rights activist Andrey Babushkin said the men had suffered multiple injuries and may have been tortured. A judge has said that one man has admitted involvement in the murder.

Germany blocks reparations bid

German officials have blocked a Greek effort to secure reparations for the Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras revived the controversial subject of reparations as the two nations seek to secure an agreement over Greek repayments to international lenders.

Gascoigne ‘was scared to use phone’

Paul Gascoigne was “scared to speak to anybody” by phone during the 10 years his voicemail was hacked by Mirror Group journalists, a court has heard. The former England footballer told the High Court that the journalists had “ruined his life”. Gascoigne, 47, linked the hacking to his alcoholism.

Leader Nazarbayev calls snap election

The Kazakh President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, will stand in a snap election next month – which he is all but guaranteed to win. The 74-year-old said: “There is no bigger reward or happiness than to have the trust of my nation.” Mr Nazarbayev has maintained a firm grip over the country since 1989.

Dewani father’s arm ripped off by lift

The father of Anni Dewani, who was murdered in South Africa on her honeymoon, has had his arm ripped off in an industrial accident. Vinod Hindocha, 65, was trying to fix a lift in Sweden when it plunged to the ground floor, severing his limb. The arm was reattached by doctors in a 13-hour operation.

Collins earns Texas honour for donation

Pop star Phil Collins has been made an honorary Texan, with politicians saluting his donation of hundreds of Alamo artefacts back to the historic outpost. The 63-year-old Briton is an Alamo buff and spent decades collecting artefacts related to the 1836 battle, when 1,500 Mexican troops laid siege to 200 Texans.

Glasgow Games was £32m under budget

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games came in at £32m under budget, with the success of ticket sales and sponsorship reducing the need for public funding, a report has found. Research for the Auditor General and the Accounts Commission said the event benefited from good financial control and strong leadership.

Florida golfers have to play through gator

Golfers at a course in Florida were careful to putt around a large alligator, days after the beast was photographed lounging on the edge of the green in an image that went viral on Facebook. A women’s tournament went on as planned yesterday at the Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood.

Ruff day? Treat your pooch at dog spa

Britain’s first five-star luxury hotel and spa for dogs has opened in Ayrshire. The Bellslea Hills Pet Hotel and Spa features extravagant suites with features such as underfloor heating. Will Aitken, the hotel’s managing director, said: “The only comparable facilities are located in Beverly Hills and Hollywood.”