The News Matrix: Thursday 15 January 2015


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Schools struggle to tackle honour crime

Schools have shown a severe “lack of willingness to co-operate” in combating “punishment crimes” against young people accused of bringing “dishonour” on their families, a study says. Teachers do not flag up concerns because they fear being labelled racist.

Inactivity is a bigger killer than obesity

Lack of exercise causes twice as many deaths as obesity, a Cambridge University study says, but people can reduce the risk of early death by taking a brisk 20-minute walk each day. Researchers said moderate daily exercise could cut the chances of early death by 16 to 30 per cent.

Fugitive drug lord turns himself in

One of Britain’s most-wanted fugitives has been arrested in Tenerife. Stephen Blundell, from Halewood, Merseyside, handed himself in on Monday. The 36-year-old vanished almost two years ago when he was due to be sentenced over a £1m drug trafficking ring.

Crown drops football match-fixing case

Thirteen footballers arrested over match-fixing claims after an undercover “sting” by Sun on Sunday reporter Mazher Mahmood in 2013 will face no further action. Prosecutors said that there was “insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction”.

Gay couples given equal rights to adopt

Gay couples have the same right as heterosexuals to adopt children, Austria’s Constitutional Court has ruled. Before yesterday’s decision, gay partners could adopt a child only if one of them was the child’s biological parent. Chief judge Gerhart Holzinger made the ruling.

Infrastructure bill hits householders

Householders will end up paying two-thirds of the £327bn cost of new infrastructure projects through sharp rises in utility bills or transport fares, the consumer group Which? found after analysing Treasury data. The costs have shot up by £69bn in the past year.

Politicians walk out over protest warning

Politicians walked out and scuffles took place as Beijing’s “man in Hong Kong”, Leung Chun-ying, warned its ruling council that the former British colony faced “anarchy” if democracy protests continued.

‘Three-parent baby law’ under attack

The Government’s attempt to legalise “three-parent babies” is open to challenge by judicial review because of serious flaws in the proposed legislation, a senior lawyer has warned. The legislation to allow mitochondrial donation was criticised by Lord Brennan, QC.

Sea level rise has doubled in 15 years

Climate change is having a greater-than-expected impact on the world’s oceans and has accelerated the rise in sea levels, scientists have found. Since 1990, the annual rate of increase has been more than double that of the previous 90 years. Experts have suggested the annual rate was about 1.2mm between 1900 and 1990 and about 3mm per year since 1990.

In to Africa: Zebras on 5,800-mile move

Three zebras from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Hythe, Kent, have begun a 5,800-mile voyage by road, air and sea to start a new life in Africa. The males, named Casper, Babati and Karumwa, will return to their native Djibouti as part of a scheme to educate locals about the importance of conservation.

Pupils shave heads for cancer teacher

Three hundred students have shaved their heads in solidarity after their teacher was diagnosed with cancer. “I am so happy to have the pupils’ affection and love. I feel God has given me a new life,” said Mohammad Reza Ghaderi, a former national cycling champion. Cancer is Iran’s third-biggest killer.

Whole lotta tension over mansion plan

Robbie Williams is embroiled in a planning dispute with his neighbour – the rock legend Jimmy Page. The former Take That singer wants to install a lift and a recording studio at his west London mansion. But the Led Zeppelin guitarist claims the work could cause “vibrations and possible structural damage”.

Civil servant leads secret Wikipedia life

A Whitehall civil servant has spent hours updating Wikipedia entries on lesser-known Scottish football clubs and players. Forty-five edits were made to Dunfermline Athletic’s team page and individual players’ goal tallies in the past week from a computer linked to a Whitehall department.

The dog who goes walkies by herself

A black Labrador rides a bus on her own to a dog park. Two-year-old Eclipse (below) boards the bus alone near her home in Belltown, a suburb of Seattle, US. On her four-stop journey, she wanders the aisles and gets to know the other passengers. Her owner, Jeff Young, said: “Probably once a week I get a phone call. ‘Hi, I have your dog Eclipse here...’ I have to tell them, ‘No, she’s fine’.”