The News Matrix: Thursday 16 October 2014


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Parents’ fears block Ghanaian’s visit

A primary school has retracted its invitation to a Ghanaian teacher to visit pupils because parents feared he could be carrying the Ebola virus – even though no cases have been recorded in his country. Howden-le-Wear Primary School in County Durham decided to postpone the visit to placate parents after some warned they would be keeping their children away from school.

Go home, tycoon tells protesters

Hong Kong’s most prominent tycoon, Li Ka-shing, has urged activists to go home. Speaking after police mounted tough action against pro-democracy protesters, he said: “I urge everyone not to be agitated. I earnestly request everyone to return to their families.”

10,000 faulty Lexus models in UK recall

Toyota has recalled almost 10,000 Lexus vehicles registered in the UK to fix faulty fuel pipes. The problem caused a risk of leaks and is part of a worldwide recall of 759,000 vehicles.  9,637 UK cars, manufactured between January 2005 and September 2010, are affected.

North-South talks end in deadlock

The first military talks between North and South Korea in three years ended with no agreement. A South Korean spokesman, Kim Min-seok, said: “South and North Korea both have wills to improve ties... but they couldn’t narrow their differences.”

Unpaid internships ‘only help the rich’

Unpaid internships deny young people from modest backgrounds the chance to pursue a career in a variety of industries, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission warned in a report. It will recommend next week that such placements be made illegal.

Taliban pledge loyalty to Isis

The Pakistani Taliban pledged allegiance to Isis, the extreme Islamist militant group, yesterday. Officials fear that the shift could lead to more attacks. Five regional commanders signed up to back Isis and its leader, the self-styled caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Bono sorry for ‘drop of megalomania’

The U2 singer Bono has apologised after the band’s latest album was added to iTunes users’ libraries. Speaking on Facebook yesterday, the singer said the stunt was a “drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity”.

Sale of Waldorf hotel to China checked out

The American government is reviewing the sale to a Chinese firm of New York’s famed Waldorf Astoria hotel, as Washington and Beijing accuse each other of spying. The hotel often hosts heads of state including Barack Obama and officials working at the UN.

Cowell sets sights on global talent contest

Simon Cowell is considering expanding his “Got Talent” format into a global television contest. The “pan-regional entertainment format” would incorporate the spirit of the Eurovision Song Contest, Cowell said. “It is something we have been thinking of for more than three years,” he added.

Close shave for men fearing jihadist label

Barbers’ shops in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir are being inundated with men worried about being labelled jihadists. Many are opting for a more clean-shaven look after Kurds, enraged about the government’s lack of action in Syria, targeted men with bushy beards and accused them of being Islamic militants.

‘Dangerous’ garden   crocodile detained

Police went to a house in Plymouth after reports of an escaped crocodile – only to discover it was an inflatable toy. A woman called for help after she saw the 3ft imitation reptile in her garden. Officers threw water over the “crocodile” and gingerly approached it. They then realised that it was an inflatable toy.

The Fonz earns his Blue Peter badge

The actor Henry Winkler, known for playing the Fonz in Happy Days, has been presented with a gold Blue Peter badge. The 68-year-old star was awarded the accolade in honour of his work highlighting dyslexia. His Hank Zipzer books are about a boy who copes with dyslexia, a condition Winkler also suffers from.

Michelle Obama dances with turnip

No one can question Michelle Obama’s commitment to healthy living. When asked, “How many calories do you burn when you turn up?” the First Lady recorded a video featuring her dancing with a turnip. The clip promotes Let’s Move, her campaign to combat “the epidemic of childhood obesity”.