The News Matrix: Thursday 19 June 2014


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Alzheimer’s link to ‘cannabis’ deficiency

Alzheimer’s might develop partly because of the suppression of “natural cannabis” molecules in the brain, scientists believe. Researchers in the US linked early symptoms of the disease to losing the beneficial effects of endocannabinoids. The signalling molecules are natural versions of psychoactive chemicals  in cannabis.

Nurses say no to  charges for GPs

Nurses have voted overwhelmingly against charging patients for GP services, saying that the most vulnerable would suffer. More than nine in 10 delegates at the Royal College of Nursing’s conference voted against a fixed fee because NHS finances were “not infinite”.

Suicide bombing death toll rises to 14

The death toll of a suicide bombing in Damaturu has risen to 14, with 26 people wounded. Explosives were detonated at a World Cup viewing venue in north-east Nigeria on Tuesday night. No one has claimed responsibility, but Boko Haram is suspected of involvement. MORE

Ukip forms alliance with far-right MEP

Ukip has formed a new group in the European Parliament, including an MEP elected as a member of France’s Front National. Joëlle Bergeron, now an independent, was elected as a member of Marine le Pen’s party but quit days later, claiming “their philosophy is no longer mine”.

Child pornography possession outlawed

The Japanese parliament has passed a law banning possession of child pornography, but excludes explicit depictions of children in ‘manga’ comics and video games. Japan is the last major industrial country to criminalise possession of child pornography. MORE

Pacific Coast pipeline faces opposition 

The Canadian government has approved a pipeline proposal to bring oil to the Pacific Coast for shipment to Asia, but now faces major opposition from environmental and aboriginal groups. The northern Alberta region has the world’s third largest oil reserves. MORE

Eight dead, 28 missing in boating accident

At last eight people have died, with another 28 missing, following the capsizing of a boat off Kuala Lumpur. The boat was carrying 97 people, believed to be mostly illegal Indonesian workers. MORE

Teacher and pupils suffer electric shocks

Nine children and a teacher from Briercliffe County Primary School in Burnley, Lancashire, were taken to hospital yesterday after receiving electric shocks in unexplained circumstances. An ambulance service spokesman said the injuries were not life-threatening.

BBC global viewers rise to 265 million

The BBC says the audience for its international services has risen to a new high, with 265 million people around the world accessing its output each week. The corporation’s estimates show the numbers using its various global news services have risen by 3.5 per cent in the past year, with big jumps in Russia and Ukraine.

Man charged over drug-filled football

A 22-year-old man is facing charges after trying to throw a football loaded with drugs and mobile phones into the yard of a state prison in Jackson, Michigan. Christen Moore is accused of packing the ball with heroin, marijuana, tobacco and three mobile phones, but it fell short of the prison yard.

Author defends eating killed rabbit

The award-winning author Jeanette Winterson has hit back at animal-lovers who were outraged when she posted photographs on social media of a rabbit she trapped, skinned and cooked. She defended her actions yesterday, saying: “Rabbits! At pest level they must be culled… Why not eat what you catch?”

Alarm clock ensures sunny start to day

An alarm clock which tells users the best way to get to work by monitoring the weather conditions has been developed to encourage low-carbon travel. The Act Alarm clock picks up weather and travel reports through an RSS WiFi feed, calculating the travel time needed to get to work, according to the weather.

Queen to visit ‘Game of Thrones’

The Queen will encounter a throne somewhat different from those in Buckingham Palace when she visits the set of hit US fantasy drama Game of Thrones during a visit to Northern Ireland next week. Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh have been invited to tour the Belfast studios where the HBO series is filmed.

Nun of that here: strip club sued

Nuns in Chicago are suing a strip club behind their convent, citing a law requiring 300 metres’ separation between adult entertainment venues and places of worship. The Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo complained about empty bottles and used condoms.

Stamp breaks record for fourth time

A 19th century postage stamp has been sold at auction for $9.5m (£5.6m). It was the fourth time the 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp has broken the auction record for a single stamp in its long history. Measuring one-inch square, it has not been on public view since 1986. MORE

Dog-eating tradition moved to miss picket

Summer solstice festivities in Yulin, at which residents slaughter and consume dogs, were held early this year. Eating dog and lychees and drinking liquor is believed to ensure health, but is often picketed by animal rights activists. Concerns have been raised the festival could cause health hazards.