The News Matrix: Thursday 20 February 2014


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The Independent Online

Wrong meter clocks could cost us money

As many as 3.9 million households could be paying hundreds of pounds more than they should on electricity due to electricity meter clocks showing the wrong time going unnoticed. The consumer group Which? said it has heard from people whose meters had been showing the wrong time, potentially leaving them “significantly out of pocket”.

Second man held over al-Hilli killings

A second man was held yesterday by police investigating the murder of a British-Iraqi family in the French Alps in 2012. The arrest comes after a former policeman was detained on Tuesday by detectives who are trying to piece together the brutal killings of the al-Hilli family. MORE

Mother arrested over toddler death

A critically injured woman has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her two-year-old daughter, who died in hospital after falling from a house. The 36-year-old, who was also taken to hospital, and the toddler were discovered in the back garden of a house in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks falter

Two months before a deadline in the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the two sides appear to be as far apart as ever. Ideas floated by the US, which is the main sponsor of the latest peace effort, so far don’t provide a basis for serious talks, senior Palestinians said yesterday.

Be prepared for more sinkholes

A “second wave” of sinkholes could appear across southern England in the coming weeks as the ground begins to dry, the British Geological Survey has warned. The number of sinkholes has already reached six this month. Typically only one or two are reported in a year. MORE

Cossacks whip  Pussy Riot members

Members of the anti-Putin punk rock group Pussy Riot were attacked with horse whips by a group of Cossacks yesterday when they protested in front of advertising for Winter Olympics in Sochi. MORE

Mortgages could  soar by £5k a year

Homeowners in Scotland could face average annual mortgage increases of almost £5,200 under independence if the Scottish Government walks away from its share of national debt, Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury warned the Scottish parliament yesterday. 

Former soldier gets life for jail murder

A British former soldier on death row has been handed a life sentence for the murder of his cellmate, despite experts having concluded the death was a suicide. Joshua French, who served in the Parachute Regiment, was charged with murder after Tjostolv Moland was found dead in their shared cell last August.

Outraged woman buys up racy shirts

A woman upset about “indecent”  T-shirts for sale in a store at a Utah shopping centre bought all 19 of the items, spending $567 (£340). Judy Cox has also complained to the retailer, PacSun, and the matter has been referred to its corporate office. The shirts featured pictures of scantily dressed models in provocative poses.

KitKat top of the chocolate bars

According to experts surveyed by Time magazine, KitKat is the “most influential candy bar of all time”. It is regarded as the first confectionery to be sold successfully in every market in the world, with the first all-KitKat shop opened in Tokyo on 17 January. Runners-up include Hershey’s and Toblerone.

Jazz study links music and language

Jazz players activate parts of their brain normally associated with spoken language, research has shown. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found that improvisation activated brain areas linked to syntactic language processing: interpreting the structure of phrases and sentences.

Turks fight for internet rights

Up to 80,000 people stopped following Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Twitter yesterday after he signed into law a bill increasing government control over the internet. The move, which was announced  on the social networking site, led  to an online campaign against  Mr Gul. MORE

Absent Bowie steals show at Brits

David Bowie managed to steal the show at last night’s Brit Awards, despite not even turning up to the event. Bowie, 67, reclaimed the Best Male Brit he last won three decades ago following his surprise return last year with the acclaimed album The Next Day. But he declined to pick up the prize in person. MORE