The News Matrix: Thursday 22 May 2014


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Yachts join hunt for missing sailors

Three privately-owned yachts will join the hunt for four British sailors missing in the Atlantic following the resumption of the official search by the American authorities. The vessels have broken off from a yachting “rally” to search for the crew of the Cheeki Rafiki. MORE

Donor found for cancer sufferer

A potentially life-saving donor has been found for a man whose fiancée set up an online awareness campaign. Mike Brandon, 29, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, is to have the stem cell transplant in June, after his fiancée Kate Robertson launched the #Shake4Mike campaign, urging people to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register.

The write stuff aids literacy standards

Schools adopting a programme that focuses on getting children to write about memorable experiences in their life have experienced a big improvement in literacy standards. A survey of more than 800 pupils showed it improved writing standards by nine months.

Richest man urges: oppose separatists

Ukraine’s richest person urged residents to unite in opposition to pro-Russian separatists ahead of Sunday’s presidential elections. Rinat Akhmetov, the steel magnate, urged supporters to “fight, fight and fight again” the “imposters” who had seized power in the east of Ukraine.

Merkel ‘doesn’t  want top job at UN’

Angela Merkel’s spokesman has denied the German chancellor has her eye on the top job at the United Nations. Steffen Seibert denied a report in a Luxembourg newspaper that the Chancellor had lobbied for the post of UN Secretary-General during a recent visit to Washington.

Russia and China seal £237bn oil deal

Vladimir Putin agreed on a $400bn (£237bn) deal with President Xi Jinping to sell gas to China. The signing between Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation “is the biggest contract in the history of the gas sector of the former USSR,” Mr Putin claimed. MORE

Abbott smirks at hard-luck story

A week after an austerity budget, Prime Minister Tony Abbott was caught winking and smirking when a radio phone-in caller told him she had been forced to take a job on an adult phone sex line to pay the bills. MORE

Escaped convicts are recaptured by police

Two inmates who absconded from an open prison have been found and arrested. Damien Burns, 39, and Dean Jackson, 27, went missing  from Hatfield Prison, near Doncaster, on Monday. Burns was arrested in Scarborough, and Jackson was detained in Durham.

FBI separates weed from chaff

The FBI is “grappling” with whether to recruit cyber-security specialists who smoke dope. The agency’s policy prohibits cannabis users. MORE

Student bids to get to a wedding on time

A Cambridge student fearful of missing his sister’s wedding, which starts 45 minutes after the end of his last exam, is trying to collect £5,000 in donations so he that can fly to the do in a helicopter.

Stage is set for star actresses to shine

Hollywood star Kathleen Turner says the theatre has been a salvation for older actresses when good film roles are scarce. The 59-year-old said: “I always knew as I got older that the more exciting women’s roles would be on stage. Film simply doesn’t take the time to build the complexity of characters.”

Book of hamsters’ bums a bestseller

Two books devoted to images of hamsters’ posteriors have already sold nearly 40,000 copies combined, according to the publishers, with a third book set for release later this month. Fans of the craze have coined the term “hamuketsu”, which combines “hamster” and “ketsu”, or buttocks in Japanese.

Coens, Hanks and Spielberg team up

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and the Coen brothers are making a film together. The Coens will write the Cold War thriller, Hanks will star in it and Spielberg will direct. The film could start shooting in September. MORE