IT firms paid £5bn a year by Whitehall
The Government is paying private IT firms almost £5bn a year of public funds to run its computer networks. Hewlett-Packard was paid £140m a month last year by the Department of Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Justice for computer services, according to the Institute for Government, a Whitehall think-tank, and Spend Network, which analyses public spending. MORE
Lengthy sentences for arson attackers
Two men have been convicted after four people were killed when their Leicester home was set alight last September. Tristan Richards, 22, will serve at least 35 years for his part in the murders of a mother and her three children, and Kemo Porter, 19, will serve at least 25 years. MORE
Diabetes patients ‘are put at risk’
Hospitals are letting the blood sugar of one in five patients with diabetes fall alarmingly low, figures suggest. More than a fifth (22 per cent) of diabetes patients in hospitals have experienced a hypoglycemic episode, according to the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit.
Maintenance bill costs taxpayers £13m
The monarchy cost taxpayers £35.7m in the last tax year, Buckingham Palace accounts have revealed. The Queen’s official expenditure increased in actual terms by £2.4m from the previous year. The accounts show spending on property maintenance increased by £4.2m to £13.3m. MORE
Blast in shopping district kills 21
An explosion has struck a busy shopping district in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, killing at least 21 people and injuring at least another 17. The explosion was in the capital’s Wuse district, near the popular Banex plaza shopping complex. It is not yet clear what was behind the explosion.
Princess faces tax fraud charges
A judge has formalised charges against Princess Cristina de Borbon, sister to King Felipe VI, in a tax fraud case. It relates to the business dealings of her husband, Inaki Urdangarin. MORE
Woman to have hands transplanted
The UK’s first double hand transplant is due to take place later this year. Corinne Hutton will become the first person in the country to have both hands replaced when she undergoes the ground-breaking surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.
Author Patterson’s gift to book shops
Author James Patterson is donating £250,000 to help independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland, in an effort to encourage children to read. The thriller writer, who has sold more than 280 million books worldwide, made his announcement ahead of Independent Booksellers Week next week.
12-year-old arrested for ‘bus joyride’
Police arrested a 12-year-old after he allegedly went on a joyride in a school bus. Employees at a Walmart in Panama City Beach, Florida, apparently noticed that the driver was having trouble parking. “It was just odd,” employee Roy Hoover said: “He was having a hard time parking it, like he’d never driven one before.”
Google shows off its pizza-by-watch app
Google has revealed details about a range of new software, including an app that will allow users to order a pizza via a watch. A Google executive showed how to use the Eat24 app at a conference in San Francisco. The new SDK watch lets app developers send data between a phone or tablet and the watch. MORE
Champion Chris Hoy expecting first child
Champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy is to become a father for the first time. The six-time Olympic champion, who retired last year, said: “Everybody I speak to when I ask about them and their experiences about becoming a parent, they mention lack of sleep, which I’m not great with, so that’ll be a big challenge.”