The News Matrix: Thursday 29 January 2015


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BBC rejects DUP’s TV debate request

BBC Director-General Tony Hall has rejected the Democratic Unionist Party’s request to appear in the televised debates ahead of the general election. DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said there was “no valid reason” to exclude the party.

Google claims it can’t filter terror content

Google said that its video-sharing website YouTube is so inundated that staff cannot filter all terror-related content, such as propaganda and hostage videos. Google’s public policy manager Verity Harding said about 300 hours of video is being uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Detention of asylum seekers at sea legal

The High Court ruled yesterday that the detention of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka at sea for almost a month was lawful, a win for the government’s tough immigration policy. The ruling means 157 Tamils, who were picked up last June, are not entitled to seek compensation.

Peer apologises for death camp remark

A senior Plaid Cymru peer has apologised for “any offence caused” after comparing the effects of a Trident submarine base to those of a Nazi death camp. Lord Wigley was commenting on reports that the nuclear weapons system could be moved from Scotland to Wales.

Man who gave gun to prosecutor ‘fearful’

Diego Lagomarsino (left), who gave Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman a gun the day before he was found dead in the run-up to making claims against President Kirchner, said he feared for his family’s safety.

Sturgeon ‘will lead any coalition talks’

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will personally lead the SNP’s negotiating team in any discussions on forming a new coalition government in the UK after the general election in May, even  though she is not standing for Westminster. Scotland’s First Minister suggested there would be only a fairly limited role for her predecessor, Alex Salmond.

Boko Haram goes  on deadly rampage

Boko Haram extremists are rampaging through villages in north-eastern Nigeria, killing, burning and looting, with no troops protecting civilians, fleeing villagers said. More than 40 people are reported to have been killed in seven villages in Adamawa state this week.

MP highlights plight of women prisoners

Half the women in jail should not be there, justice minister Simon Hughes will admit today. The admission comes as a report warns that women are three times less likely to find a job upon release from jail because of the stigma of being in prison and problems finding childcare.

Wanted: blizzard bud to ride out storm

Each time a snowstorm rolls in, singles flock to dating sites to find a “blizzard buddy”. Craigslist was overrun with New York-based classifieds seeking “blizzard fun” or more risqué variations of the same. The dating site Zoosk logged 48 per cent more profile views in New York than on a typical Tuesday.

Men post more selfies than women

Men are taking nearly twice as many selfies as women and sharing them on social media, according to a new survey. Smartphone giant HTC asked 2,000 Britons aged 18 to 30 about their selfie habits, and found that, on average, men posted three self-portraits a week, compared with 1.6 for women.

‘Cabaret’ actor comes out, aged 82

Actor Joel Grey, who won an Oscar  for his role in Cabaret opposite Liza Minnelli and who was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years, has revealed that he is gay. The 82-year-old actor is the father of actress Jennifer Grey and also has a son, told People magazine that his family and friends know about his sexuality.

Elderly still enjoying active sex lives

A sizeable proportion of older people continue to enjoy active sex lives well into their seventies and eighties, new research has found. Over 7,000 elderly people were questioned by Manchester’s School of Social Science, with 54 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women over 70 saying they were still sexually active.

All-female line-up for Ghostbusters

The 1984 cult classic film, Ghostbusters, is to be revamped with an all-female quartet.  Director Paul Feig confirmed the casting by tweeting images of the leading ladies: Kristen Wiig (pictured), Melissa McCarthy, and Saturday Night Live stars Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.