The News Matrix: Thursday 3 July 2014


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The Independent Online

Medics must ‘report FGM or face action’

Medical staff who do not report that their patients have suffered female genital mutilation (FGM) should face legal action, according to a report by MPs. The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said yesterday that FGM was an “extreme form of child abuse”. The practice has been illegal in Britain since 1985 but the first prosecution took place only this year. MORE

Police make appeal to find child rapist

Wiltshire Police have appealed for  help to catch a rapist. Abdelouaheb Delhoum, 45, was convicted of sex offences, including the rape of a child under 13, on 1 May.  He was ordered to return for sentencing on 13 June but the Algerian-born defendant failed to turn up.

Million public sector workers to strike

A one-day strike by public sector workers over pay and other issues is to be joined by Fire Brigades Union members. More than a million people including teachers, health workers and civil servants are expected to take part in the 10 July stoppage.

Queues to get longer as security increases

Airport queues look likely to get even longer after the US looked set to increase security and ask other countries to do the same. The move comes following  reports that Middle East militants are working on non-metallic explosives that could be taken on to aircraft. MORE

300 Buddhists in battle with Muslims

Police fired rubber bullets yesterday to disperse crowds of Buddhists and Muslims facing off in the city of Mandalay, in the latest outbreak of trouble in two years of sectarian unrest. About 300 Buddhists began throwing stones at a tea shop owned by a Muslim man, claim police.

Labour’s governing body drops firebrand

The outspoken left-wing Labour MP Dennis Skinner, 82, has been voted off the party’s national executive committee in a ballot of the Parliamentary Labour Party – to the fury of some colleagues who said it showed “naive political immaturity” and a failure to understand voters.

Pistorius suicide  risk ‘may increase’

Oscar Pistorius is so traumatised after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp that he will become an increasing suicide risk unless he continues to get mental health care, his murder trial heard yesterday. MORE

Red Cross workers threatened

The Red Cross has been forced to suspend operations tackling Ebola in the country’s south-east after staff were threatened by men armed with knives. The outbreak of the disease is the largest and deadliest ever, according to the World Health Organisation.

Independence Day beach battle ban

Authorities in a Southern California beach town are trying to clamp down on a long-standing Fourth of July tradition: the annual Ocean Beach “Marshmallow War”. It began in the mid-1980s, when two families hosting rival beach parties engaged in an impromptu food fight.

Vatican approves 250 exorcists

Exorcists now have a legal weapon at their disposal after the Vatican yesterday formally recognised a group of 250 priests in 30 countries who liberate the faithful from demons. The Congregation for Clergy approved the International Association of Exorcists.

Pass me a glass of sprouts, please

Liquid Brussels sprouts, an edible cheese board and a “Christmas dinner in a pie” are set to adorn some yuletide tables this year as part of Marks & Spencer’s festive food range.

Battersea chimneys to be rebuilt

Battersea power station’s chimneys are one of the London skyline’s most famous features but they are about to undergo a makeover. The chimneys on the Grade II-listed building are corroding. They will be dismantled and rebuilt to safeguard the site in the long term.

Ban on ‘peep’ shoes that look up skirts

Police have banned inbuilt hidden cameras in shoes made to look up the skirts of women. “Peeping” shoes have a lens in the toecap controlled by remote control, and sell for 27,600 Yuan (£2,587) a pair. The fetish is popular, with millions searching for the images online.

Love cheat is made poster boy on A1

A man accused of cheating has been outed after two women used a banner over the A1 to dump him. The banner was hung from a bridge near the Angel of the North in Gateshead. It read: “Steve Frazer you’re dumped by both of your girlfriends.”

A life aquatic  sets a record

Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of the famed French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, emerged from the turquoise waters off the Florida Keys in the US yesterday, marking the end of a record-breaking, 31-day stay in an underwater habitat with a team of scientists and documentary filmmakers.

Children in Need sets £50m record

Children in Need raised almost £50m last year, a new record. BBC viewers saw £31.1m pledged during the live TV show in November but  cash has flowed in since then to bring the 2013 total to £49.6m.

Hill and Toksvig to receive degrees

Comedian Harry Hill and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig are to receive honorary doctor of arts degrees from the University of Kent later in recognition of their contribution to television and the arts, to be awarded at Canterbury Cathedral later this month.

Bear cub gets head stuck in a cookie jar

A bear cub got its head stuck when it tried to reach biscuits at the bottom of a cookie jar while rummaging in rubbish. The frightened six-month-old cub sought refuge in a tree and had to be rescued by New Jersey firefighters before they could cut the jar from its head.