The News Matrix: Thursday 30 October 2014


Click to follow
The Independent Online

IPCC looking into return of shotguns

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating three Surrey Police employees for gross misconduct after the force returned seven shotguns to a dog breeder who shot dead his partner and her daughter. John Lowe, 82, was found guilty yesterday of murdering Christine Lee, 66, and her daughter Lucy Lee, 40, at his puppy farm near Farnham in February.

Nato urged to join West Africa mission

An open letter signed by 40 leading military, political and diplomatic figures has urged Nato to intervene to protect millions of West Africans threatened by Ebola. The military alliance had the resources and ability to “fill gaps” in the current aid mission, they said.

Rebels join Kurds in  battle for Kobani

For the first time since Isis launched an offensive on the Syrian border city of Kobani last month, a small group of Syrian rebels yesterday entered the embattled town from Turkey in a push to help Kurdish fighters there battle the militants.

Germans surprised by UK budget bill

Dr Peter Ammon, the German Ambassador to the UK, said yesterday that it is “absurd” to claim Britain is being hit with a £1.7bn EU bill to punish it for its economic success, though he admitted the size of Britain’s payment had surprised leaders in Germany.

UN head warns of renewed famine

At least three million people in Somalia need humanitarian aid and the country is threatened with famine, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday. “I urge donors to step up contributions to avert another famine in Somalia,” he said during a visit to Mogadishu.

Overhaul could lead to teacher shortage

An overhaul of teacher training is fuelling a shortage of would-be maths and science teachers, a university group has warned. In a new report, Universities UK raises concerns about the impact of the Government’s decision to give schools more say in recruiting and training.

Financial crisis spawns billionaires

The number of billionaires has more than doubled since the financial crisis to 1,646, according to a new report from Oxfam. The charity found that the richest 85 people in the world have the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population.

Feminism gets the Commons touch

The Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman wore a feminist T-shirt at Prime Minister’s Questions after David Cameron’s refusal to wear one as part of a campaign. The slogan read: “This is what a feminist looks like.”

Police investigate gruesome killing

A woman was found beheaded on a Long Island street before a man, reportedly her son, was killed by a train nearby 25 minutes after her body was discovered. Police responded to what New York media described as a gruesome murder-suicide on Tuesday night.

Netanyahu unfazed by US criticisms

Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that recent verbal attacks against him by the US stemmed merely from the fact that he was “defending Israel”. The Prime Minister vowed to carry on with his policies despite the vitriolic rhetoric.

Voters to decide  on future of flag

New Zealanders are to vote on replacing the national flag, with the distinctive silver fern the favourite. Voters will choose from a shortlist next year and in 2016 will vote on whether that should replace the current flag.

Burglary victim gives £20 to culprit

The 75-year-old victim of a £10,000 home burglary has given the culprit £20 to spend in prison after he apologised to her, because she felt it was the “right” thing to do. When Loretta Smith, from Bolton, received an apologetic letter from Kevin Derbyshire while he was awaiting trial, she decided to help him.

Zeffirelli clashes with La Scala

Milan’s La Scala opera house is caught in a catfight with the legendary director Franco Zeffirelli. The prickly 91-year-old has expressed outrage at the way he says one of his “greatest” productions, the 2006 version of Aida, has been sold to a theatre in Astana, Kazakhstan, without his say so.

Bird-brained idea  for robot design

In the future, robots that can run are likely to resemble ostriches. Scientists believe the movements of the birds and their dinosaur ancestors could be employed in robot design. An ostrich’s speed and stability is unmatched in other animals, including humans, according to the study by Oregon State University.

‘Big Brother’ to launch online

Big Brother is coming to China for the first time, with housemates’ antics to be broadcast on an internet video site. Big Brother’s creators, Endemol, have signed a deal with Youku Tudou, the biggest online video site in China. The site has  500 million active users and the show will launch next year.

Fish are brighter than we thought

Fish are more intelligent than previously thought, a new study has found. Scientists at the University of Bath and Queen Mary University of London have uncovered the first evidence that fish are able to process multiple objects at once. They believe it could pave the way for medical advances.