The News Matrix: Thursday 5 March 2015


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The Independent Online

Pensioners ‘tricked into helping Isis’

Extremists masquerading as police officers are targeting British pensioners, tricking them into handing over their bank details as part of an alleged scam to raise money for Isis, Scotland Yard has announced. Two men were arrested yesterday following a major investigation.

Abid Naseer guilty  of terrorism charges

Abid Naseer, the Pakistani man extradited from Britain to the US, was last night found guilty by a New York federal jury of providing material support to al-Qaeda and conspiracy to use a destructive device in several countries, including a broader plot to attack a Manchester shopping centre and the New York subway.

‘Plebgate’ officer gets £80k in damages

The police officer at the centre of the notorious Downing Street “Plebgate” incident has accepted £80,000 damages in settlement of his libel action against former chief whip Andrew Mitchell. The conclusion of Pc Toby Rowland’s case against the MP was announced at the High Court in London.

Boston bomber ‘went shopping for milk

As the trial of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began yesterday, jurors heard how he shopped for milk at Wholefoods organic supermarket after blasts had ripped through spectators in April 2013 during the Boston marathon, killing three people and injuring 260.

Top Tory tells chiefs to quit over budget

A senior Conservative MP has called on Britain’s military chiefs to resign in protest over cuts to the defence budget. Col Bob Stewart, the MP for Beckenham, in Kent, and a former commander of United Nations forces in Bosnia, said he was considering resigning in response to the reductions in military spending.

Netanyahu ‘reducing country’s influence’

Israel’s opposition leader accused Benjamin Netanyahu of taking his country “out of the picture” in US nuclear negotiations with Iran by telling the US Congress that American policy was the “countdown to a nuclear nightmare”. Isaac Herzog said the Prime Minister’s speech will leave Israel without influence.

Mother and lover killed daughter, 8

A woman and her lover are facing prison for torturing, abusing and finally killing her eight-year-old daughter while in the grip of a “sophisticated web of lies and deceit”. Polly Chowdhury, 35, and Kiki Muddar, 43, were yesterday found guilty of manslaughter over the death of Chowdhury’s daughter, Ayesha Ali, at their home in east London in 2013, but were cleared of murder.

Fernandez case dismissal appealed

An Argentine prosecutor is appealing a judicial decision to throw out a case accusing President Cristina Fernandez of a cover-up deal with Iran over the bombing of a Jewish community centre.

Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita appealed the ruling that the case is not strong enough to open an investigation. The prosecutor who began the case, Alberto Nisman, was found dead before he was to detail his allegations to Congress.

BT to create 1,000 apprenticeships

BT is to create 1,000 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs this year, offering careers ranging from business analysis to software development. The places will be spread across the UK in cities including London, Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff, Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds. The telecoms giant is also providing up to 1,000 vocational training and work experience placements.

Fairy doors open up fears for trees

Volunteers managing Wayford Woods, near Crewkerne, have raised concerns about the safety of the trees after 100 fairy doors appeared at their bases. The Wayford Woods Charitable Trust, which manages the site, said it was worried about possible damage to trees which have had doors screwed into them.

‘Short life’ of world’s oldest person, 117

Misao Okawa, the daughter of a kimono maker, today celebrates her 117th birthday.  Ms Okawa, born in Osaka on 5 March, 1898, was recognised as the world’s oldest person by Guinness World Records in 2013. Asked how she felt about living so long, she said: “It seemed rather short”.

Greece is the word on a heart-healthy diet

A Mediterranean diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil can cut the long-term risk of heart disease by half, research has shown. Scientists monitored 2,500 Greek adults between 2001 and 2012. Those who followed a traditional diet were 47 per cent less likely to develop heart disease than those who did not.

Urinal can give power to the people

A prototype toilet that generates electricity from urine is being launched in hopes aid agencies can use it to supply electricity to refugee camps. The urinal is the result of a partnership between researchers at the University of the West of England at Bristol and Oxfam. It is near the students’ union  on campus.