The News Matrix: Thursday 6 November


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Duke’s former aide denies sex offences

A former personal assistant to the Duke of Edinburgh has pleaded not guilty to three counts of sex abuse against a young girl. Benjamin Herman, 79, from Hook, Hampshire, is charged with indecent assault on a girl under 13 in the early 1970s. The trial is set for 18 May next year.

Putin says ceasefire is not working

The Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern yesterday that a two-month old ceasefire had failed to end what he called civil war in eastern Ukraine. His warning came as two teenagers were killed by shelling in Donetsk while playing on a school sports field.

Police arrest 45 over death of Christians

Police have arrested as many as 45 Muslims in connection with the killing of a Christian couple for allegedly desecrating the Koran. Hundreds took part in the attack on Tuesday, in which a mob killed the couple and burnt their bodies in a brick kiln where the couple worked.

Triple nomination for i journalists

Three i journalists have been nominated in the Press Gazette British Journalism Awards. Jim Armitage (business), Patrick Cockburn (foreign affairs) and Steve Connor (science)  are all in contention in their respective fields. The winners will be announced on 2 December.

Ed’s campaign chief gets made a minister

Lucy Powell, the MP who ran Ed Miliband’s leadership campaign, was last night made a shadow Cabinet Office minister and vice chair of the general election campaign in succession to Michael Dugher.

Death penalty threat over paper lanterns

People sending paper lanterns skyward for good luck have been warned by police that releasing them near an airport could be punished by life in prison or the death penalty. This week’s annual Loy Krathong festival is seen as a time to reflect and ask for forgiveness from the goddess of water. But in the past lanterns have affected air travel and caused delays.

Ebola experts flown in to aid research

Scientists from one of the world’s leading institutes of tropical medicine, which first discovered the Ebola virus in the 1970s, flew out to Guinea yesterday to begin research into a possible cure for the disease, using blood from Ebola survivors to treat victims.

‘Dickens Dossier’ may be made public

A file rumoured to contain the names of paedophiles at the heart of the British establishment could be made public as part of the Government’s child abuse inquiry. The so-called “Dickens Dossier” may be in archives at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Chancellor waives £1m poppies VAT

George Osborne has said the Government will waive the expected £1.1m VAT from sales of the ceramic poppies on display at the Tower of London. His pledge to donate the equivalent to the expected net VAT receipts came as Boris Johnson called for the memorial to remain for longer so more people could visit it.

Caught short? Palace is not the place

Anyone caught short in Amsterdam’s historic Dam Square has been asked by the Dutch government not to pee on the palace. The royal family uses the stately Royal Palace in downtown Amsterdam as a working palace, not a residence. But the building’s dark arches provide a favoured spot for answering the call of nature.

Lunchtime tipple  off the menu

Time has been called on Welsh Assembly Members enjoying a lunchtime tipple. Members have been sent a letter saying they will now be unable to buy any alcohol on the premises before 6pm. The practice of ordering alcoholic drinks in private “tea rooms” has been in place since the institution opened in 1999.

Turin Shroud goes back on display

The Turin Shroud, the burial cloth some believe covered Jesus, will go back on public display next year. Pope Francis said yesterday he would go to Turin on 21 June to view the 14ft cloth in the cathedral. Reservations are required for viewing from 18 April to 24 June but there is no charge.

A cup above: royal artefacts on show

The two oldest objects owned by the Queen will go on display in a new exhibition at Buckingham Palace that opens on Friday. The Rillaton Cup (below), made of beaten gold between 1700 and 1500BC, was found in a burial site on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. The oldest is a black granite statue of Queen Senet of Egypt.