The News Matrix: Thursday 8 January 2015


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Nine million women did not vote in 2010

Millions of women failed to turn out to vote at the last General Election, according to new figures which are published today. The data, which shows that more than nine million women chose not to vote in the 2010 General Election has prompted the Labour party to claim it is these “missing” female voters who will decide the fate of the election in  May.

Claimant’s lawyers suing Dershowitz

Lawyers representing a woman who alleges Prince Andrew and US lawyer Alan Dershowitz had sex with her when she was a minor are suing Mr Dershowitz for defamation. Dershowitz said the lawyers made the claims public, despite knowing that they were false.

Thirteen passengers parachute to safety

All 13 people on board a small plane, including the pilot, parachuted to safety before the aircraft crashed into a lake on New Zealand’s North Island. The aircraft was taking them on a tandem skydive excursion over Lake Taupo when it suffered engine problems, officials said.

Majority of reserves should be left alone

A third of global oil reserves, half of gas reserves and more than 80 per cent of coal reserves should remain in the ground to avoid exceeding the “safe” threshold for global warming, according to scientists. A major study has argued that leading nations must curb output.

Woman ‘sets herself on fire’ at station

A woman was critically ill last night after apparently setting herself on fire in a police station. The incident happened in the public entrance to the building in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire. The woman was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary as officers launched an investigation.

Rebels ready to stop war to make peace

Colombia’s second-biggest leftist rebel group, the 1,500-strong National Liberation Army known as the ELN, would be willing to declare a ceasefire if peace talks to end 50 years of war with the government were to start, it said in a video posted on Twitter yesterday.

Labour backs Greens on TV debate

The Green Party leader Natalie Bennett should be included in televised debates ahead of this year’s general election, Sadiq Khan, Labour’s shadow justice secretary has said.

Firms play tricks to avoid paying wages

A number of firms have developed scams to avoid paying the minimum wage, including charging workers for uniforms, clocking off canteen staff when there are no customers and mis-using interns, according to a Trades Union Congress report. It suggests that 120,000 apprentices miss out on the proper rate.

A novel solution to a wee papal problem

When Pope Francis visits the Philippines next week, traffic enforcers won’t let the capital’s streets get gridlocked if they have to answer nature’s call. The 2,000 traffic enforcers who will be on duty will be required to wear adult nappies, said the chairman of the Manila Development Authority.

Prosecco on tap has Italian’s fizzing mad

Prosecco producers have become incensed after learning that British pubs and corporate events are pouring their drink from the tap and have suggested fines of thousands of pounds should be considered. Italian politicians have weighed in too, calling for the EU to “act in the defence of Prosecco”.

Iconic guitar to hit high note at auction

The 1954 electric guitar prototype for Gibson’s iconic Les Paul models is going on the auction block. The Paul-designed guitar known as “Black Beauty” features gold-plated hardware. Guernsey’s is offering the guitar on 19 February in New York City. The auctioneer calls it the most significant electric guitar ever made.

Fix up, look sharp, English students...

Russell Brand and Dizzee Rascal will be studied as part of the English A-level syllabus from September. A proposal by the exam board OCR to use evidence given by Brand to a Commons select committee and a Newsnight interview with rapper Rascal have been approved by exams regulator Ofqual.