The News Matrix: Tuesday 1 July 2014


Click to follow

Two more inmates flee open jail

A further two prisoners have escaped from HMP Standford Hill in Kent, the open prison from which Michael Wheatley, dubbed the “Skull Cracker”, escaped in May. Scott Callaghan, 35, and Billy Harkins, 29, absconded on Saturday. Callaghan is serving a sentence for perverting the course of justice and Harkins for aggravated burglary, Kent Police said.

More clashes as Isis declares caliphate

There were reports of further clashes in Tikrit yesterday as the government continued to force back the Islamist insurgents from Isis. There are fears in Baghdad of an assault by the rebels on the capital city after the group declared a new Islamic caliphate. MORE

IGCSEs to be cut from league tables

International GCSEs – alternative qualifications favoured in some private and state schools – are set to be axed from school league tables. It is understood that only reformed GCSEs in maths and English could count in performance rankings in the future.

US calls for release of imprisoned men

The US State Department asked North Korea yesterday to release two Americans, who the media said would be put on trial for committing crimes against the state. KCNA news agency said “their hostile acts were confirmed by evidence and their own testimonies”.  MORE

Manchester ‘is not safe after midnight’

Manchester is “too dangerous” after midnight and police cannot guarantee public safety, Inspector Ian Hanson warned. He said changes to licensing laws, introduced in 2003, have led to a rise in alcohol-fuelled  violence at a time when police budgets and numbers are being cut.

‘Benefits Street’ cleared by Ofcom

The controversial TV programme Benefits Street has been cleared of breaching broadcasting rules by regulator Ofcom. The Channel 4 series triggered hundreds of complaints to the body in January.

22 dead after gang gunfight with police

At least 22 people were killed yesterday during a shootout between suspected gang members and security forces south-west of the capital, the government said. The gunfight took place in Tlatlaya on the southern fringes of the State of Mexico, which encloses much of Mexico City.

Mortgage approvals fall 18% from peak

Mortgage approvals fell to the lowest level for almost a year last month, indicating that tighter lending rules are affecting the market. There were 61,707 mortgage approvals in May, an 18.7 per cent decline from their recent peak in January and the lowest monthly figure since June 2013. MORE

Umpires could soon be banished off court

Tennis tournaments could soon dispense with umpires, a member of the team behind Wimbledon’s Hawk-Eye line-calling system has claimed.

Luke Aggas said yesterday that several events are already considering replacing umpires and line judges in favour of an entirely computerised system. MORE

Toronto Mayor back at work after rehab

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vowed that his commitment to “living clean is now unwavering” as he returned to work yesterday after a two-month stay in rehab. Mr Ford released a statement at the end of April acknowledging “a problem with alcohol,” which led him to seek professional help.

Indian restaurant is named Britain’s best

An Indian restaurant in London has been named National Restaurant of the Year. Gymkhana in Mayfair is the first Indian restaurant to receive the honour. Karam Sethi has been praised for his commitment to traditional Indian cuisine and his refusal to tone down its flavours to suit European palates. MORE

Emergency slide inflates during flight

An evacuation slide inflated inside a United Airlines plane as it flew from Chicago to southern California, filling part of the cabin and prompting the pilot to make an emergency landing in Kansas. United Airlines officials said no one aboard Flight 1463 was injured. It is not yet known what caused the slide to inflate.

Bruce dismisses Newsnight claims

Fiona Bruce has dismissed rumours that she could replace Jeremy Paxman as the host of Newsnight, saying that the audience of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme is  too small for her. Bruce, a  former reporter on Newsnight, said: “I haven’t even thought about it.”