The News Matrix: Tuesday 13 January 2015


Click to follow

MPs are chased for overpaid expenses

MPs still owe thousands of pounds in overpaid expenses to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. The regulator said yesterday it was owed more than £22,000 from 38 MPs from the past year alone. It has contacted all members warning that it will start restricting access to their parliamentary payment card, if the money is not reimbursed.

Mother: police failed my murdered son

The mother of a boy murdered by a man he met online has criticised the authorities after it emerged the killer was was arrested in a rape inquiry three years earlier. Lorin LaFave contacted police with concerns about Lewis Daynes, 19, before he killed her son Breck Bednar, 14.

Castro to Maradona: I’m not dead yet

Fidel Castro has written to Diego Maradona to quash rumours of the former Communist leader’s death. The Latin American television network TeleSUR showed photos of Maradona with the letter signed by Castro. Maradona has been in Cuba filming episodes of a TV show.

Channel 4 sets new diversity targets

Programme-makers at Channel 4 must meet new diversity targets or face having their bonus payments cut. A new diversity charter has vowed to give women, black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) people and the disabled leading roles across all  of its programmes.

Teenagers locked in cells 23 hours a day

About a quarter of the inmates at  a young offenders’ institution  spend 23 hours a day in their cells, a report by inspectors has found. HM Prison Feltham, Middlesex, houses 240 boys aged 15 to 18. Critics said their treatment amounted to solitary confinement.

Clegg to criticise snooper’s charter

Nick Clegg will condemn David Cameron for promising to protect free speech after the Charlie Hebdo massacre while planning laws that erode British freedoms. Tory plans to revive the so-called snooper’s charter are “not proportionate”,  Mr Clegg will say

Erdogan gives Abbas  a history lesson

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greeted the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at his new palace yesterday, flanked by soldiers in the military uniforms of 16 states founded throughout history by Turks.

British nurse ‘no longer critically ill’

The British nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone is no longer critically ill, the hospital treating her said yesterday. Pauline Cafferkey remains in isolation at London’s Royal Free Hospital, where she is receiving specialist care and showing signs of improvement.

Crayola erases posts after Facebook hack

Crayola has apologised after hackers filled its Facebook page with off-colour content. The page’s 2.4 million followers were subjected to cartoon breasts and crude jokes. The crayon manufacturer, based in Pennsylvania, US, later regained control of the page and removed the offending posts.

A pint of pale  whale, please

A brewery in Iceland makes a beer with smoked whale testicles. Stedji, which produces the brew for the country’s mid-winter festival, said Hvalur 2 was made with the testicles of fin whales – which are endangered – and smoked in a “traditional way” using dried sheep dung. The news has angered conservationists.

Cleric says snowmen are anti-Islamic

A Saudi Arabian cleric has issued a ruling forbidding the building of snowmen, describing them as anti-Islamic. Asked if fathers could build snowmen after a snowstorm in the country’s north, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid replied: “It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun.”

Computers best at detecting character

Computer programs are able to predict an individual’s character based on what they have listed as their “likes” on Facebook.  A University of Cambridge study of more than 86,000 users assessed openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

Record sales for children’s stories

Children’s book sales hit record levels last year, outstripping adult fiction for the first time. Titles by David Walliams and Wimpy Kid creator Jeff Kinney helped to boost sales, with children’s print books raking in £336.5m in the 52 weeks to 27 December, up almost a tenth on a year earlier, according to The Bookseller. Sales of adult fiction fell 5.3 per cent to £321.3m, the fifth consecutive annual decline.