The News Matrix: Tuesday 14 October 2014


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The Independent Online

Hunt unveils new Ebola measures

Jeremy Hunt has unveiled new measures intended to prevent the spread of Ebola to the UK and to identify those in the early stages of infection. The Health Secretary told MPs he expected that there would be fewer than 10 victims in Britain. The virus was described yesterday by the head of the World Health Organisation as the biggest danger posed by a disease in modern times.

Vatican softens  anti-gay stance

After centuries of rejection, the Catholic Church yesterday issued its most liberal statement on gays and the faith when a leading cardinal, Peter Erdo, told a meeting in Rome that homosexuals had “gifts and qualities to offer”. The change in tone reflects Pope Francis’s recent reforms.

Trial for teenagers’ 1977 murders begins

The trial of a man accused of killing two teenagers in 1977 in “the World’s End murders”, named after the Edinburgh pub where the victims were last seen, has begun. Angus Sinclair, 69, pleaded not guilty to raping and murdering Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, both 17, at the Livingston court.

Russian troops are returning home

Russian soldiers have been leaving areas of the Ukraine which has seen fighting between separatists and government troops, according to Ukrainian military officials. Moscow maintains that it has no troops stationed in the neighbouring country.

Undercover officers being ‘let down

Senior figures in the police force have been accused of letting down undercover officers under their command and failing to document their existence on an official database in the first-ever inspection of covert operations by forces in England and Wales.

Netanyahu urged to lead on settlements

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chastised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday over the issue of Jewish settlements and challenged him to show “leadership” and make compromises for peace. Jerusalem has just approved plans for 2,500 homes in Givat Hamatos.

Jihadi brides want to go back to Austria

Samra Kesinovic and another Austrian teenage girl who travelled to Syria for jihad earlier this year want to come home after being sickened by the killings, according to friends they have been in touch with.

Cancer drug may avoid side-effects

A new drug to treat patients with multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, without the toxic side effects is expected to go on trial next year, Imperial College London has said. The drug will also be tested to see if it could be used against other types of cancer.

New shop  openings exceed closures

The number of independent shops, bars and cafés that opened in the past six months has exceeded the number that closed. Some 8,662 new independent retailers opened while 8,268 shut their doors, according to the Local Data Company and the British Independent Retailers Association.

Lost parrot returns speaking Spanish

Nigel, a pet parrot who spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner – and the bird now speaks Spanish.

A vet found Nigel and tracked  the African Grey’s microchip to  Darren Chick, a Briton who lives in  Torrance, California.

Universal theme park for Beijing

Spider-Man could soon swing over Beijing, chasing Optimus Prime and despicable minions through a $3.3bn (£2.05bn) Universal theme park aimed at capitalising on China’s rising middle class. The 1,000-acre Beijing park will include attractions from other Universal parks and rides that reflect China’s cultural heritage.

Police not amused by clown pranksters

California has been gripped by a spate of clowns chasing people late at night, with police vowing to make arrests. Rumours coming from a local school suggested that one was armed with an axe, though the principal told local media these reports were false. One clown has been arrested for chasing other teenagers (albeit unarmed).

Zoo blows horn for newest arrival

A Scottish zoo has welcomed a new baby rhino, weighing in at almost eight stone (50kg). Bruce was born at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling where he could grow to be up to 630 stone (4,000kg). His mother Dot was pregnant for 494 days and kept park staff guessing after showing signs of labour as far back as July.