The News Matrix: Tuesday 17 March 2015


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The Independent Online

Met accused of abuse cover-up

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating allegations that Scotland Yard covered up child sex offences because of the involvement of MPs and police officers. An abuse victim’s account was altered to omit a senior politician’s name, according to one claim.

Tear gas used on Christian protesters

Police fired tear gas yesterday after Christian protesters clashed with police in the eastern city of Lahore, a day after Taliban bombers killed 17 people in suicide attacks on two churches in the city. Lahore’s Police Deputy Inspector General Haider Ashraf told reporters that his men were “showing restraint”.

Leeds offered more devolved powers

George Osborne is to offer new devolved powers to Leeds, but the region won’t be forced to accept an elected mayor. The Chancellor is expected to offer Leeds a deal similar to that given to Sheffield last year, though it is likely to fall short of Greater Manchester, which will have an elected mayor from 2017.

Australians lose  visa-free rights

Indonesia said yesterday that Australia would be excluded from a list of 45 countries to be offered visa-free travel, amid heightened tensions between the countries over the imminent execution of two convicted Australian drug traffickers. Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said the policy would be applied from next month.

‘I was duped  over IVF baby’

A man who is suing his ex-wife, claiming she deceived him into believing he was the father of the son she gave birth to following fertility treatment, has told a court he discovered the news when the child was five. The man claimed the boy had been conceived with sperm from a former boyfriend.

Circus ban puts 2,000 animals at risk

Homes are being sought for at least 2,000 tigers, elephants, giraffes, zebras and other exotic beasts that will soon be banned from the country’s circuses. Circus owners are worried about the fate of their animals when the ban is imposed on 8 July, and many circuses have already closed.

MP says Labour influenced selection

Linda Riordan, the outgoing Labour MP for Halifax, has accused her own party of manipulating a candidate selection race, saying members of the National Executive Committee interfered in the selection of the candidate to replace her, allegations that have been hotly disputed.

Baby boy dies after wall falls on him

A one-year-old boy has been killed after a wall fell on him following a road accident. The incident happened in Stechford, Birmingham, yesterday. Police said a recovery truck hit a wall, which then fell on the child. The boy, who died of head injuries, has not been identified.

Opposition leader’s daughter is arrested

Police have arrested the daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for alleged sedition. Nurul Izzah Anwar was detained at an opposition rally and for making “contemptuous remarks that those in the judiciary system had sold their souls to the devil”, police said.

‘Nothing Compares  2 U’ is no more

Sinead O’Connor intends to stop singing the bestseller “Nothing Compares 2 U” as she no longer identifies with it. Posting on Facebook, she said that after 25 years of singing her 1990 version of the Prince track she “finally ran out of anything to bring some emotion to it”.

Altering cells helps to tame leukaemia

Forcing leukaemia cells to “grow up” has been shown to tame the disease. Researchers at Stanford University genetically reprogrammed leukaemia cells so they grew to resemble ordinary white blood cells. Mice that had the altered cells transplanted into them remained healthy.

Putin ‘amused’ by talk about his health

Vladimir Putin scotched speculation that he was sick, dead or the victim of a coup when he  made an appearance in St Petersburg. “It’s boring without gossip,” he commented after greeting Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev.

Top radio host fired after sackings row

MVS Radio’s Carmen Aristegui, the crusading host of Mexico’s top-rated national news programme has been fired after for challenging the sacking of two reporters who had  suggested it was a sponsor of MexicoLeaks, a WikiLeaks-like website.

Ikea bans getting lost on purpose

Ikea has banned people from playing hide-and-seek in its 13 Dutch branches, after tens of thousands signed up to events at three of the stores. “It’s hard to control,” a spokeswoman told Bloomberg. The events, organised on Facebook, were copycats of a game Ikea allowed at its Belgian store last year.

Buttocks are given the bum’s rush

Facebook has created a new rulebook telling users the sort of content they can’t post on the site, including a ban on images of buttocks. The new community standards section includes clarification that some nudity is allowed for artistic purposes, but images of genitals, buttocks or nipples will be taken down.

Conmen made £1m in ‘embassy’ deals

A group of con artists have gone on trial accused of tricking a German businessman into believing he was buying the US embassy and the UN food agency headquarters in Rome. The businessman allegedly handed over €1.3m (£926,000) in a series of fake deals to buy major buildings in the city.

Drug dealers caught after blender buys

Two cocaine dealers were caught after they bought 12 blenders to mix the drug and supermarket staff told police. Thomas Davies bought 12 blenders from an Asda store. The pair were found with £300,000 worth of the class-A drug. Davies, 29 and Gavin Hayward Etchell, 33, were jailed for more than 15 years in total.