The News Matrix: Tuesday 23 April 2013


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The Independent Online

MoD wastes cash training under-18s

The Ministry of Defence wastes up to £94m a year training 16 and 17-year-old army recruits for roles which could be filled more cost effectively by adults, according to campaign groups. It costs an estimated £88,985 to train each young soldier and £42,818 for each adult.

Gun store robber kills at least six people

Police were on the hunt for a man who opened fire while attempting to rob a gun store in a south-western town yesterday, killing at least six people. The man, Sergei Pomyazun, killed four store employees before he started shooting on the street.

Schoolgirls sick after suspected gas attack

As many as 74 schoolgirls are being examined for suspected poisoning after they smelt gas and felt sick in the far north of Afghanistan. While some cases are false alarms, there have been numerous poisonings of girls by ultra-conservative groups opposed to female education.

Huhne offers to pay quarter of trial costs

Former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne returned to court yesterday to fight a claim for more than £100,000 in prosecution costs. Huhne offered to pay £25,000 of costs racked up by prosecutors before he admitted his role in covering up a decade-old motoring offence. MORE

GCSE maths is too easy, says comedian

Comedian Dara Ó Briain has said that GCSE maths examinations should be made more challenging for the brightest pupils after passing a genuine paper with flying colours. He scored A* in a one-hour paper.

Boston bombing suspect is charged

The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was charged yesterday with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and could face a death sentence, the US Attorney General said. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is in a serious but stable condition. The White House  said Tsarnaev will not be tried as an enemy combatant in a military tribunal because he is a US citizen. MORE

Computer models aid cancer treatment

Doctors could soon use computer predictions to judge how to treat cancer patients. Researchers have constructed mathematical formulae that outperformed human experts in forecasting how sufferers would respond to treatment. A doctor said if computers prove more accurate, it was “unethical” not to use them. MORE

Outrage over richest man’s protection

Police have been accused of prioritising the safety of rich people over the poor after it was revealed that the country’s wealthiest man, industrialist Mukesh Ambani, is to get round-the-clock protection. Authorities are facing criticism for apparently delaying an investigation into the abduction and rape of a five-year-old girl. MORE

Bikinis and briefs banned on beach

Bikinis and brief trunks are no longer welcome on some sands in the United Arab Emirates. Authorities in Ras al-Khaimah, the northernmost emirate in the UAE, have posted signs on public beaches warning of possible fines for revealing swimwear following complaints from a local, The National reported.

‘Drug smuggler’ calls police on herself

A woman who lives in Mexico and works in San Diego called the police when she unwittingly transported 30lbs of marijuana across the border. The woman saw two unidentified men removing packages from underneath her car and called the police, who discovered 30lbs of pot attached by magnets to the vehicle.

ITV censured over weight loss plug

Ofcom has summoned ITV to a meeting after Alan Titchmarsh’s chat show featuring Patsy Kensit  gave excessive plugs to WeightWatchers. Ofcom found that “the information conveyed and overall effect was to promote and endorse WeightWatchers as an effective method of weight loss”. MORE

Wind blows conker battles off course

Organisers of Northamptonshire’s World Conker Championships have been forced to switch venues after wind has postponed the event for the past two years. The 47-year-old contest will now take place in Southwick, rather than blustery Polebrook. The event has raised more than £400,000 for charity.

Galliano to teach  at design school

John Galliano is continuing his path back to the fashion world with a planned stop at Parsons The New School of Design in New York City. The college said yesterday that Galliano will teach a master-class on leading a design house. Galliano was creative director at Christian Dior when he was fired in 2011 for an anti-Semitic rant.